Pusey House, Oxford

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Pusey House is a religious institution located in St Giles', Oxford, immediately to the south of Pusey Street. It is firmly rooted in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of the Church of England. Known as "House of Piety and Learning", it is associated with, but is not part of, the University of Oxford.

Contents

History

Pusey House was opened in 1884 in part as a memorial to Dr Edward Bouverie Pusey, Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University, Canon of Christ Church Cathedral, and for forty years the leading figure in the Oxford Movement, a movement of the mid 19th century which sought to bring the Church of England to a deeper understanding of its witness as part of the universal Catholic Church. It was also intended to continue the work of Dr Pusey in "restoring the Church of England's Catholic life and witness". It was established with a fund of £50,000 to provide a building for Pusey's library, purchase it and create an endowment so that two or more clergy could take charge of it and promote religious life in the University.[1][2] The first Principal was Charles Gore; Vincent Stuckey Coles was Principal from 1897 to 1910. The House celebrated its one-hundred-and-twenty-fifth anniversary of foundation on 31 October 2009, with a Solemn High Mass at which the preacher was Fr Robin Ward, Principal of St Stephen's House. Since 1981 part of the former Pusey House site has been acquired by St Cross College.

The House is renowned for its liturgy with full solemn ceremonial, but also for its active social character, with a strong student community both undergraduate and graduate, which complements the religious life of the House in typical Oxford fashion.

Buildings

The architect of the chapel was Temple Moore, with further additions inside, including a baldacchino, by Ninian Comper. Some of Comper’s original vestments remain in use, and others have been commissioned using his original designs. Far from being an architectural showpiece, however, the Chapel remains a place of living worship, where the offices are chanted and the mass offered every day; either quietly in the stillness of an early weekday morning or with splendid music and full ceremonial on Sunday. It is a place where prayer continues to be offered to God in the beauty of holiness.

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