Appeal for parishes dedicated to St Thomas Becket

 Friends of Merton Priory have issued an appeal for parishes dedicated to St Thomas Becket to contact them. Each year, the Friends hold a special Nones prayer service at the ruins of Merton Priory, near Colliers Wood in South London.

Merton Priory was a major Augustinian house from 1117 - 1538 AD. The setting of two royal coronations - that of Eleanor of Provence in 1236, and Henry VI in 1437 - the nave of the church was longer than Westminster Abbey. Saint Thomas Becket was educated there.

The superstructure of the church was dismantled during the Reformation in 1538 and the stones were used in the construction of nearby Nonsuch Place, but the foundations of the monastery complex remain largely intact.

The grounds over Merton Priory are currently the subject of a proposed new development for housing, a hotel and leisure centre, and extension of the Merton Abbey Mills market.

Supporters would like to see a heritage and information centre for the neglected site.

If your parish is dedicated to St Thomas Becket, or you would like more information, email friendsofmertpri@aol.com