An engraving of the King's Martyrdom

An engraving of the King’s Martyrdom by John Carwitham (fl. mid 18th century) and bound into a prayer book of 1754

The Society of King Charles the Martyr (SKCM) keeps three religious observances a year to celebrate different commemorations. Each of the services are attended by members and non-members alike, everyone indeed is most welcome. The liturgy used at the services is The Prayer Book Rite of 1662 and a preacher of note is invited to give the sermon.

Feast of the Martyrdom of S.Charles, 30th January

The service is held whenever possible at the site of S.Charles’s martyrdom, The Banqueting House in Whitehall, London. Wreath laying and prayers near the place of the martyrdom are offered at 11.40 a.m. followed by High Mass and sermon at noon within the Banqueting House itself.

The Society’s relics of S.Charles are placed upon the altar for the Mass and may be viewed after the service. A choir, usually from King’s College, London sings at the Mass. The Banqueting House is where S.Charles was kept for several hours on the day of his decollation. It is a magnificent setting for the Mass: the architect having been Inigo Jones and the ceiling adorned by the great paintings of Rubens. There is an exhibition on the ground floor describing the events of 30th January, 1649.


An engraving of the Restuaration of Charles II

An engraving of the Restuaration of Charles II by John Carwitham (fl. mid 18th century) and bound into a Prayer Book of 1754

Restoration Day

Restoration Day (or Oak Apple Day) commemorates the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 when King Charles II returned to England from exile. The day is kept as our annual festival with a Solemn Mass and Sermon on the nearest Saturday to 19th May.

The Nativity of S.Charles

The Mass of the Nativity of S.Charles is kept on or near 19th November. It has been customary in recent years for this to be celebrated in London and a guest preacher invited to give the sermon.

Travel Information for Those Attending Society Events

There are three main religious observances each year. The commemoration and Mass at the site of the martyrdom, the Banqueting House in Whitehall, is held on S. Charles’s Day, 30th January. When the 30th January falls on a Sunday it is customary to transfer the observance to the following Monday. Wreath laying and prayers are offered at 11.40 a.m. near the site of the martyrdom. The bust of S.Charles which is above the main entrance to the Banqueting House was given by the Society and it is this image upon which a laurel is placed. High Mass is at noon within The Banqueting House. The nearest Underground station is Westminster; Charing Cross station is also nearby.