Church accused of ‘social apartheid’

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On this day in 1870, Mr Cox, a baker, of Marmion Road, Southsea, wrote in his diary: ‘Attended St Jude’s Church, morning and evening, and I record my impression that the practices of this church are becoming more and more ritualistic’.

St Jude’s also operated a sort of social apartheid. The lower classes had to enter by a separate entrance and went directly to the gallery.

In 1878 a mission hall was built in Marmion Road for those unfashionable parishioners ‘who felt ill at ease among the fashionable worshippers in the parish church’.

It was also felt that St Jude’s services had ‘too much music for poorer people’.

These attitudes appear to have prevailed well into the 20th century. In 1920 someone was refused entry for not wearing gloves, though it is not known whether bouncers applied this admittance policy – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.