As a young man I confess a prize possession was Fr Blagdon-Gamlen’s Church Travellers Directory – or to give it its full title: The Church Travellers Directory: Giving the Names of Anglican Churches in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, where may be found a Daily Celebration of the Holy Communion, a Sung Eucharist on all Sundays, Fixed Times when Confessions may be heard, and continuous Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament.
Thanks to Fr Blagdon-Gamlen I visited such places as St Silas, Pentonville, The Ascension, Lavender Hill, St Agatha, Sparkbrook, St Alban, Bordesley, St Barnabas, Balsall Heath ….
4* (DSCR) was the best accolade for an Anglo Catholic church. (St Chrysostom’s is there among the 4*s – full Catholic privileges!). Fr B-G didn’t actually use a * rating, but readers often translated the initials after churches to stars.
Times have changed, and Fr Blagdon-Gamlen’s directory has not been reprinted, for many, understandable, reasons. It has become a resource for nostalgia or history. Neither are bad things in themselves, and so on the blog we offer the Directory in pdf form.
(Fr Peter Eugene Blagdon-Gamlen was a fine representative of that group of idiosyncratic Anglo Catholic priests – see an obituary here )
A reminder of the initials used:
D: Daily Mass (at least 5 weekdays), S: Sunday celebration of Mass / Parish Communion every Sunday at the same time, C: Confessions heard at advertised times, R: Continuous Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Church Travellers Directory – (pdf files) (2nd Edition 1973)
London Postal District (including the introduction).
Do post a comment here about the Directory – it would be fun to share experiences of its use.
For an earlier yet similar Church guide – of 1931- see this post on our blog.
(Oh – and by the way why do so many Anglo Catholic priests have unusual surnames? We consider this in this blog post!)