Archbishop Vincent Nichols has backed a campaign to save the name of The Cardinal pub in Victoria which its owners are proposing to change to its former name, The Windsor Castle.
The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, said he would be writing a letter of protest against the proposed name change.
He said the pub was named after Cardinal Manning, a 19th century predecessor as Archbishop of Westminster who famously supported the London Dockers' strike of 1889 and worked hard to improve social conditions for migrants. Changing the name of the pub risked losing a reminder of the Catholic Church's long-standing commitment to the social good, he said.
Archbishop Nichols added: 'The pub across the road from Archbishop's House is called The Cardinal, after Cardinal Manning, who was utterly committed to the well-being of the dockers and the working class in London,'
'That pub is being renewed and the brewers have said their intention is to change its name to The Windsor Castle, and that is a shame, because it is another drop of forgetting a presence and a continuity and a set of values in London life for which it has stood.'
A spokesperson for Westminster Council said that the owner's have planning permission to change the interior, but not the name or the sign.
On Wednesday 6 April 2011, Archbishop Nicholas urged an audience of civil servants, parliamentarians, academics and Church officials at a Caritas conference on social responsibility in London to sign a petition opposing the name change.A petition against the name change has been set up by the Independent Catholic News Website.
The petition already has over 130 signatories, including many priests and religious and the former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe. Names on the petition include; Auxiliary Bishop John Arnold of Westminster, Fr Christopher Jamison, John Wilkins, former editor of The Tablet.
The Cardinal pub, owned by the Samuel Smith brewing company, and a popular meeting place for parishioners of Westminster Cathedral, has been closed for renovations since late 2010.