Dedication of the Abbey Church

On 12th September 1935, the biggest Roman Catholic ceremony in the west of England since the Reformation took place here at Downside.

The consecration of the Abbey Church took place on this day, with the ceremony being carried out by The Prince Primate of Hungary, Cardinal Seredi. He was assisted by two cardinals, seven archbishops, twelve bishops, thirteen abbots and five hundred clergy in the ceremony which lasted for six hours. 

The images shown here from the Downside Abbey Archives show Cardinal Seredi during the ceremony as well as the processing of relics around the building. A film of the event can be found here.

On the same day Pope Pius XI raised Downside Abbey Church to the status of a Minor Basilica.