Walk Round Tour
Memorials abound at All Saints' and will contain greatly varying interest to a modern
Visitor. We will single out only a few - once again beginning in the south aisle,
but this time further away from the pulpit.
A quite recent marble tablet here honours a former chaplain of All Saints' (1949
Canon John Findlow. At the foot of the monument you may read the richly deserved
tribute paid by the then Archbishop of Canterbury after this priests early death
After a spell in other chaplaincies (Montreux and Athens) Canon Findlow was brought
back to Rome in 1966 to establish the unique and newly created ANGLICAN CENTRE IN
ROME, at Piazza Collegio Romano 2,7. This is housed in the Palazzo Doria, and its
function does not conflict with the pastoral nature of the Anglican chaplaincies
of All Saints' and St. Paul's. Under a resident director, in Anglican orders, the
Centre houses a large library of Anglican authors and books of reference and history
dealing with the whole Anglican Communion. Students of any age, and, it is intended,
particularly for those who are Roman Catholic, who wish may to come to learn about
our communion and be given guidance for research for essays or theses. The director
is the personal link between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope. Visitors
are welcome, not least because they can help make the centre better known. It is
advisable to telephone first, during office hours, to 06 678 0302. In high summer
many Roman institutions observe revised hours and /or have a lengthy closure. The
Anglican Centre was a fruit - and a very substantial one - of the formal visit paid
by Archbishop Michael Ramsey to Pope Paul IV in 1966. Mutual expressions of warmth
continued the thaw in relations between Canterbury and Rome.
Credit for first breaking the ice must, however, go to the previous Archbishop of
Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher. All Saints' very properly has a memorial plaque to
his courage and initiative and diplomacy, and you can find this fixed to the pillar
nearest to the porch, when you have crossed passed the font.
Flanking the font on either side, two Second World War tablets record the sorrow
and the joy, which were inseparable from each other in the liberation of Rome in1944.
On the right may be seen the memorial to the First British Division who gave their
lives in the battles of the Anzio Beachhead and the liberation of Rome.
On the left, another tablet commemorates the entry of the allied Armies into Rome
on the 5th June 1944.
"AND THE LIBERATION AND PRESERVATION OF THE CITY AND OF THIS CHURCH, WHEREIN
A SERVICE OF THANKSGIVING WAS HELD."
The story of how All Saints' was preserved intact, and in a state that allowed,
so soon after the Liberation, a service to be held, is related in the companion
history. Huge numbers used the building, as a garrison church, as soon as it was
opened, and its post-war life got off to a flying start.
One more tablet is of strong Anglo - Italian interest, though it takes us back much
further, and into a more guerrilla - like campaign.
On the wall of the north Aisle, not far from the chapel entrance, look for a brass
tablet, which bears these words:
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND TO THE MEMORY OF THE LATE
LT. COL. BARON J.W.KEEN,
AND OF HIS BRAVE COMRADES IN ARMS OF THE
BRITISH LEGION WHO FOUGHT
WITH GARIBALDI IN ITALY'S STRUGGLE FOR
FREEDOM DURING THE CAMPAIGN IN 1860.
The "British Legion" was not, of course, the Royal British Legion of this
century, but a corps of men recruited in Britain whose sympathies for Garibaldi
stirred them to come and fight with his supporters in the struggle for the unification
of Italy. This was achieved in 1870: or rather, the taking of Rome that year marked
the beginning of the long process of forging one nation out of several.
In 1920, at a much delayed ceremony thanks to another intervening war, Signora Garibaldi,
daughter-in-law of the patriotic Giuseppe, was present to unveil the Keen tablet,
and she had the support of a few living "Redshirts" wearing their old
uniform. This woman born Constance Hopcraft, had the distinction of witnessing both
the laying of the foundation stone of All Saints' in 1882 and the blessing of the
cross before it was hauled to the top of the new spire in 1937. No wonder we find
her treated with respect for so many years in the account books of the church, where
she was, year after year, to have seats at All Saints' at a rent "Specially
agreed" by the church committee. The deaths of two spinster daughters, as recently
as 1958 and 1962, and both given Anglican funerals, finally broke the long connection
between the Garibaldians and our church.
A little farther along the same wall, you may see the marble tablet in memory of
HARRY WALSTANE DE NANCREDE
CANON OF GIBRALTAR
HON. ASSISTANT CHAPLAIN
OF ALL SAINTS' ROME
1892 - 1937
This is simply recorded no less than 45 years' unpaid priestly assistance under
nine stipendiary chaplains, an alongside a great many temporary assistant clergy
who came and went. He was ordained in the United States Episcopal Church (Anglican,
of course); but chose to live in a hotel in Rome and exercise his ministry here.
In 1932, the completion of forty years' loving service was marked by the presentation
of a generous testimonial to the Canon from the congregation, "to be spent
on himself". He went to Venice and used the money to buy the seven hanging
lamps, which adorn the sanctuary in front of the high altar; and defrayed the whole
cost of installing them.
He remained active in taking services until not long before his death at 85.
You are at the entrance of a part of the church which besides housing memorial gifts,
deserves to be understood as a whole.