Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady and St Philip Howard (Arundel Cathedral)

Type:Cathedral / Minister

Parsons Hill, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9AY

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Arundel Cathedral

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The Cathedral Church for the Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.

Built on a hill, the Cathedral sits majestically, overlooking the ancient town of Arundel.

Henry, Fifteenth Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal was responsible for the commissioning of the present building, as a parish church, in December 1868. Designed in the French Gothic style and built as an ‘expression of a spirit of renewal’ by architect Joseph Aloysius Hansom (who designed many other religious and secular buildings, but is known principally for the invention of the Hansom Cab), the church took just over three years to complete with the foundations (which presented a number of challenges) requiring concrete supports up to 17.3 meters deep.

Originally the church was dedicated to the sixteenth century Italian priest, St Philip Neri (1515-1595). In 1965, when the church became a Cathedral, the dedication changed to ‘Our Lady and St Philip Neri’. Subsequently, in 1971, the remains of the martyred thirteenth Earl of Arundel, St. Philip Howard (1557-1595) were brought from the Fitzalan Chapel and enshrined in the Cathedral. The dedication was changed in 1973 to ‘Our Lady and St. Philip Howard’. This final change followed the canonization of Philip Howard and 39 English and Welsh martyrs of the Reformation on 25th October 1970.

The Cathedral is known for the unique way in which the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi (which falls 60 days after Easter) is marked, with a Carpet of Flowers. 

Henry, Fifteenth Duke of Norfolk and the founder of the cathedral, having seen the carpet of flowers in the village of Sutri outside Rome, introduced the custom to Arundel in 1877.

In the ancient world it was the custom to strew flowers in the path of important persons as a sign of respect and reverence. This custom was adopted by the Church to honour the Blessed Sacrament, carried in procession in the festival of Corpus Christi.

The carpet is laid on the Tuesday and on view to the general public on a Wednesday and Thursday (check current dates and timings on the Cathedral website) The Mass takes place on the Thursday at 5.30pm and is followed by the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to Arundel Castle. Entry to this event is free and refreshments are available in the Cathedral Centre.

The Cathedral is open every day from 9am until 4pm (later in the summer). Entry is free but donations are welcomed.


Establishment Features

  • Accept coach parties
  • Dogs Accepted
  • Gift shop

Key Features

  • Non smoking establishment

Parking & Transport

  • Parking (free) - On adjacent road

Payment Methods

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)


Opening Times

Season (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)
Monday - Sunday09:00 - 16:00

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