In the north aisle set into the wall of Arundel Cathedral (and continued in the south aisle) are the 14 Stations of the Cross, always to be found in a Catholic church. These depict incidents on Christ’s last journey, from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his crucifixion and laying to rest in the tomb.
Pilgrims to Jerusalem in the Middle Ages followed this traditional route in prayer and brought this form of devotion home with them. It is now practised universally especially during Lent.
A tablet records that the Stations are in memory of Bishop John Butt, fourth Bishop of Southwark from 1885 to 1897. He had been consecrated in this church by Cardinal Manning as auxiliary bishop to Bishop Coffin.
John Butt had been a military chaplain during the Crimean War, where he nearly died of cholera, recovering after his coffin had been ordered. In 1862 he became chaplain to the Duke of Norfolk at Arundel and later accompanied Bishop Grant of Southwark to the first Vatican Council. As bishop he founded St. John’s Seminary at Wonersh, near Guildford, where he is buried.
Source: Arundel Cathedral Guide, printed by Pitkin Publishing 2010.
After the death of Bishop Butt in 1899 it was decided that his memorial should take the form of Stations of the Cross in St. Philip’s church and these panels, carved by Messrs. R.L. Boulton & Sons of Cheltenham, were given by the Duke of Norfolk and other members of the congregation. Bishop Butt had been rector of the church of St. Philip Neri from 1873 to 1885 when he became the fourth Bishop of Southwark. A brass plate on the south side wall carries this inscription:
Of your charity pray for the Soul of
The Right Reverend John Butt, D.D.
4th Bishop of Southwark, for twenty seven
years Rector of this Mission, who died at Arundel
on All Saints’ Day 1899 and to whose memory these
Stations of the Cross are set up by the Congregation of
St. Philip’s Church, Arundel, 1906. May he rest in peace.
Source: The Cathedral Church of Our Lady and Saint Philip Arundel: A Monograph to celebrate the first hundred years 1873-1973. Printed by Eyre & Spottiswoode Ltd. H.M. Printers 1973.
Prayers for The Stations of the Cross
The Stations of the Cross are also known as The Way of the Cross.
There are lots of resources available to help you pray the Stations of the Cross, below is a small selection. There are also resources available from the Cathedral Shop.
Stations of the Cross: Lent 2021 | CAFOD
Stations of the Cross meditations – Missio
Stations of the Cross | Jesuits in Britain
The Way of the Cross by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri (lordcalls.com)