All Saints, Margaret Street
All Saints, Margaret Street is an Anglican church in London built in the High Victorian Gothic style by the architect William Butterfield and completed in 1859. The church is situated on the north side of Margaret Street in Fitzrovia, near Oxford Street, within a small courtyard. Two other buildings face onto this courtyard: one is the vicarage, and the other (formerly a choir school) now houses the parish room and flats for assistant priests. All Saints is famous for its architecture, its style of worship, and its musical tradition.

Architecture
Architecturally, it is one of the greatest expressions of the Gothic Revival, William Butterfield's enduring masterpiece. It is described by K Theodore Hoppen in his volume of the New Oxford History of England , as "his savage masterpiece". Ian Nairn said of it "To describe a church as an orgasm is bound to offend someone; yet this building can only be understood in terms of compelling, overwhelming passion." The east wall of the chancel is covered by a series of painting on gilded boards, the work of Ninian Comper and a restoration of earlier work by William Dyce. The Lady Chapel is also by Comper. The church is a Grade I listed building.

Anglo-Catholic
Its style of worship is Anglo-Catholic, "the Catholic faith as taught by the Church of England", offering members and visitors a traditional style of liturgy, as advocated by the Oxford Movement of the mid-nineteenth century, including ritual, choir and organ music, vestments and incense. Fr Cyril Tomkinson (Vicar 1943-51), rebuking a visiting priest who asked for the use of the Roman Missal , said "the rule here is music by Mozart, choreography by Fortescue, decor by Comper, but libretto by Cranmer". Masses are now generally according to the liturgy of Common Worship (with the Sunday high mass according to Order 1 in traditional language), whilst the office is still prayed according to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The Vicar is Fr Alan Moses, assisted by Fr Gerald Beauchamp and Fr Julian Browning.

Incumbents
  • 1859-73 William Upton Richards
  • 1873-86 Bermore Compton
  • 1886-1905 William Allen Whitworth
  • 1905-8 George Frederick Holden
  • 1908-34 Henry Falconar Barclay Mackay
  • 1934-42 Dom Bernard Clements OSB
  • 1943-51 Cyril Edric Tomkinson
  • 1951-69 Kenneth Needham Ross
  • 1969-75 Michael Eric Marshall
  • 1976-81 David Alan Sparrow
  • 1982-5 David Michael Hope
  • 1986-95 David Handley Hutt
  • 1995- Leslie Alan Moses


Services at All Saints Margaret Street
  • Sunday
    • Solemn Mass at 11.00 am
    • Morning Prayer at 10.20 am
    • Low Mass at 8.00 am and 5.15 pm
    • Choral Evensong, and Benediction at 6.00 pm
  • Monday to Friday
    • Morning Prayer at 7.30 am
    • Low Mass at 8.00 am, 1.10 pm and 6.30 pm
    • Confessions from 12.30 to 1.00 pm and 5.30 pm
    • Evening Prayer at 6.00 pm
  • Saturday
    • Morning Prayer at 7.30 am
    • Low Mass at 8.00 am and 6.30 pm
    • Confessions at 5.30 pm
    • Evening Prayer at 6.00 pm


Music
All Saints is also noted for its musical tradition. The organ, built in 1910, is a four-manual Harrison and Harrison instrument with 65 speaking stops. Until 1968, the music was provided by a choir of men and boys, which was called upon to sing at the coronations of Edward VII, George V and VI, and Elizabeth II. When the choir school (which counted Laurence Olivier as an alumnus) closed in 1968, a professional adult choir was introduced. The repertoire for choir and organ stretches from the Renaissance to the 21st century and includes several pieces commissioned for the church, most famously Walter Vale's arrangement of Rachmaninoff's Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and All-Night Vigil for a western mass and evensong respectively. Rachmaninoff heard Vale's adaptations during his two visits to the church and pronounced his approval of them. Previous Directors of Music include
  • Richard Redhead 1839 - 1864
  • Christopher Edwin Willing 1860 - 1868
  • William Stevenson Hoyte
  • Walter S Vale 1907 - 1939
  • William Lloyd Webber 1939 - 1948
  • John Williams 1949 - 1951
  • John Birch 1953 - 1958
  • Michael Fleming 1958 - 1968
  • (James) Eric Arnold 1968 - 1988
  • Harry Bramma 1988 - 2004
The current Director of Music is Paul Brough.

Media

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Building Activity

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