Catholic Apostolic Church

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The Catholic Apostolic Church is a sect, virtually moribund in Britain, of western European Protestant Christianity. It arose during the 1830s as a result of the teachings of the Rev. James Haldane Stewart (1778–1854), a priest of the Church of England, and John McLeod Campbell (1800–1872), a minister of the Presbyterian Kirk of Scotland, and the inspirational preaching of Edward Irving (1792–1834), also a minister of the Kirk, with a parish in London. (After the third of these they were called, colloquially but inaccurately, Irvingites.) Their followers set up a church of twelve (modern) Apostles who ran the institution until their deaths. They were not replaced, as the Church was formed with the intention of restoring earlier, 'purer' forms of Christian belief to prepare for the second coming of Jesus and the end of the world, and this hope was proving illusory. When the last of the Apostles died in 1901 the mother Church fell into dereliction. No new clergy could be ordained, and there is no Catholic Apostolic parish in the United Kingdom. Various descendant sects continue elsewhere, in the Netherlands, Germany, South Africa, Congo, South America, Australia and Indonesia, amongst others. These sects have been subject to many splits and re-orderings, with names such as New Apostolic Church and Reformed Apostolic Church.

The church built by the Catholic Apostolic Church in Edinburgh (Mansfield Place) in 1885, decorated with magnificent murals during the following decade by Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852–1936), is now the [Mansfield Traquair Centre].