Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 14th July - 3pm Great Vespers, 4pm Divine Liturgy for Sunday

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Eternal Memory: Prebendary Gerard Irvine

Fr John Salter writes in the Pascha 2011 edition of Chrysostom:

When I was looking for a second Anglican curacy in 1966 I was interviewed by Father Irvine at his vicarage at St Cuthbert’s, Philbeach Gardens, in London’s Earl’s Court. Unfortunately there was not enough money to pay for two assistant priests, but I kept in touch with him from time to time.

Fr Gerard, like Donald Allchin, always looked much younger than his years. His face was that of an eager and interested baroque cherub. His tastes in church tended towards the baroque, as he was a friend of the Reverend Maurice Child, who promoted the Society of SS. Peter and Paul, which had the slogan ‘Back to the Baroque’ and transformed many a gothic sanctuary in the Church of England into very passable replicas of the churches of Bruges and Bavaria. It was Mgr Ronald Knox in his Anglican days who said “There are only two possible religions: That of the Holy Father and that of the Unholy Child”. Early on in his ministry, Gerard settled for the latter. He was never an Anglican Papalist.

Gerard took an interest in the workings and life of the Orthodox Church; and in Earl’s Court the daughter church of St. Cuthbert’s, St. Matthias, was used for the worship of the Polish Orthodox Church in Exile for some years, with Bishop Matthew of Vilno at its head. On occasions, too, the Syrian Orthodox Church in the mid-1960s was given hospitality at St. Cuthbert’s.

Whilst at his last parish of St Matthew’s, Westminster, Gerard set out with a fellow Prebendary of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Norry McCurrie, for an adventurous pilgrimage to Mount Athos.

It was while a curate in his early days at St Thomas’, Regent Street, that Gerard came into close touch with the then flourishing Anglo-Catholic intelligentsia – Dame Rose Macaulay, Christopher Fry, Dorothy Sayers, John Betjeman, T.S. Eliot. He kept in touch with most of these people until they died, as he was a great letter writer.

Gerard spent the last months of his life being looked after by Catholic nuns in Sussex. He died in his ninetieth year, having lived a very full and interesting life, with a fulfilled, fruitful and largely pastoral ministry.

He had obviously kept up his links with the latter-day intelligentsia of the Anglo-Catholic and Roman Catholic world, as Sir John Betjeman’s granddaughter and the novelist A.N. Wilson both gave panegyrics at the very crowded church of St Michael’s, Brighton, at his funeral.

To his sister Rosemary, who shared his home for so many years in Brighton, we offer our prayers and condolences.

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