Holy Doors

14/12/2015 12:00 pm

Opening Holy Door

Cathedrals and Churches across England, Wales and Scotland have opened their 'Holy Doors' to coincide with this Year of Mercy.  


The Holy Door is opened to evoke the concept of forgiveness. According to “Mondo Vaticano,” a mini-encyclopedia published by the Vatican, the designation of a Holy Door may trace back to the ancient Christian practice of public penitence when sinners were given public penances to perform before receiving absolution.

The penitents were not allowed to enter a church before completing the penance, but they were solemnly welcomed back in when their penance was fulfilled. Still today, Holy Year pilgrims enter the basilicas in Rome through the Holy Door as a sign of their repentance and recommitment to a life of faith.

The ritual for opening the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica goes back to 1499 when Pope Alexander VI opened the door on Christmas Eve to inaugurate the Holy Year 1500. This was when the door was wooden. The bronze door panels that stand at St. Peter’s today, made by Vico Consorti, were consecrated and first opened Dec. 24, 1949, by Pius XII in proclamation of the 1950 Jubilee, a scene represented in the bottom right panel.

Holy Doors

(Church names link out to our online Catholic Directory where you can find more information such as Mass Times and Parish Priests. Post Codes link out to Google Maps)


Cathedral – Archbishop’s House, Ambrosden Avenue, London SW1P 1QJ

Holy Trinity – Holy Trinity RC Church, 41 Brook Green, London W6 7BL

St Peter’s  – 136 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 5DL

SS Peter & Paul – 5 Amwell Street, London EC1R 1UL

Our Lady & St George – 45 London Road, Enfield EN2 6DS

St Dominic – St Dominic’s Priory, Southampton Road, Haverstock Hill, London NW5 4LB

SS Michael & Martin – 94 Bath Road, Hounslow TW3 3EH

Our Lady & St Joseph – Presbytery, 100a Balls Pond Road, London N1 4AG

SS Anselm & Cecilia  – 70 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3JA

Our Lady of the Rosary – 211 Old Marylebone Road, London NW1 5QT

St Patrick – 21a Soho Square, London W1D 4NR

St William of York – 1 Du Cros Drive, Stanmore HA7 4TJ

Our Lady & St Joseph – 204 High Street, Waltham Cross EN8 7DP

Our Lady Queen of Apostles  – Presbytery, 141 Woodhall Lane, Welwyn Garden City AL7 3TP

Our Lady of Willesden – 1 Nicoll Road, London NW10 9AX

Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral – 22 Binney Street, London W1K 5BQ

Arundel and Brighton

Cathedral – Cathedral House, 2 Parsons Hill, Arundel BN18 9AY

Our Lady of Consolation – Priests House, Park Lane, West Grinstead, Horsham RH13 8LT

Mayfield School –  Old Palace, High Street, Mayfield TN20 6PH

Christ the Prince of Peace – Priests House, Portmore Way, Weybridge KT13 8JD


Cathedral – Cathedral House, St Chad’s Queensway, Birmingham B4 6EX

SS Thomas & Edward – Parish Centre, 32 Sutton Road, Birmingham B23 6QL

St Mary – St Mary’s Retreat, Vivian Road, Birmingham B17 0DN

Our Lady & St Anne – 2 South View Avenue, Caversham, Reading RG4 5AB

SS Mary & Benedict – 52a Raglan Street, Coventry CV1 5QF

St Mary – Harvington Hall, Harvington, Kidderminster DY10 4LR

St Peter – St Peter’s Presbytery, 3a Dormer Place, Leamington Spa CV32 5AA

Holy Cross – Holy Cross Church, Upper St John Street, Lichfield WS14 9DX

Holy Trinity – Holy Trinity Presbytery, London Road, Newcastle ST5 1LQ

St Aloysius  – The Oratory, 25 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HA

St Marie – Presbytery, Oak Street, Rugby CV22 5EL

St Austin – 82 Wolverhampton Road, Stafford ST17 4AW

St Augustine – St Augustine’s Presbytery, Station Road, Solihull B91 3TG

St Mary – St Mary the Mount RC Church, Vicarage Walk, Walsall WS1 3NF

SS Peter & Paul – 51 North Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1RJ

St George – St George RC Church, 1 Sansome Place, Worcester WR1 1UG


Cathedral – Cathedral House, Ingrave Road, Brentwood CM15 8AT


Cathedral – Cathedral House, Charles Street, Cardiff CF10 2SF

Belmont Abbey – Belmont Abbey, Ruckhall Lane, Belmont, Hereford HR2 9RZ

St Mary – St Mary’s Presbytery, 39 Ewenny Road, Bridgend CF31 3HS

St Mary – The Priory, Pontmorlais, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 8RG

St Mary – St Mary’s Presbytery, 9 Stow Hill, Newport NP20 1TP


Cathedral – Cathedral House, Clifton Park, Bristol BS8 3BX

Our Lady – St Mary’s Presbytery, Magdalene Street, Glastonbury BA6 9EJ

Downside Abbey – Downside Abbey, Stratton on the Fosse, Radstock BA3 4RH

Our Lady & St Peter – Prinknash Abbey, Cranham, Gloucester GL4 8EX

East Anglia

Cathedral – Cathedral House, Unthank Road, Norwich NR2 2PA

RC National Shrine – Slipper Chapel, Houghton St Giles, Walsingham NR22 6AL


Cathedral – Cathedral House, Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 2JB

Hexham and Newcastle

Cathedral – Cathedral House, Clayton Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5HH


Cathedral – Cathedral House, Balmoral Road, Lancaster LA1 3BT

Our Lady’s Shrine  – Ladyewell House, Fernyhalgh Lane, Fulwood, Preston PR2 5ST

Our Lady & St Joseph – The Rectory, Warwick Square, Carlisle CA1 1LB


Cathedral – Cathedral House, Great George Street, Leeds LS2 8BE


Cathedral – Cathedral House, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3 5TQ

Holy Cross – Holy Cross Presbytery, Corporation Street, St Helens WA10 1EF

St Mary – St Mary’s Priory, Broadfield Walk, Leyland PR25 1PD


Cathedral – Cathedral House, Convent Street, Swansea SA1 2BX


Cathedral – Cathedral House, Dalby Way, Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough TS8 0TW

St Wilfrid – Petergate House, 11 High Petergate, York YO1 7EN

St Peter – St Peter’s Rectory, Castle Road, Scarborough YO11 1TH

St Charles Borromeo – St Charles’ Rectory, 12 Jarratt Street, Hull HU1 3HB

St Laurence Abbey – Ampleforth Abbey, York YO62 4EN


Cathedral – Cathedral House, Kingsthorpe Road, Northampton NN2 6AG

St Joseph – St Joseph’s Priory, Bull Lane, Chalfont St Peter, Gerrards Cross SL9 8RY


Cathedral – Cathedral House, North Circus Street, Nottingham NG1 5AE

Holy Cross – Holy Cross Priory, 45 Wellington Street, Leicester LE1 6HW

Our Lady and St Bernard  – Mount St Bernard Abbey, Oaks Road, Whitwick, Coalville LE67 5UL

The Briars Retreat Centre – Briars Lane, Crich, Matlock DE4 5BW


Cathedral – Cathedral House, 45 Cecil Street, Plymouth PL1 5HW


Cathedral – Bishop’s House, Bishop Crispian Way, Portsmouth PO1 3HG

Our Lady & St Edmund– 1 Radley Road, Abingdon OX14 3PL


Cathedral – Cathedral House, 250 Chapel Street, Salford M3 5LE

St Mary – St Mary’s RC Church, 17 Mulberry Street, Manchester M2 6LN
Wardley Hall –  Wardley Hall Road, Worsley, Manchester M28 2ND

Our Lady of Schoenstatt – St John Fisher, Manchester Road, Kearsley, Bolton BL4 8QQ

SS Mary & John Southworth – St Mary’s Presbytery, Preston New Road, Samlesbury, Preston PR5 0UL


Cathedral – Cathedral House, 11 Belmont, Shrewsbury SY1 1TE [Easter to NOV 2016]

St Anthony – St Anthony’s Presbytery, Dunkery Road, Manchester M22 0WR [Advent to Easter]


Cathedral – Cathedral House, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7HY

Our Lady & St Simon Stock – The Friars, Aylesford Priory, Aylesford ME20 7BX

Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Whitefriars, 35 Tanners Street, Faversham ME13 7JW

St Augustine – St Augustine’s Abbey, St Augustine’s Road, Ramsgate CT11 9PA


Cathedral – St Mary’s Cathedral, 47 Regent Street, Wrexham LL11 1RB

St Winifred – St Winifred’s Presbytery, 15 Well Street, Holywell CH8 7PL

Holy Doors in the cathedrals and churches of Scotland

St Andrews and Edinburgh

Cathedral – Cathedral House, 61 York Place, Edinburgh EH1 3JD

St Francis Xavier – Chapel House, 1 Hope Street, Falkirk FK1 5AT

St James, St Andrews – St James Presbytery, 17 The Scores, St Andrews KY16 9AR

SS John Cantius & Nicholas, Broxburn – 34 West Main Street, Broxburn EH52 5RJ

St Margaret – 4 Viewfield Terrace, Dunfermline KY12 7HZ

Sancta Maria Abbey – Sancta Maria Abbey, Nunraw, Haddington EH41 4LW

Our Lady & St Andrew – Catholic Presbytery, Stirling Street, Galashiels TD1 1BY

Our Lady of Schoenstatt – Schoenstatt Centre, Kentenich Way, Campsie Glen, Glasgow G66 7AT


Cathedral – Cathedral Clergy House, 20 Huntly Street, Aberdeen AB10 1SH

Pluscarden Abbey – Pluscarden Abbey, Pluscarden, Elgin IV30 8UA

St Mary – St Mary’s Church, 30 Huntly Street, Inverness IV3 5PR

Argyll and The Isles

Cathedral – Cathedral House, Corran Esplanade, Oban PA34 5AB

Fort William – St Mary’s Church, Belford Road, Fort William PH33 6BT

Daliburgh – St Peter’s Church, Daliburgh, Isle of South Uist HS8 5SS


Cathedral – Cathedral House, 150 Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4EA


Cathedral – Cathedral House, 27 John Street, Ayr KA8 0BS


Cathedral – St Andrew’s Cathedral, 90 Dunlop Street, Glasgow G1 4ER


Cathedral – Cathedral House, 31 Coursington Road, Motherwell ML1 1PP

Carfin Grotto, Motherwell – St Francis Xavier Presbytery, Taylor Avenue, Motherwell ML1 5AJ


Cathedral – Cathedral House, Cathedral Precincts, Incle Street, Paisley PA1 1HR