Tuesday, November 28, 2023

St Birinus Church, Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

St Birinus Catholic Church is a tiny architectural jewel set in beautiful English countryside, 15 miles from Oxford, on the banks of the River Thame. The Traditional Latin Mass is celebrated there every Sunday. The choir is exceptional, the art is spectacular, and all works in harmony in a Victorian-era church that was so obviously created to house beautiful liturgy. It is a glimpse of what England might still have been if it hadn’t been for Henry VIII, and an indication of what, despite everything, it might again.

The wall painting was done by a parishioner. Under the guidance of the parish priest, Fr John Osman, this church and parish have become a beacon of light - beautiful art, architecture, and music. It shows what can be done with good taste and conviction.

Press your parish priest to commission work from the artists at the Chichester Workshop of Liturgical Art. Martin Earle, for example, could paint, mosaic, fresco the church and do all the carpentry to build the rood screen. 
St Birinus, by the way, is a little known early saint responsible for the conversion of England in the 7th century. 
Also, it is not a spelling mistake, the confluence of the rivers Thame and Isis occurs just a quarter of a mile away to form the river 'Thame-Isis' otherwise known as the River Thames.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: