Our society visited Arundel Cathedral on the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, 2013. The cathedral was designed by Joseph Hansom; (who also designed St. Mary’s, Ryde). St. Philip Howard (d. 1595) is buried here. The cathedral was founded by Henry 15th Duke of Norfolk, whose old established family own extensive estates around Arundel, and the building was completed in 1873. Thirty years earlier, Joseph Hansom, inventor of the Hansom cab. was designing our very own Church of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary in Ryde. He designed many Catholic churches and cathedrals. Arundel is Grade I listed, and regarded as one of the finest examples of gothic revival architecture in the French gothic style in the country. Hansom, including (1844). The connection with Ryde and St. Mary’s does not end here. Both churches are dedicated to Our Lady. Most of the stained glass windows were designed by Nathaniel Westlake, who was responsible for many of St. Mary’s windows as well as the Stations of the Cross and the devotional and biblical scenes in our Lady Chapel. In addition, Arundel has had two of its parish priests appointed as bishops (John Butt 1885 – Southwark and David Cashman 1965 – Arundel and Brighton); whilst Ryde has had the same; (John Baptist Cahill 1900 and William Cotter 1910 – both Portsmouth). One of our recent parish priests in Ryde; Fr. David Buckley: joined the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, and was Administrator at Arundel Cathedral for a year in 2004. Some of us will remember the pilgrimage to Arundel that year when he offered Mass for us in Arundel Castle.
The original dedication was to St Philip Neri, founder of the Oratorian religious order. When the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton was created in 1965, the church of St Philip at Arundel, being the largest church in the new diocese (Surrey and Sussex); it was made its cathedral and rededicated to Our Lady and St Philip. In 1973 there was a further change in dedication to the recently canonised martyr, St Philip Howard, a direct ancestor of the present Duke of Norfolk, whose home is in the castle opposite. As a Catholic, Philip Howard, 13th Earl of Arundel, was banned by Elizabeth I, from practising his faith. Attempting to flee the country, he was apprehended at sea and spent the last 13 years of his life in the Tower of London. His shrine is at the end of the north transept. At the south end of the transept is the shrine to the former patron saint of the parish, St. Philip Neri. On your visit, also note the beautiful rose window decorated with stained glass illustrations depicting the Blessed Virgin. Arundel is famous for its Corpus Christi procession. Each year the cathedral is strewn with flowers laid down the centre aisle by the flower arrangers of the parish. The Blessed Sacrament is carried over the carpet of flowers in the main aisle and across the road to the castle, where Benediction is given.