Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 21,1835 in Littlemore

Going through my photos from last year's tour of Oxford Movement related churches and places, I found this picture from the Anglican church John Henry Newman founded and built in Littlemore when he was Vicar of the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Oxford. It is a memorial to his mother Jemima Newman, who helped place the cornerstone of the church on July 21, 1835 but died before its completion. Here is a detail of the plaque on her memorial: BTW: Our class completed this tour on Thursday, July 23, 2009. After visiting St. Mary-St. Nicholas, where Newman preached the sermon, "The Parting of Friends" after leaving Oxford, we went to The College at Littlemore. There he was received into the Catholic Church by Father (now Blessed) Dominic Barberi, a Passionist missionary to England.

Of course, one of the great highlights in The College is to see Newman's study, where the International Centre of Newman Friends has established a library (to which I donated a copy of Supremacy and Survival!).

We also visited an 18th century CofE church in Chiselhampton, now closed, which represented church architecture before the Oxford Movement (St. Katherine's). Notice the lack of stained glass or imagery, the pulpit and lector stand and the reredos at the front of the church.

The reredos featured the important texts for low church services: the Our Father, the Ten Commandments and the Apostles Creed:
Then we toured Dorchester, which our tutor had studied extensively, having edited a book titled Dorchester Abbey: Church and People, 635-2005. After these visits outside of Oxford, we went back to Oxford to an area called Jericho to visit a very high High Church Anglican church named St. Barnabas, which had all the architectural touches of a Catholic church in the Roman Rite. They displayed an extensive series of pamphlets on Confession, Prayer to the Saints, the Rosary, etc. When you click on the link, you'll probably see what I mean--the home page of the church features a picture of Benediction!
We rode through this tour of Oxford environs in a small coach and ate lunch in a pub near Dorchester Abbey. It was a wonderful outing and one of the highlights of my Oxford Experience, 2009.


  1. If there is a patrimony of architectural style coming with the Anglican Ordinariate, I hope it reflects more of St. Katherine's than of St. Barnabas'. All the former needs is a haqnging pix or a tabernacle, and sanctuary lamp. St. Kat's has an almost cistercian simplicity!....well, then again there are those darn memorial plaques to local burghers - but that's a whole other subject.

  2. You'll note, tubbs, that I did not include any pictures of St. Barnabas in my post. I did not take any--it did not hold together architecturally in my view at all. It is sad, however, that St. Katherine's is closed--although the churchyard is still used.

  3. I also did not mention that between St. Mary-St. Nicholas and The College, we walked by the Catholic church building in Littlemore. Architecturally, it was most unfortunate.