North Hinksey is the northernmost parish of the
Portsmouth Diocese, whose boundary, like that of
most Catholic Dioceses, is the old county boundary.
Until a few years ago Berkshire extended to the
River Thames, except in Botley, where the boundary
became the Seacourt Stream.
It wasn't so long ago that the North Hinskey part
of the Diocese was served from East Hendred, home of
the old Catholic family of the Eystons. The Parish
of North Hinksey has four church buildings,
reflecting the geographically fragmented nature of
the population. Each of those buildings was meant to
be a focus for a local Catholic community made up of
people who cared for each other as brothers and
sisters in Christ, and whose witness to Christ and
care for others spilled out into the wider
The arrival of evacuees and their teachers from a
Catholic school in Poplar in the East End of London
was the beginning of a substantial Catholic
community in Botley before our Parish existed.
Over the next few years Mass was celebrated in
make-shift venues, including the Bystander public
house in Wootton, the Bear and Ragged Staff in
Cumnor and the Women’s Institute in North Hinksey.
Work began on Our Lady of the Rosary in 1953, on
a piece of land gifted by a local Catholic. The
Parish of North Hinksey was officially established
on 1st January 1954, and the church was completed
and dedicated later that year.