Please see below a list of key diary dates,
recent activities and events that have taken place
in the East Hendred Parish. For future events, see
the Notice Board.
Bishop Crispian presented well earned Diocesan
Medals to 4 of our wonderful parishioners, during
his recent Visitation
On Sunday 1st February, Bishop Crispian, with
Deacon Richard, visited St Patrick’s and
concelebrated mass with Fr Tom Taaffe. Before the
final hymn he gave Diocesan Medals to four
parishioners in recognition of their long-standing
service to the Diocese of Portsmouth: Rose Millett,
Vic Horgan, Diana Tuson and Maureen Eyston. Short
biographies and photographs will be on the Parish
website and in the next edition of Portsmouth
Rose has been an integral part of Portsmouth
Diocese since 1949. Aged 22, she came to East
Hendred , and, apart from ten years at Didcot
parish, remained part of East Hendred parish since
then. Fr Anthony Ffrench-Mullen asked Rose to set up
the Parish Covenant Scheme and Gift Aid, which she
organised for 18 years. Initially, this was a
complex and demanding task, as she had to have tax
receipts etc and needed to constantly “chase up”
people - if one week’s donation was missed, she
couldn’t claim. 70% of the Sunday mass collection is
Rose was on the Parish Pastoral Council for many
years. When the two masses at East Hendred were
amalgamated into a 9.30am mass, Rose went to a later
mass at Abingdon until Fr Robin suggested she go to
East Ilsley, where she has been a stalwart member of
the community ever since. Rose has always been
tireless in her support for the liturgy and music
but, most of all, in her loyalty and support for the
priests in our parish.
Diana took over from Mrs Regan at St Patrick’s 40
years ago. 60 years ago, Mrs Regan would go round
the stables and round up the jockeys to come to mass
at St Patrick’s church – previously they were unable
to get to a mass unless it was held in the stables!
Diana has been on the St Patrick’s committee for 30
years, only retiring from it last year. She has been
a leading force in ecumenical activity, welcoming
new parishioners and in linking St Patrick’s with
fellow Christians an all the local community at East
Ilsley. Of particular importance to her is the
annual Sheep Fair, where she has always ensured that
St Patrick’s has the very successful bottle stall.
Maureen has been at Milton Manor for 15 years,
returning to the family estate after being very
involved in her previous parish. She has been
Minister of Communion for many years. Maureen is
dedicated to organising regular masses at the chapel
at Milton Manor and also is the quiet person behind
the scenes who ensures that everything is there for
the week-day masses at the pre-reformation Hendred
House chapel, at funerals and other East Hendred
occasions. She also organises the annual procession
and mass when the relics of Blessed Edmund Campion
visit Milton. The historical legacy of
pre-reformation Catholicism in East Hendred owes
Maureen a great deal.
Vic has been playing the organ for St Patrick’s
every Sunday for 40 years. He has delighted in
involving the children when possible, adjusting his
music to play along with the flute and even a
saxophone. He would put his hand to anything, and
entered into the spirit of Taize chants with relish.
Vic has enormous determination and even with failing
eyesight has persevered by memorising the music and
mastering computer skills to provide large print.
Vic also served on St Patrick’s committee for many
In recognition of their dedication and completion
of training as altar servers, the Bishop also
presented Guild of St Stephen medals.
We thanked Fr
Tom for his time with us and look forward to a
further celebration for him in due course.
Fr Terence Fitzpatrick, who will be
taking over pastoral responsibility for “the
villages”, joined us for coffee and tea after mass,
with delicious cakes made by James Nisbet, our
senior altar server.
This was a marvelously happy
occasion. It gave our Bishop time to meet us all in
the relaxed and informal setting of our
converted-barn church that has its roots deep in the
soil and turf of Berkshire!