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Thames Isis Coordinating Pastor:
Rev Jamie McGrath
01235 520375


Coordinating Pastor's Office
1 Radley Road


OX14 3PL

Tel: 01235 520375



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Pastoral Area Past Events and Photos



Children from Holy Rood took part in the Choir Carol Concert before Christmas.

Nativity Play at St John's on Christmas Day


Senior Citizen's Parish Christmas Lunch at English Martyrs

Organised by the Fundraising Committee, parishioners enjoyed festive fare and good company.

SVP Feed My Lambs Appeal Charity Auction

A wonderful total of £2169 was raised at the local Charity Auction held at Wallingford Town Hall.  This makes a total collected throughout the year of £8460, helping to save the lives of 241 babies in the Sudan.  

Advent at Our Lady of the Rosary

The Advent wreath on its way to be blessed, carried by two of the family who made it.

Parish Day of Recollection at The Carmelite Monastery, Boars Hill

St John's and English Martyrs parishes organised a Parish Day of Recollection which was led by
Fr Frowin Reed, a Benedictine monk who helped out in the Pastoral Area over the summer.  The day was well attended, with everyone benefitting from the peaceful surroundings and thought provoking talks given by Fr Frowin.

Pope Benedict XVI Visit to the United Kingdom 2010

A number of parishioners from our parishes were lucky enough to receive VIP tickets to attend Westminster Cathedral, Hyde Park and Cofton Park for the Papal Liturgies.  More parishioners attended as part of the Pastoral Area pilgrim group.  Below is a selection of photographs taken.

Papal Prayer Vigil at Hyde Park

Parishioners from Our Lady of the Rosary attending the Papal Prayer Vigil at Hyde Park.


The Thames Isis Pastoral Area Pilgrims


The banner for Our Lady of the Rosary was created by Janet Farnsworth, and was carried during the Procession.

The banner carried for St John's and English Martyrs Churches

Papal Mass at Cofton Park

Thanks to Julie Lazarus for the use of her photos

The Diary of a Pilgrimage

By 4.30am we had all sleepily assembled at our meeting point in Abingdon. After a short prayer for our pilgrim journey by Fr Paul King, the coach trundled off into the early hours for our trip to Cofton Park Birmingham for the Beatification Mass of Cardinal John Newman celebrated by no less a personage than the Pope himself.  We arrived on time, and were advised that it was a ten minute walk from the coach to the park.  An hour later we were actually through the barriers and finding an advantageous spot on which to put up our chairs and make ourselves comfortable in the miserable drizzle that had started as we approached Birmingham.  The drizzle may have been miserable but the crowd were certainly not. An air of celebration pervaded the whole park with choirs and crowd singing lustily and cheering.  Amidst all that, priests, sitting on their fold up chairs, with umbrellas protecting them from the rain, were hearing confessions, with the penitents kneeling on the wet grass, oblivious of their surroundings.   Then suddenly it was nearing 10.00am, mass was due to start, helicopters were hovering overhead and we were all trying to spot the papal helicopter, especially the children who were in a constant state of excitement. Then on the numerous screens we could see the Pope had arrived and lo and behold the sun appeared and the rain stopped. The pope-mobile made its way to the altar with its life-size mosaic of Cardinal Newman. Unfortunately we were too far away to get a close up view of his Holiness, but it didn’t matter, we were waving our flags and cheering with everyone else. Suddenly around 60,000 people were singing Praise to the Holiest in the Height for the entrance procession and the deeply spiritual and moving mass and Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman began. What a spectacle. Thousands upon thousands of people receiving Holy Communion from priests under papal umbrellas all over the park.    Something that I will always remember ,  during the moments of silence, that was what it was - silence. In the midst of 60,000 people in a park in Birmingham you could hear the birds singing – incredible.
Then we had our picnic and incredibly, we bumped into friends from different parts of the country including, sitting a few rows in front of us,  Ian and Ruth Mawdsley from Llandudno who came to our parish last week to talk to us about the Sudan.
Tired but happy we made our way back to our coach.  800 coaches but no queuing to get in or out of the park. Whoever organised the coach arrivals and departures deserves a medal. We arrived home even a little earlier than we thought, spiritually stronger, and proud to have been involved in such a wondrous occasion.

Mary Hill, St John the Evangelist Church, Wallingford


Thanks to Mary for the use of her photos

Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust
Ride and Stride Event

Striders and riders were sponsored and welcomed at churches throughout Oxfordshire - here are a few arriving at St John the evangelist Church, Wallingford for refreshments.


SVP Mass for the Sick

The SVP of St John the Evangelist Church organised a special Mass for the Sick on
5th September, followed by tea and cakes.

JUNE 2010

Children from St John's celebrated receiving their First Holy Communion on Sunday 4th July.

East Hendred parishioners enjoy a garden party in the grounds of
Holy Trinity Monastery.

Birthday Celebrations at North Hinksey

60 Glorious? Years: Deacon Richard celebrating his 60th. Birthday on
June 19 with Hinksey Parish

MAY 2010
Parish Sunday at Our Lady and St Edmund, Abingdon, 23rd May

 Every year the parish of Our Lady and St. Edmund of Abingdon holds a special "Parish Sunday" , so that the people attending all four Sunday Masses have an opportunity to meet, and make the acquaintance of fellow Parishioners whom they might otherwise never see.
This year the celebration was held on Sunday the 23rd May, and consisted of a Parish Fayre held in the church grounds complete with an International buffet provided by members of the "Cake and Conversation" group. The group exists to help overseas visitors to improve their conversational skills and become more integrated with parish life.
There were also a number of stalls including Fairtrade, a Bookstall, a Tombola and a Garden plant and herb stall.  Additionally there was a Bouncy Castle and a Puppet Theatre for the children.
The day ended with an evening Barn Dance in the main hall of St. Edmund's school.

Churches Together Didcot and District Pentecost Praise and Party

Congratulations to all the candidates in the Thames Isis Pastoral Area who were confirmed by Bishop Crispian on 11th May at Our Lady and and St Edmund's Church, Abingdon.

Con-celebrating were Fr David O'Sullivan, Fr Paul King, Fr Terence Fitzpatrick and Fr Tom Taaffe, with assistance from Deacon Richard Budgen

With grateful thanks to Ernest Janicki for the use of his photos

APRIL 2010

The St Vincent de Paul Society of St John the Evangelist Church displayed material on their Feed My Lambs Appeal at the Wallingford St Georges Charity Day on Saturday 23rd April, raising £158.69 from generous passers-by.
A big thank you to everyone for their help.

Click here for information on Feed My Lambs

MARCH 2010
Palm Sunday Procession in East Hendred

Parishioners from St Mary's and from St Augustine's C of E Church joined together in an ecumenical procession around the village.


As part of the Parish Lenten Programme at St John's and English Martyrs Churches, the Youth Group ran a Cake, Create and Play event for the younger members of the parish.

The children enjoyed making wooden crosses, talking about the Stations of the Cross, singing and decorating cakes.

St Patrick's Day Celebrations at English Martyrs Church

Parishioners enjoying the results of their efforts

Mothering Sunday at North Hinksey

Children at Our Lady of the Rosary proudly display their Mothers' Day cards.

Day of Prayer at Holy Rood

Holy Rood Church hosted a  Day of Prayer on the Feast of The Chair of St Peter for Anglicans discerning the way forward in response to Pope Benedict's invitation contained in 'Anglicanorum Coetibus'. The Day of Prayer was proposed by the Anglican Bishop Andrew Burnham, who lives in the parish, and was observed in many places all over the country. We began with Morning Prayer at 10am and ended with Evening Prayer and Benediction at 5.30pm; Mass was celebrated in the middle of the day, and a Watch of Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament was maintained throughout the day. The photograph was taken during the watch of prayer. 

Life in the Spirit Seminars
at Our Lady and St Edmund Church, Abingdon

We were pleased to welcome David Payne on our first week, who spoke to a full church about God's love.  David is Director of Catholic Evangelisation Services, which produce the CaFE videos; he is he well known from his appearances in these videos.

For more photos of following weeks please click here

Valentine's Gala Dinner at Our Lady and St Edmund Church, Abingdon

More than one hundred and fifty years ago a celebratory meal for notable guests including many of the Catholic aristocracy, was held in the cloister of Our Lady and St. Edmund’s church in Abingdon. This event inspired a group of present day parishioners to organize a fund raising “Gala Candlelit St. Valentines Supper” in the same venue. This commenced with a Champagne reception at the presbytery followed by a three course meal in the cloister.
The event proved to be both a social and financial success, the people attending agreeing that the evening was most enjoyable, while over fifteen hundred pounds was raised for charity.

For more photos click here for the Abingdon Diary pages


Click here for Pastoral Area Diary 2009