News & Events 2016


St Richard Reynolds feast day was celebrated

on Thursday, 5th May. There was a memorial

Mass at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament,

Heavitree, Exeter (EX1 2QJ) at 9.30am followed

by refreshments in the Richard Reynolds Centre.


St Richard was a Bridgettine monk of Syon

Abbey who, in 1535, was the first man to refuse

to take the Oath of Supremacy making King

Henry VIII the supreme head of the Church in



He was executed at Tyburn on 4th May 1535 by

being hung, drawn and quartered. The quarters

of his body were chopped to pieces and hung in

different parts of London including upon the

gateway of Syon Abbey itself at Twickenham.


The actual ornate section of gateway was

preserved by the monastic community of Syon

and is now in the Martyrs' Chapel at Blessed

Sacrament, Exeter alongside a terracotta plaque

of the saint by sculptor, Geoffrey Preston.

In the Richard Reynolds Centre there was also

a display of the new English edition of the

Syon Breviary, recently published to

celebrate the 600th anniversary of the

foundation of Syon Abbey in 1415 by King

Henry V. The display was also in the

Martyrs' Chapel at all Masses the following

weekend and copies of this lovely prayer book,

the 'Daily Office of Our Lady', will be available

to buy with any profit going to the parish.


Parish priest, Fr Jonathan Stewart said, "We

commemorate the martyrdom of St Richard

Reynolds not only for his fidelity to the Church

but also because we believe he was a member of

the Reynolds family who lived nearby at Pinhoe,

where he was born in 1492.


"Any proceeds from the sale of the Syon

Breviary," he added, "will go towards restoring

the Reynolds plaque by Geoffrey Preston, which

is in need of a little repair."


ABOVE: The ornate piece of Syon Abbey's gateway, which bore part of the body of St Richard Reynolds after his martyrdom,

now rests in the Martyrs' Chapel at Blessed Sacrament Church, Heavitree, Exeter

alongside the saint's memorial wall plaque by sculptor, Geoffrey Preston.

Saint Richard, one of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales, was canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970.

(Click for larger image) Click HERE to review previous Events Page.



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