91 HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
Civil and Military, and to the exercise of legislative functions, and that it is with unfeigned satisfaction that they see their fellow subjects of the Romish Church freed from all pains and penalties on account of their religion, and in the full enjoyment of the blessings of toleration ; but the Petitioners feel it their bounden duty, not only to themselves, but to posterity, to resist their endeavours (notwithstanding the numerous concessions already made to them) to get possession of political power and legislative authority, and thereby to destroy that Protestant ascendency to which the people of this country are indebted, under Providence, for the establishment of their liberties on a firm and solid basis ; for they consider it as a fixed and unalterable principle of our glorious Constitution, as settled at the Revolution, that the Legislative and Executive Authorities of this Protestant Country can be administered only by Protestants; and that the Petitioners regard the Laws by which that principle is established as no less sacred and inviolable than Magna Charta and the Habeas Corpus Act; and they implore the House steadfastly to reject all applications for the repeal of those Laws.
All of which had little effect. In 1850 there was again a stir against the aggressiveness of the Roman Catholics, and at a public meeting held in the town on November 25th addresses to the Queen and Bishop of the Diocese were adopted, praying them to curb the energies of the Pope's emissaries. So far as is known the first recognised place of worship which the fraternity possessed was the chapel established by Sir Edward Blount at Imberhorne. The mission here was superintended by the monks from the Franciscan Monastery at Crawley, and soon after its establishment Sir Edward arranged for a school to be started for Catholic children. Instruction was for some time given in an improvised school room in a granary at Imberhorne. Later, the Catholic schools now in existence between the mansion and the town were built at Sir Edward's expense. They are under the charge of several Sisters of Mercy, and a small convent is attached. About 80 children there receive an excellent education.
The Roman Catholic Church in the London Road, dedicated to " Our Lady and St. Peter," is a massive structure in the Early Norman style. It was built at the expense of Lady Blount, who, however, did not live to see its completion, and was opened on October 2nd, 1898. The Rev. J. Burke has been the priest-in-charge from that time to the present.