Brompton Oratory

Church in Kensington & Hyde Park

Image by Will Jones Lonely Planet

The Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, also known as the London Oratory and the Oratory of St Philip Neri, is a Roman Catholic church second in size in London only to the incomplete Westminster Cathedral. Built in Italian baroque style in 1884, the interior is swathed in marble and statuary; much of the decorative work predates the church and was imported from Italian churches. The church was employed by the KGB during the Cold War as a dead-letter box.

There is a busy schedule of services (five in English and Latin on weekdays, four on Saturday and throughout the day on Sunday), including a Solemn Mass in Latin on Sundays (11am).