Catholic Apostolic Church Documents

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Introduction

In the archive of my grandmother’s papers is a small collection of documents, prayer books and objects which are seemingly related to the Anglican Church. My grandmother frequented St Mark’s Anglican Church in Clayfield, Brisbane, as long as I can remember and it is probably the thing which most defines my memories of her.

Despite appearances, these documents do not actually relate to the Anglican Church, but to the Brisbane branch of the Catholic Apostolic Church, a Protestant group to which her parents and grandparents belonged. It is only recently that I’ve become aware of this history, though my father, aunts and uncles were all raised in the “CAC” and my grandparents were married at the old Catholic Apostolic Church on Manning Street in South Brisbane. The church was re-consecrated as an Anglican one in 1962 and eventually closed in 1979. In 2016 it was sold for $2.5 million after spending decades as the headquarters for a clothing brand!

Alfred William Percival "Percy" Mitchell
b: Jul 1880
d: 27 Oct 1958
  • Jul 1880 - Birth - ; Chatham, Kent, England
  • 27 Oct 1958 - Death - ; Queensland, Australia

In this post, I present a set of documents from my grandmother’s collection concerning the Catholic Apostolic Church, probably written by her uncle Alfred William Percival ‘Percy’ Mitchell or perhaps her father Kenneth Heath Laughton. It is four A4 pages, written in black ink and is in a sorry state of repair. It has been folded three times for storage and these folds are starting to tear. The first two pages list the vestments used by members of the Catholic Apostolic Church clergy. The second two pages list the clergy at attendance at a variety of services and the vestments they wore.

Future posts aim to discuss this document in detail, including a study of how these vestments and practices differ from those in other modern churches. This is the first time these documents have been published and they are an important original source for the religious practices of the Catholic Apostolic Church.

Guide to symbols:

<text> – editor’s notes
underlined – underlined text
[…] – lacuna
(^text) – additions above regular line of text
text – crossed out correction

Document detailing Catholic Apostolic Church Vestments; Percy Mitchell; 7.1

Page 1 Transcript:

Cassock Black cassocks worn by acolytes, doorkeepers, underdeacons, deacons, priests, and by angels under certain circumstances, otherwise an angel’s cassock is purple. Priest’s cassocks are edged with the colour of their border, when the border of a priest has not been defined there is no edging. Angel’s cassocks are edged according to their border and standing.

Mozette Small cape worn by priests and angels when ministering in a cassock only or when wearing a rocket only. Mozettes are bordered similarly to the cassocks. The mozette of priest other than elders do not come below the elbow, those of elders and angels reach below the elbow.

Dalmatic Short white vestment reaching below the hips, and having short loose sleeves (and big round open […]), worn by acolytes and deacons; and silk ones by the assistants to the celebrant in the Holy Eucharist.

Rochet Short white vestment reaching below the hips with long “tight” sleeves and buttoned up to the neck. Worn by Angel and non-officiating priests and angel and priests at sermons, teachings etc and by priest homilist. An Angel’s rocket is usually rimmed with lace on the sleeves and on the bottom.

Surplice Full length white vestment made very full and with very wide loose sleeve, worn by priests officiating in the morning and evening services, litany etc.

Document detailing Catholic Apostolic Church Vestments; Percy Mitchell; 7.2

Page 2 Transcript:

Alb Full length white vestment made very full with long tight sleeves. Girdles are always worn with Albs. Albs are worn in the Holy Eucharist by the celebrant and his (^priest) assistants and by such priests who assist in the Administration of Holy Communion.

Girdle Long white linen cord worn round the waist over an alb.

Chasuble Large circular vestment with opening in the center; and without sleeves. Worn by the celebrant in the Holy Eucharist.

Cope Large purple cloak worn by (^an) Angel presiding at Morning and evening services.

Document detailing Catholic Apostolic Church Vestments; Percy Mitchell; 7.3

Page 3 Transcript:

Shorter Morning & Evening Angel – presiding – cassock, rochet, purple stole and cope 1st Priest – cassock, surplice + purple stole caught in front with cord. 2nd priest – same with white stole.Other priests – on Lord’s Day – cassock, rochet and mozette– other occasions – cassock + mozette 1st Deacon – (^cassock) dalmatic and red stole Other deacons – Lords day, – Cassock + dalmatic– other occasions – cassock only. An Angel when not presiding as at Litany or Forenoon Service – […] […] […] cassock either with or without rochet + no stole.

Holy Eucharist Celebrant – angel – Cassock with alb and girdle, white stole, not placed through under girdle and caught in front with cord, and chasuble. Priest assistants – cassock, alb, girdle and white stole, without cord, crossed across the body and placed under girdle; & dalmatic. When only one assistant the dalmatic is not worn. Deacon Assistant, cassock with deacon’s dalmatic and white stole with […] dalmatic above.

Document detailing Catholic Apostolic Church Vestments; Percy Mitchell; 7.4

Page 4 Transcript:

Holy Eucharist (ctd) Priests who assist in administration of Holy Communion – cassock, alb and girdle with white stole crossed + passed under girdle. Homilist not assisting in the Administration of Holy Communion – Cassock, rochet and mozette with white stole caught with cord in front. Should the homilist assist in the Administration of Holy Communion he will wear alb etc as above. Priests not assisting (^at H.C.) wears cassock and rocket without stoles and sit in their stalls. (^ Priests assisting at H.C. sit) [……..] stalls, and the (^Priest) homilist always (unless he be a celebrant’s assistant) (^and) him only in the homilist’s seat next to table of Prothesis. Deacons – cassock, dalmatic and white stoles. Deacon homilist – same as usual but sits, in line with assisting priests, in the Lower Choir.

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12 Responses

  1. PETER YOUNG

    Thanks for the info. My great grandfather (Joseph Todd Young) was apparently a Bishop at the Manning St church. My father attended that chuch till it was closed and I was baptised there.
    I would be interested in any other historical info or records that come to light.

    • vastiel

      Hi Peter,
      Great to hear from you and thanks for this info. My Dad remembers his mother mentioning a Mr Young in association with the Church, and has a recollection that perhaps he was promoted to Angel (Bishop)? We have a few other pieces associated with the Church which I really need to get back to – I’ll post here if I find anything else of interest (including any photos, as there are a few of priests, mostly Mr Foxall though). You can also subscribe to get new posts by entering your details at the bottom of the homepage.
      All the best
      James

    • vastiel

      Hi again Peter – just doing some looking about on the site and I noticed that your great-grandfather is mentioned in this photograph album page (unfortunately only a reference, no photo): http://oronsay.com.au/object-details/878317/

      Seems to be a list of the other priests next to a picture of Mr and Mrs Foxall and their car.
      Cheers
      James

      • bert

        According to the 1905 Catholic Apostolic Church Address Book Joseph Todd Young was an Angel in Charge, and lived at Brereton Street South Brisbane.

  2. bert

    According to the Catholic Apostolic Church Adress Book of 1896 J.T. Young was Angel in Charge and lived at Brereton Street South Brisbane

  3. Thomas Schrader

    Thanks for publishing this document. I do a lot of research about the catholic-apostolic church world wide. And it is really hard to find original material and proofs about this church and their history.
    But by the way … in case you would like to read more about the CAC in Australia I would like to mention this article written by Peter Elliott:
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1467-9809.12446
    or the excellent book “The Lord’s Work: A History of the Catholic Apostolic Church (English Edition)” which is also available as Amazon Kindle Edition.
    If you have more stuff from the CAC to share I’m looking forward to it. Thanks again.

    • vastiel

      Thanks for this interesting article Thomas – I will take a look. Will see what other CAC things are in the family archives and try to post.
      James

  4. James Tucker

    Greetings

    I stumbled across this web page by chance, with interest.
    My wife and I plus family in Brisbane, and extended family in Australia are members of the CA church.

    Kind Regards
    James

  5. James Tucker

    Greetings

    My family in Brisbane is part of a broader family in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide who are all members of the CA church.

    Regards
    James

    • vastiel

      Hi James,
      Great to hear from you – I hadn’t realised there were still members of the CAC around – great to make contact.
      We have a few bits and pieces of material relating to the CAC in our archive, including the piece published here. I don’t suppose you know of a central archive with material relating to the Brisbane church? My father thought that it went to a parishioner, but years later couldn’t track it down when asking their children.
      James

    • Thomas Schrader

      Hi James!
      Are you and your family descendants of the CAC Tucker ministers in Australia?
      So fare I was able to find several Tuckers who have been CAC ministers in Australia/NZ:
      – Tucker, 1) B. L. − Underdeacon in Perth
      – Tucker, 2) Edward − Priest in Melbourne
      – Tucker, 3) Ernest − (Priest?) Evangelist (?)
      – Tucker, 4) T. K. − Priest
      You see there are still some gaps. Do have any information about the missing names, places and dates?

  6. bert

    Message for Thomas Schrader from Bert.
    I have information on the CAC Evangelist T E Tucker. Unfortunately no photo.
    It lasts it bit long before James answers. Perhaps James could give you my email address.
    Regards Bert

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