The Catholic Church of St Edmund of Abingdon and St Frideswide
More commonly known as 'Greyfriars', St Edmund and St Frideswide is a Roman Catholic Church located on Iffley Road, Oxford. The church and parish fall within the Archdiocese of Birmingham, and the church is home to a large number of active parishioners. On this website, you can find out about who we are, when we meet and what we can do for you. Do not hesitate to get in contact by phone (on 01865 256750), by email, or by visiting us in person at: The Friary, 182 Iffley Road, Oxford, OX4 1SB.
CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS: NO PUBLIC SERVICES UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
In response to government directives about gatherings, the Catholic bishops have decided that from Saturday 21st March onwards there will be no public Masses or other services.
Update: from Tuesday 24th March the church is closed even for private prayer. The friars, however, will continue to celebrate Mass and their daily prayers, and these will be live-streamed on this website - see below.
If you want to follow along with our prayers, Universalis is a useful website which has all the daily prayers and the readings of the Mass day-by-day.
News and useful information
Confessions by appointment Br. Paul is now available to hear confessions - albeit outside and socially-distanced. Please phone the parish office (01865 256750) to arrange an appointment.
Re-opening our churches The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has responded to the Government's lockdown easing plans with a statement, in which they say that they have "already submitted a detailed plan, in full accordance with public health guidelines, for churches to be opened for private prayer." We pray that the Government will respond favourably. You can also sign this petition asking the Government to allow the re-opening of places of worship. In order for our church to be open, we will need to comply with some hygiene and social distancing conditions. This will require volunteers to be stewards and cleaners. Please let Br Paul know if you’re willing to help. The more volunteers we have, the more the church can be open.
Thursday 4 June: Bible Study Online We continue our study of St Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, this week looking at Chapters 5 and 6. Please contact the parish office (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the link to the meeting, which will be on Zoom.
Thursday 11 June: Funeral of Teresa Ann Gough RIP One of the children brought up at Nazareth House on the Cowley Road, Teresa most recently lived at Iffley Residential Care Home. She died on 9th May at the age of 81. Her funeral will be at Oxford Crematorium.
Donating to the parish In the absence of Sunday collections, the normal parish income has dropped; but a lot of parish expenditure continues during the lockdown, as well as extra expenses like the equipment for live-streaming. Insofar as you are able, please consider donating to the parish. You can do so either by posting donations to the friary (cheques payable to 'Capuchin Oxford Parish') or online at the diocesan website (when asked which church you're donating to, please select 'Oxford: St edmund').
Supporting parishes in the developing world In just one month, the all-volunteer Catholic charity SPICMA (Special Projects in Christian Missionary Areas) has disbursed nearly £100,000, well over a third of its total for all of last year. Already dipping into its reserves, the charity is appealing urgently for donations. The money is being sent to distressed parishes in Kenya, Uganda, India, and Pakistan, all hit by the Covid-19 lockdown. For more information and to support SPICMA, please visit:www.spicma.org.
CAFOD: Unite against coronavirus As we cope with coronavirus in the UK, we think of our sisters and brothers in developing countries who are facing this pandemic with fragile health systems, some of which have almost no intensive care beds or ventilators. Food prices have already risen with borders closing, the poorest are losing their jobs and income with wholesale shutdowns. Furthermore, inadequate healthcare, lack of access to washing facilities and limited ability to social distance will result in loss of life on an intolerable scale. The likely impact will be devastating. We are one global family. In order to continue protecting and improving the lives of those in poor communities, your prayers, gifts and voices are needed now more than ever. Please visit cafod.org.uk/coronavirus to find out ways you can give, act and pray in response to this crisis. Virtually attending church It’s helpful when watching Mass on the internet to set up some kind of ‘altar’ e.g. with candles, a crucifix, and a Missal or a Bible in front of the screen you’ll be streaming it on. Rather than sitting on the sofa, consider sitting on a hardback chair and using cushions as kneelers, to enter more prayerfully into Mass. At the time of communion, it's helpful to say a prayer of 'spiritual communion'; e.g. My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Maryvale Sacred Heart Novena All are invited to join online for the Annual Novena to the Sacred Heart at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart at Maryvale Institute. There will be a Mass, Sermon and Novena live streamed each evening at 8pm from Thursday 11 June to Friday 19 June 2020 (Feast of the Sacred Heart). Archbishop Bernard Longley will be celebrating Mass on Sunday 21 June at 11am (on the day the ‘physical’ Pilgrimage would have taken place). It will be live streamed from St Chad’s Cathedral. Full details, and how to access each event, are available on the Diocesan website and Maryvale Institute website.
Greyfriars Community Support If you need to be at home for an extended period in the coming weeks and need help with shopping or an errand, please email us atGreyFriarsIffley@gmail.comor call 01865 256750 or 07917 562661 to let us know. To reduce any risk of infection, shopping etc. would be left on the doorstep rather than handed over in person. If you are not in a vulnerable group and want to help, please let us know by email atGreyFriarsIffley@gmail.comthat you can do so; we will then be able to get in touch with you as and when help is needed.
Oxford Together A wider range of support options are available through Oxford Together, which is a community-led response to Covid-19 coordinated by Oxford Hub. Via their website you can sign up either to get support or to help in giving support.
Intercessory Prayer Group Intercessory prayer is the act of praying for other people. The Lord instructed us to pray not only for our personal needs but to reach out and pray for others as well. We find this in 1 Timothy 2:1-6 where we are told to pray and to make intercession for all people. We have started a parish Intercessory Prayer Group. If you would like us to pray for somebody, please emailGreyfriarsIntercessoryPrayer@gmail.comor phone 07384116920. All requests will be treated in strictest confidence.
Resources for Catholic parents Stuck at home with your children? Their schools will be providing material to continue their education during these uncertain times; but what about their Catholic upbringing? Here are some links recommended by Catholics who have been schooling their children at home for a long time. Prayers for Homeis provided by Ten Ten, a Catholic professional theatre company that works with schools around the UK. Kidz Zone: explore CAFOD (a Catholic charity that works in poorer countries) and the wider world with online games for kids, films and prayers for children, as well as printable activities to do indoors or outdoors. CathFamily (an Australian organisation) is offering free access to CathKids until 30th June. Colour and Shape is a Facebook page giving ideas for at-home children's liturgies and prayers.
Disclaimer on Photographs
Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are courtesy of Ed Webster. His work is licenced under Creative Commons v2.0 and can be found here. No changes, unless otherwise stated, have been made to his original photographs. The church accepts that it holds no copyright over his photos. The exact licence of the photographs can be found here. All of Mr Webster's photos used here, are from his flikr account, and his album, 'Oxford Open Doors 2012'. The author of this website, and the church would like to thank Mr Webster for uploading his beautiful photos under the CCv2.0 licence. The title for all of the photos used on this website are: 'St Edmund and St Frideswide Church, Oxford'. Photos that were not taken by Mr Webster are indicated as such underneath the photograph, by the footer 'courtesy of '. These photos have been kindly allowed to be used on the website by members of the parish, however the author of this website and the church would like to note that the website, and the church makes no claim to owning the copyright to any photos on the website. Once again, the author of this website would like to thank Mr Webster & everyone who contributed to the photos on this website.
"Where a man's heart is, there is his treasure also"