Anniversary of Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew – then and now

December 19 sees the ninety-fifth anniversary of the death of Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew. He died at South Mymms, Hertfordshire, and is buried in the grounds of the parish church there, where he had been permitted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to sit in choir wearing episcopal robes and to exercise certain very limited functions within the Church of England.

On 7 April 1948, Archbishop Mathew’s successor, Archbishop Bernard Mary Williams, who was Primate of the Old Roman Catholic (Pro-Uniate) Rite of Great Britain, led a visit of members and friends of the Rite to St Alban’s Cathedral and to the tomb of Archbishop Mathew. Among the party was George Tull, later to be a priest in the Old Roman Catholic Church of Great Britain and a Vice-Chancellor of the San Luigi Orders, as well as Fr. Geoffrey Peter Paget King, who became Primate of the ORCCGB in 1971. The San Luigi Archive includes these extremely rare photographs of the day.

ORCC at St Albans and South Mymms 7.8.48 - 1ORCC at St Albans and South Mymms 7.8.48 - 2ORCC at St Albans and South Mymms 7.8.48 - 3The tomb of Archbishop Mathew continues to be cared for by the present-day Old Roman Catholic Church of Great Britain. In this photograph from some years ago, the Prince-Abbot joins Archbishop Douglas Lewins, GCCT, and Bishop Howard Weston-Smart, GCCT, of the ORCCGB as they clean and tend to the grave. There is a continued appeal to provide an endowment fund for its full restoration, and contributions may be made by following this link.

AHM tomb

About johnkersey

Historian, musician and educationalist.
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