Town or District: Kelvedon

Name of Church: Our Lady Immaculate and the Holy Archangels

Rector: Thomas R. D. Byles




a. 1. Give the number of Masses on Sundays, and the hours of Service: One Mass at 11.0

a. 2. Is there a sung Mass on Sundays? Not recently

a. 6. When are the prayers for the Holy Father, and for the King, said? Prayer for King after Mass -- nothing for the Holy Father.

c. 3. Do you give your Congregation a full course of instruction in the doctrines of the Church, and particularly the Mass, its value and its rites and ceremonies? At present I am giving a course of instructions on the Commandments -- and shall deal with the Mass under Third Commandment.


a. Morning. What are the hours of Mass? 10.0 -- Benediction after Mass

b. Evening. At what hour is the service, and of what does it consist? There has not been regularly any evening service.


a. Is Mass said daily, and at what hour or hours? daily at 8.0

b. What services have you during the week? Benediction Friday at 4.0 (This will not be possible if the convent remains empty after the nuns leave.)

c. Is the Church open daily for visits, and at what hours? What provision is made for the protection of the Church while it is open? not regularly open but can be entered through the convent.

g. What services had you on the last three days of last Holy Week? The Full liturgical morning service according to the Rituale Romanum of Benedict XIII ---------- Stations of the Cross and Miserere Friday at 3.0


11. Of what material is the Tabernacle and with what is it lined? Are there curtains? Where is the key kept? It is a steel safe with a brass plate over door. Lined with silk, and with curtains. Two keys, both in my room.

16. Have the Altars been consecrated? If so, when? Is the Sepulchre, enclosing the relics in each Altar or Altar Stone, whole and entire? And is each Altar or Altar Stone properly covered with cere cloth? High Altar consecrated with church about 1891. There are also two portable altar stones. In all the Sepulchres are entire, and they are covered with cere cloth.

17. Give a list of Chalices, Ciboria, Pyxes, Monstrances, Covers for Ciborium, Palls, and Corporals. 1 gold chalice & paten - recently presented - regularly used. 1 very small silver do. - and two others. 2 Silver ciboria - 1 Benediction Pyx. 1 Gold monstrance & 1 other - 6 ciborium covers. 13 palls and 27 corporals - One small Pyx for the sick.


What plan do you adopt in instructing converts, especially adults? The chief point with the uneducated I have made is - will they attend to their Catholic duties after Reception? and do they consider these as binding under mortal sin? Of course I have not omitted to go thro the catechism as well - but in this I have made the chief point of accepting implicitly whatever the Church teaches.


What vestments have you? three sets white - two sets cloth of gold - two sets red - one set green - one set black - 5 sets purple - 2 white copes - 2 humberal veils - 3 violet stoles - 2 white stoles


Add any Statistics or information which may help to form a better idea of the Religious condition of the Congregation. There are 10 or 12 Apostates in Kelvedon, whom I have not included in the Census. They are persons received - apparently after the fullest instruction who have entirely abandoned the Church - and gone back to Protestant services - almost openly in most cases from mercenary motives. In 2 cases the children of mixed marriages are being brought up Protestants.


These are some answers to questions on the Visitation Returns of Father Thomas Byles in 1905. His parish was Our Lady Immaculate and the Holy Archangels, which is now in the Diocese of Brentwood. The words written by Father Byles on the Return are given here in BLUE. They were sent to me by the former pastor, Monsignor Arthur Barrow, in 1999. He wrote to me the following: "The parish is over 100 square miles and the village of Tollesbury, mentioned in the Returns, is some 12 miles away and I imagine that Father Byles would have cycled there."

The picture of the Church of Our Lady Immaculate and the Holy Archangels was taken by Andy Sparrow. It is used at fatherbyles.com with his kind permission. Andy is the Webmaster of St. Mary Immaculate and the Holy Archangels, as well as the photographer.

The Church of Our Lady Immaculate and The Holy Archangels in Kelvedon was an unusual parish. Now it is only a village. The small parish dates back to the 1860's when a wealthy local convert paid for a church and gave it to Cardinal Manning of Westminster. Various communities of sisters lived at the parish and it seems to have been a parish at which a number of clergy stay for only short periods of time. In twenty-five years, as a matter of fact, the church had twenty pastors! It was a place used to house priests who were either ill or awaiting another assignment. The present presbytery was built in 1911. Father Byles would have lived in the large convent building.

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