The Parish of Maiden Lane is situated in the Westminster Deanery. It was founded in 1873 and consecrated on the 18th of October, 1956. Often referred to as the “hidden gem” of the West End, the then Archbishop Cardinal Henry Manning said during his homily at the opening mass that “a sanctuary has been opened to be specifically devoted to the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament”.
This was the first church dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament after the Reformation. The famous hymns Sweet Sacrament Divine and O Sacred Heart were written by the parish priest Fr Francis Stanfield (1835-1914). It is also known as “the actors’ church” and is the home of the Catholic Association of the Performing Arts (formerly, the Catholic Stage Guild).
A very famous priest visitor to the parish over many years was
Monsignor Ronald Knox. He first preached his Forty Hours Sermon
in 1926, at the invitation of Father Kearney. This became a regular
feature in Mgr Knox’s diary from 1926 until 1956. These sermons were
published by Burns and Oates in 1956 under the title “The Window in the
Wall”, and the charming and touching dedication of this book is, “To the
memory of Father Kearney and to his successors.”
For decades the Latin Mass Society has also celebrated Mass here. A young adults’ prayer group meets here weekly and this is a vibrant place of worship and an oasis of prayer and calm – open all day long for visitors, tourists, those who work and live nearby and shoppers to pause and pray.