12 Colston Parade
Bristol BS1 6RA
Rush Sunday is one of the highlights of Bristol’s civic calendar, upholding a tradition which goes back over 500 years.
William Canynges of Redcliffe Street – merchant, five-times Mayor of Bristol, its MP and a principal benefactor of St Mary Redcliffe – was ordained priest after the death of his wife in 1467 and first celebrated Mass in the church on Whitsunday the following year.
To commemorate this, William Spenser, also sometime Mayor of Bristol, made provision in 1493 for three sermons to be preached before the Mayor and commonalty on the days after Whitsun; a change to one sermon on Whitsunday was made at the time of the Reformation.
Those attending carried nosegays and the floor of the church was strewn with rushes, traditions that are maintained to this day in the service held annually ever since and attended by the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Councillors of the City in their traditional robes and regalia.
Rush Sunday is free to attend. You can turn up on the day but if you’d like to secure seats nearer the front it’s best to contact the Parish Office in advance on 0117 231 0060.