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This parish was founded by the English Province of the Capuchin Franciscans in the 1850s, to serve the Catholic community in the Peckham area of South-East London. It aims to bring Christ in to people's lives, in a part of London that is relatively poor, culturally diverse - but where there is also great enthusiasm and openness to God.

Inside, the church looks rather splendid, I think. Its architect was a man called Pugin, who was one of the best-known (in Catholic circles) of those working in the then newly-revived Gothic style. To me, it gives an impression of spaciousness and elegance, partly because the pillars and the arches are comparatively slender.

At the same time, the lines are simple and there is no 'fussiness' about the detail and decoration. There seems just enough light coming in from the windows (including four rather beautiful rose windows) to add to the air of spaciousness, without letting in so much light that it destroys the mood and atmosphere of the place (as in some modern churches).

Another thing I like about the church is that although the benches are comfortable to use, there is not very much in the way of carpets and soft furnishings. This probably sounds rather negative, but it does mean that sound carries very well, which really helps the singing. (If you've ever been in the habit of singing in the bathroom, you'll know how great your voice can sound in a room that's fairly bare and echoey.) People certainly seem to respond to this sort of acoustic and join in the singing with great gusto!


Ceop

© Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church 2016
A parish of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark.
CIO Registered Incorporated Charity Number 1173050.