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National Shrine of Saint Jude (England)

The National Shrine of Saint Jude adjoins the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Faversham, England, is a Roman Catholic shrine to Saint Jude, and a place of pilgrimage for Catholics and other Christians in the United Kingdom and other countries. It is served and looked after by the British Province of the Order of Carmelites.[1]

National Shrine of Saint Jude, Faversham
National Shrine of Saint Jude.jpg
The statue of Saint Jude at the National Shrine of Saint Jude
51°18′55″N 0°53′03″E / 51.31524°N 0.88424°E / 51.31524; 0.88424Coordinates: 51°18′55″N 0°53′03″E / 51.31524°N 0.88424°E / 51.31524; 0.88424
Country United Kingdom
DenominationRoman Catholicism
Founder(s)Fr Elias Lynch, O.Carm
DedicationCyril Cowderoy, Bishop of Southwark
Consecrated28 October 1955
Relics heldSaint Jude
StylePost War/Modern
ArchdioceseRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark
ProvinceBritish Province, Order of Carmelites
PriorFr Brendan Grady, O.Carm
Priest(s)Fr Richard Copsey, O.Carm
AssistantBr Anthony O'Donnell, O.Carm
Chaplain(s)Fr Brendan Grady, O.Carm
Business managerMr Matthew Betts



The Carmelite friars took on the care of the Faversham parish in 1926, and acquired a building on Tanners Street, developing it as a church by 1937. The shrine of Saint Jude was later built in 1955.[2]

On 28 October 1955, the Bishop of Southwark Cyril Cowderoy, with the Prior General of the Carmelite Order, the Prior of Aylesford, and many other priests and friars, dedicated the Shrine. Bishop Cyril described the place as "a jewel for the diocese".[2]

Since the 1950s thousands of pilgrims have come to Faversham from all over the world to visit and pray at the little shrine to Saint Jude. It is not a particularly large building, but it has become special to the many pilgrims who visit the shrine.

The SiteEdit

The site includes the Faversham parish, which was founded in 1926 and developed as a church by 1937. The shrine of Saint Jude was later built in 1955.

In addition to the Shrine, there is an office, information centre and welcome centre at the Shrine which caters for the many pilgrims who visit, write, or send in their prayers.[3] The venue also holds the distribution office for St Albert's Press (which is the publishing arm of the British Province of Carmelites).[4]

The ShrineEdit

St Simon Stock

The corridor between the church and shrine has a number of stained glass windows by the artist Richard Joseph King (1907–74), depicting important figures in the tradition of the Carmelite Order. First is the window of Saint Simon Stock (pictured). He was a Kentish man who became Prior General of the Order in the 1250s and who died in Bordeaux, France, in 1265.[5] The other windows are of Saint Brocard; the Prophet Elisha and the Prophet Elijah.[6]

The statue of the Apostle Jude in the Inner Shrine beyond the Shrine Chapel is really the work of art which most focuses pilgrims' devotion.

The statue is fifteenth century gilt and polychrome wood, and was a gift from Mr & Mrs Murphy. They donated the statue in memory of their two sons, Matthew and Michael, who both died in action in the Second World War.

The Shrine, the mosaic apse, ironwork and exterior frieze in mosaic were designed by Michael Leigh A.R.C.A., who worked on various churches and some of the mosaics in Westminster Cathedral.

The reliquary which stands in the inner shrine is called the Augsberg Reliquary, and is a modern copy of a silver monstrance from 1547. The reliquary has been modified to display the relic, a bone fragment, of Saint Jude.[7]

Finally, there are three designs from the eminent artist Adam Kossowski. In the entrance to the church and the shrine are holy water stoops by him, and there are also three ceramic plaques by him.

Fire and new iconsEdit

In 2004 a fire broke out in the Shrine Chapel destroying the murals and damaging much of the other artwork. Happily, the windows and ceramics could be repaired, but the murals had to be replaced.

The decision was made to install icons depicting saints inspired by the Carmelite Rule of Saint Albert, in commemoration of the 8th centenary of the Carmelite Rule in 2007. The icons were written by Sister Petra Clare, a Benedictine hermit living in Scotland.[8]

The icons are of: Saint Albert giving the Carmelite 'way of life' (Rule document) to Saint Brocard on Mount Carmel; Blessed John Soreth and Blessed Frances d'Amboise; Saint Elias Kuriakos Chavara and Blessed Isidore Bakanja;[9] Blessed Titus Brandsma and Saint Edith Stein.[10]

List of Shrine Directors and ChaplainsEdit

Before 2008, the Shrine was managed by the Shrine Director who had the dual role of chaplain and manager. However, this was changed after 2008 with the management of the site handled by an office manager, and then later the current Development Manager. A friar took on the role as Chaplain to run the spiritual side.

Shrine DirectorEdit

  • Brother Anthony McGreal, O.Carm: 1955 - 1965
  • Fr Conleth Doyle, O.Carm: 1965 - 1975
  • Fr Bonaventure Fitz-Gerald, O.Carm: 1975 - 1985
  • Fr Richard Hearne, O.Carm: 1985 - 1987
  • Fr Adrian Wilde, O.Carm: 1993 - 1996
  • Fr David Fox, O.Carm: 1987 - 1995
  • Fr Alphonsus Brennan, O.Carm: 1996 - 1999
  • Fr Kevin Alban, O.Carm: 1999 - 2002
  • Fr Francis Kemsley, O.Carm: 2002 - 2005
  • Fr Brendan Grady, O.Carm: 2005 - 2008


  • Fr Piet Wijngaard, O.Carm: 2008 - 2014
  • Fr Michael Manning, O.Carm: 2014 - 2016
  • Fr Brendan O'Grady, O.Carm: 2016 - present


Guild of Saint JudeEdit

Guild membership badge

The Guild of Saint Jude was founded in 2014. It was set up to promote the love of God by fostering devotion to his Apostle Saint Jude; for members to be able to support and share in the mission of the Carmelite Family by prayer and material resources; and to raise awareness and encourage pilgrimages to the National Shrine.[12]


  • share in the daily Masses at the Shrine
  • share in special Masses offered for them and their families each quarter
  • join the Shrine in daily prayers throughout the year
  • receive a handbook of devotions
  • receive a Guild of Saint Jude badge
  • receive an annual Guild magazine and quarterly Carmelite News
  • are invited to the annual Guild talk at the Feast of Saint Jude

Societies of PrayerEdit

Statue of the Infant of Prague

Before the Second World War, three ‘Societies of Prayer’ were established for: Saint Jude, the Holy Child and the Little Flower. The Societies are a very popular way for people to express their faith, participate in the Carmelite devotions, and support the ministry of the Shrine.[13]

Members of each Society are enrolled for a year, and a Mass is celebrated every month for their spiritual and temporal welfare. People can choose to join themselves or can add others. There is no set fee, but a donation of £1 (or more) per person is suggested.

The Society of the Infant Jesus is affiliated to the Shrine of the Infant Jesus cared for by the Discalced Carmelite brothers in Prague, where the original statue of Jesus has been revered since the 17th century.

The Society of the Little Flower at Faversham is distinct from and considerably pre-dates the Society of the Little Flower which is based in Horsham and operated by the Curia of the Carmelite Order. It is named after Thérèse of Lisieux.

These societies are separate from the Guild of Saint Jude.


Two major events occur at the Shrine during the year:[14]

  • Summer Celebration (end of May)
  • Feast of Saint Jude (October)


The National Shrine of Saint Jude is a member of:


The Shrine produces the "Carmelite News" four times a year. The newsletter updates subscribers on the British Province of the Carmelites and the shrine. The newsletter is sent to thousands of people across Britain, Ireland and worldwide.[15][16]


The Shrine is based at: 35 Tanners Street, Faversham, Kent, ME13 7JW

However, mail must be sent to their PO Box: St. Jude's Shrine Office, Carmelite Friars, P.O. Box 140, Kent, ME20 7SJ, England

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Carmelites: British Province".
  2. ^ a b "The Development of the National Shrine of Saint Jude".
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Saint Albert's Press Homepage".
  5. ^ Shrine Saint Jude. "National Shrine of Saint Jude".
  6. ^ "A Tour of the National Shrine". Archived from the original on 3 May 2016.
  7. ^ Shrine Saint Jude. "National Shrine of Saint Jude".
  8. ^ Shrine Saint Jude. "National Shrine of Saint Jude".
  9. ^ Shrine Saint Jude. "National Shrine of Saint Jude".
  10. ^
  11. ^ Shrine Saint Jude. "National Shrine of Saint Jude".
  12. ^ "Guild of Saint Jude - Guild".
  13. ^ Shrine Saint Jude. "National Shrine of Saint Jude".
  14. ^ "St Jude Feast & Events".
  15. ^ "Newsletter".
  16. ^