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St Patrick, East Ilsley

St Amand & St John the Baptist

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Portsmouth Diocese

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Sunday & Weekday Masses at St Mary, East Hendred and other churches in the area

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Parish Priest:
Revd Mgr
Andrew Burnham

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St Mary's Catholic Church
St Mary's Road
East Hendred
Wantage OX12  8LF

 

 

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History

The village of East Hendred itself has an illustrious history dating back to the early times of 956. There are two Churches documented in the Domesday Book – one located in East Hendred and the other in West Hendred. In medieval times there were five manors in the village, two of the most important were Abbey Manor (owned by Reading Abbey) and the Manor of Arches, which is now known as Hendred House.

Hendred House has been home to the Eyston family for nearly 600 years and has one of only three Catholic Chapels in England where Mass has been said since before the Reformation.

The first Roman Catholic movement in the area is documented to have started earlier than 635. At the Reformation, the monasteries were dissolved, their estates confiscated, and a new state Church established where the Mass was replaced by the services of the Book of Common Prayer. Loyal Catholics were then subject to all kinds of penalties as they refused to attend the services of the new Church. Persecution of Catholics then continued for more than two and a half centuries.

The faith was kept alive by country house missions where Priests were able to say Mass and administer the sacraments. The Catholic Emancipation Act made things easier for Catholics, but it was not until 1850 that Rome restored the English hierarchy, and it was later still that Hendred acquired a new Catholic Parish Church, thanks to Charles John Eyston.

St Mary's was consecrated on 17th August 1865. Designed by A. C. Buckler and reordered in 1983, the Church has a pleasing architectural unity and several interesting features. The stained glass by Hardmann is much admired and includes a depiction of St Robert of Newminster, while the Hendrie window, depicting the life of St Francis of Assissi, is probably the finest he ever did.

Mass is also celebrated in the Eyston family’s Chapel of St Amand and St John the Baptist at Hendred House, as it has been since the thirteenth century. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is held in the chapel every Friday.

 

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