Welcome to the hidden gem of Covent Garden in London, Corpus Christi Catholic Church on Maiden Lane. Corpus Christi is the Westminster Diocesan Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament, and was elevated to this dignity by Cardinal Nichols in 2018.
Built in 1874 as an act of reparation for sins against the Blessed Sacrament during the Reformation and since, the church of Corpus Christi holds a very special place in the hearts of Catholics around the world. The hymns Sweet Sacrament Divine and O Sacred Heart were composed here by a former Parish Priest, Fr. Francis Stanfield and Mgr. Ronald Knox preached his many famous homilies on the Blessed Sacrament from this church’s pulpit. As home to the Catholic Association for Performing Arts (previously the Catholic Stage Guild), Corpus Christi has also become known as the Actors’ Church, providing a home for Catholic Actors performing in Covent Garden and around the West End.
Whether you live in the Parish, or are just visiting London, you will find our doors open all day.
Cardinal Nichols on Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane:
If this church were dedicated to some martyr or confessor, I would be urging you to imitate his actions, to be like him. But since this church takes its title from the Blessed Sacrament, I will urge you rather to be like the Blessed Sacrament; to let Christ live in you, to let him make you the abiding dwelling-place of his presence.
– Mgr. Ronald Knox preaching at Corpus Christi
Pope Benedict XVI famously once said that “without the Eucharist, the Church quite simply would not exist.” It was this reality that the Reformers understood all too clearly during the reigns of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I as they sought to eradicate Catholicism from these British Isles. However, as Christ promised St. Peter, the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church and with the re-establishment of the hierarchy in England in 1850 came not only the beginning of the re-sanctification of this land, but also acts of penance and atonement for the sins committed against Our Blessed Lord, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.
Corpus Christi was opened in 1874 by Cardinal Manning as an act of reparation for sins against the Holy Eucharist during that time and since. Over the years Corpus Christi has become a place of devotion, stillness and prayer where one can come and spend some time before the Blessed Sacrament, make one’s confession or simply light a candle for a particular intention. With a strong emphasis on beauty and tradition, the very heart of Corpus Christi’s mission is leading souls to God, who is the fullness of Beauty, Truth and Life.
If anybody is ever in London and in Covent Garden, please come to Corpus Christi Church in Maiden Lane. You will get a glimpse of Heaven and an embrace of God’s mercy, peace and calmness in the midst of a busy city.
– His Eminence, Vincent Cardinal Nichols
How to get here
Covent Garden Station: Piccadilly Line Leicester Square: Northern and Piccadilly Lines Charing Cross: Northern, Bakerloo, District, Circle Lines Embankment: Northern, Bakerloo, District, Circle Lines
Nearest stops are Southampton Street/Covent Garden, Bedford Street and Trafalgar Square/Charing Cross