Pusey House, Oxford

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Front of Pusey House (Pusey Street on right)

Pusey House is an Anglican 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 a "House of Piety and Learning", it is associated with, but is not part of, the University of Oxford.


The servers prostrate before the consecrated sacrament on Septuagesima Sunday 2016.

Pusey House was opened in 1884 in part as a memorial to Edward Bouverie Pusey, Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University, a canon of Christ Church Cathedral and for 40 years, a 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 (aka 'catholic') Church. It was also intended to continue the work of Pusey in "restoring the Church of England's Catholic life and witness".[citation needed] 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 1909. The next principal was Darwell Stone. Pusey House celebrated its 125th 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 a large part of the original Pusey House site has been occupied by St Cross College.

Pusey House is known not only 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.[clarification needed]


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. The chapel remains a place of worship where the offices are chanted and the Mass offered every day; either quietly in the stillness of an early weekday morning or with music and full ceremonial on Sundays.


Upper Library, Pusey House

The Library is a theological and historical collection of 80,000 volumes which includes Pusey's library and a large collection of other theological and historical volumes. Pusey's own books, bought after his death, originally formed the heart of Pusey House Library. Since then, by gift and purchase, the library has grown into an important collection that has been recognised by The National Archives as a leading specialist library not only in Oxford but in the United Kingdom. In addition to its primary source material and books on the Anglo-Catholic Movement (Tractarian and Oxford Movements), the Library also has good collections of material for the study of Patristics, Church history, liturgy, doctrine, monasticism and Anglican Catholic organisations.

The Archive contains extensive material on the Tractarians and the Oxford Movement: the records of a number of Anglo-Catholic societies; communities of monks and nuns; letters and papers of notable Anglicans, as well as the archive of Dr. Pusey himself.

The manuscripts include papers of many important figures, organisations and societies connected with the Oxford Movement in the 19th and 20th centuries. The most significant holdings are those of E.B. Pusey, H.P. Liddon and S.L. Ollard, but there are also papers relating to such notable people as W.E. Gladstone, J.H. Newman, Canon ‘Freddie’ Hood, F.L. Cross, and John Keble.


Worship in the Chapel of the Resurrection is in accordance with the Anglo-Catholic tradition in the Church of England and is open to all, especially to members of the university. Alongside its reputation for dignified and traditional liturgy, Pusey House is also recognised for its musical tradition, most visible at the Solemn Mass on Sundays and solemnities. The choir's extensive repertoire ranges from the earliest church music and Gregorian chant, through the polyphony of Byrd and extending to 19th and 20th century composers such as Vierne and Stanford. Pusey House commissioned a new Mass-setting for its 125th anniversary celebrations from the composer Alexander Campkin. The current Master of the Music is Maks Adach; the Organist is Alex Goodwin.

Services and observances[edit]

Teaching and pastoral care[edit]

  • Counsel and instruction in the catholic faith
  • Preparation for the sacraments
  • Sacramental confession
  • Formation of vocations to the sacred priesthood
  • Visiting preachers and academics
  • Pilgrimage to the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham
  • Residential reading week at the Abbey of Bec in Normandy
The Gospel is chanted at the Solemn Mass on Laetare Sunday

Friends organisation[edit]

The Bishop of London blesses incense at 2016 Friends' Festival High Mass

The Friends of Pusey House organisation exists to provide additional support for its work and witness, both in England and abroad, by their prayers and by informing others about Pusey House.


  • 1884-1893: Charles Gore
  • 1893-1897: Robert Lawrence Ottley
  • 1897-1909: Vincent Stuckey Stratton Coles
  • 1909-1934: Darwell Stone
  • 1934-1951: Archibald Frederic Hood
  • 1951-1970: Francis Hugh Maycock
  • 1970: Barry Marshall (died before installation)
  • 1970-1981: Cheslyn Peter Montague Jones
  • 1982-2002: Philip Ursell
  • 2003-2013: Jonathan Baker
  • 2013-  : George Westhaver[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Alden's Oxford Guide, Oxford: Alden & Co., 1958; p. 101
  2. ^ Henry Parry Liddon described its purpose thus: "A home of sacred learning and rallying-point for Christian faith ... It will form a centre of moral and intellectual and spiritual enthusiasm, in which all that is solid in inquiry and learning, and all that is lofty and aspiring in moral effort shall find encouragement under the consecrating shadow of a great name."--quoted in Alden (1958)
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "The Principals". Pusey House. Retrieved 2015-09-19. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°45′23″N 1°15′37″W / 51.75639°N 1.26028°W / 51.75639; -1.26028