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Sunday & Weekday Masses at Our Lady and St Edmund of Abingdon and other churches in the area

Key Contacts

Rev Jamie McGrath
01235 520375
 Lisa Paterson

1 Radley Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire. OX14 3PL


01235  520375. 


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The Church in Abingdon



Milestones in the History of our Parish

1783 the Vicar of Abingdon in his returns to the Bishop: “Are there any reputed papists in your parish?” “One only, - old and very poor”

1850 Conversion of Sir George Bowyer, Knight of Malta, benefactor of our Church and school, to Catholicism

1854 Appointment of first Missionary Rector (Parish Priest) of Abingdon by Bishop Thomas Grant of Southwark

1857 Solemn opening of the Chancel of the Church Establishment of St. Edmund’s School in the Sacristy, later moving to Friends’ Meeting House

1858 Consecration of the Cemetery

1860 Arrival of the Sisters of Mercy in Abingdon; establishment of Convent at ‘Mountjoy’ at Northcourt

1865 Opening of Girls’ Boarding School in Convent Building of Church completed and solemn opening

1873 St. Edmund’s School completed and opened

1882 Diocese of Portsmouth formed

1883 Convent Chapel solemnly blessed and opened

1954 St. Edmund’s ceases to be an ‘all age’ school & becomes a primary school
Inauguration of the shrine of Our Lady of Abingdon and blessing of the Statue by Archbishop John Henry King

1957 Centenary and Consecration of the Church of Our Lady and St. Edmund by the Bishop of Portsmouth

1961 Phase 1 of the new St. Edmund School officially opened by Bishop Holland

1971 The Deanery passes from Berkshire to Oxfordshire

1982 New Parish Centre, former St. Edmund’s school, blessed

1990 ‘Abingdon Alive’, inauguration of the Church in Abingdon

1991 Pilgrimage to Pontigny, ’St. Edmund’s burial place, to attend
 inauguration of the plaque given by Parish to Abbey at Pontigny

1998 Parish Day as part of preparation for the Millennium

2006 Our Lady and St Edmund's became part of the Thames Isis Pastoral Area

2011 Sisters of Mercy left the Convent

Sisters of Mercy

The Community of the Sisters of Mercy was involved in teaching and in Parish visiting at Our Lady and St Edmund of Abingdon.


In 1859 Father John O’Toole, Parish priest in Abingdon, asked Bishop Grant (Southwark) for some Sisters to found a Convent in Abingdon.

Much change and development has taken place since 1860 with Sisters engaged in teaching in the parish school, in their own Private School which comprised of both boarders and day pupils and boys and girls.

On June 3rd1999 the Community moved from the Convent on Oxford Road to Lismore Lodge, 34 St. John’s Road and 1996 saw the first lay Headmistress at Our Lady’s Convent Senior School and the first lay Headmaster at Our Lady’s Convent Junior School in 2007. This coincided with changes in the community that comprised of three Sisters in residence, one on Sabbatical and one taking care of her mother. The presence of the Sisters remained vibrant in schools, Parish and Diocese until 2011, when the last two Sisters, Sister Helen Sheehy and Sister Monica Sheehy, two siblings, left Abingdon. Sister Monica was Headmistress at Our Lady’s for 16 years before retiring in the mid 90s and is now in a community in Derby, while Sister Helen moved to Alnwich in Northumberland.

Click here for the full story

Web Site Links to the world of the Sisters of Mercy



Welcome to Our Lady and St Edmund’s. Our church is normally open during the day, every day of the week, so please feel free to pay a visit.