St George’s Catholic ChurchWorcester
1 Sansome Place
Worcester
Worcestershire WR1 1UG
 
 

 

St George’s Roman Catholic Church in the cathedral city of Worcester, England, was opened in 1829. Originally administered by the Jesuits, it is now part of the Archdiocese of Birmingham. It is a Grade II listed building in the Baroque style and is where Sir Edward Elgar was organist for four years from 1885.

Visitors of all faiths who would like to see the church where Elgar was organist are welcome. If you would like to attend a Mass, for Mass Times go to: 
 
The Organ and Elgar
Sir Edward Elgar’s father, William, held the post of organist of St George's Roman Catholic Church, Worcester, from 1846 to 1885. In 1872, the young fifteen-year old Edward joined his father as Assistant Organist.
 
He replaced his father as organist in 1885 when William retired. Edward Elgar held the post for four years and during this period he wrote his first liturgical works in the Catholic tradition, beginning with his three motets Op. 2 (1887) for four-part choir (Ave Verum Corpus, Ave Maria and Ave Maris Stella). These were followed by a setting of Ecce Sacerdos Magnus for the entry of the Bishop on an official visit to St. George's in 1888. All four pieces remain in the repertoire of church choirs.
 
In 1970 the organ at St. George's was renovated, including a new console. The old console was preserved in its original place. The stops on the new console which relate to the old organ are marked with the letter ‘E’ so that it is still possible to play the organ as Elgar knew it.
 
Church History
There was another, earlier, church built on the same site in 1729. Little is known about it but we do know how the church got its name. From 1623, for their own administrative purposes the Jesuits divided the country into 'residences' and the church was named after the 'residence' that covered Warwickshire and Worcestershire, St George's.
 
The church was opened on 16 July 1829 by, the Vicar Apostolic of the Midland District, Bishop Thomas Walsh and was designed by local Worcester architect, Henry Rowe. In 1880 the church was extended and the facade was heightened seven years later, to the designs of S. J. Nicoll.
 
The Altar Piece
Behind the altar is a large-scale copy of a painting that is very significant to the city of Worcester - Raphael's ‘Transfiguration;. The original was commissioned by Cardinal Guilio de' Medici in 1517.
 
Cardinal Medici went on become the titular Bishop of Worcester from 1520 to 1522 and was elected as Pope Clement VII in 1523. The copy was presented to the church in 1837 by John Talbot, 16th Earl of Shrewsbury.
 
Find out more about the history from the Guide Book on sale in the church.
 
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Contact & Further Information
 
Getting There
The Church is situated in Sansome Walk (the A38) at its junction with Sansome Street, a short walk from Worcester Foregate Street British Rail station.
 
Google Map - St George's Catholic Church, Worcester