The Church of Holy Rood is part of the Parish of North Hinksey in Oxford and is situated near Folly Bridge on the Abingdon Road, not far from the centre of Oxford.
Led by Parish Priest Father Daniel Lloyd, our welcoming congregation reflects the variety of nationalities that can be found in Oxford and the surrounding areas. We also have close links with our three sister Churches across Oxford – Our Lady of the Rosary, Botley, and the Chapels of the Good Shepherd, Kennington, and St Thomas More, Boars Hill.
It is ideally situated for Catholic guests staying at the Four Pillars Hotel. It also hosts a Mass on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons for the Portugese speaking community in Oxford.
Whether you are new to the parish or an existing church member, please explore our website to join in our faith celebration and to find out how you can get the most out of your Parish and Church community.
Our Church's History
North Hinksey is the northernmost parish of the Portsmouth Diocese, whose boundary, like that of most Catholic Dioceses, is the old county boundary. Until a few years ago Berkshire extended to the River Thames, except in Botley, where the boundary became the Seacourt Stream.
It wasn’t so long ago that the North Hinskey part of the Diocese was served from East Hendred, home of the old Catholic family of the Eystons. The Parish of North Hinksey has four church buildings, reflecting the geographically fragmented nature of the population. Each of those buildings was meant to be a focus for a local Catholic community made up of people who cared for each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, and whose witness to Christ and care for others spilled out into the wider community.
The design of the Holy Rood Church, which was dedicated in 1961, was inspired by the vision of the Second Vatican Council of the Church as the People of God on their pilgrimage. The tent shape of the Church reflects the tent of the Tabernacle in the Old Testament, which was the dwelling place of the presence of God.
Patron Saint - Holy Rood
Rood has several distinct meanings, all derived from the same basic etymology.
“Rood” is an archaic word for “pole”, from Anglo-Saxon rōd “pole”, specifically “crucifix”, from Proto-Germanic *rodo, cognate to Old Saxon rōda, Old High German ruoda “rod”; the relation of rood to rod, from Anglo-Saxon rodd “pole” is unclear; the latter was perhaps influenced by Old Norse rudda “club”).
Crucifix or cross
The rood on a rood screen: a crucifix on the elaborate 16th-century “jubé” in the church of St-Etienne-du-Mont, ParisIn the meaning “crucifix”, rood usually refers to a sculpture or painting of the cross with Christ hanging on it. More precisely, “the Rood” refers to the Cross, the specific wooden cross used in Christ’s crucifixion. The word remains in use in some names, such as Holyrood Palace and the Anglo-Saxon poem The Dream of the Rood. The phrase “by the rood” was used in swearing, e.g. “No, by the rood, not so” in Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Act 3, Scene 4).
In church architecture a rood screen is a wooden or stone screen, usually separating the chancel or choir from the nave. The screen may be elaborately carved and was often richly painted and gilded. It supported a large cross or crucifix (the rood), sometimes with attendant figures. Rood screens are not unique to Britain: they are found in Christian churches in many parts of Europe; they are the Western equivalent of the Byzantine templon beam , which developed into the Eastern Orthodox iconostasis. Some rood screens incorporate a rood loft, a narrow gallery which could be used by singers or musicians. An alternative type of screen is the Pulpitum, as seen in Exeter Cathedral, which is near the main altar of the church.
The rood itself provided a focus for worship, most especially in Holy Week, when worship was highly elaborate. During Lent the rood was veiled; on Palm Sunday it was revealed before the procession of palms and the congregation knelt before it. The whole Passion story would then be read from the rood loft, at the foot of the crucifix, by three ministers.
No original medieval rood now survives in a church in the United Kingdom . Most were deliberately destroyed as acts of iconoclasm during the English Reformation and the English Civil War, when many rood screens were also removed. Today, in many British churches, the rood stair which gave access to the gallery is often the only remaining sign of the former rood screen and rood loft.
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Where is the Church?
Our church is situated near Folly Bridge on the Abingdon Road, not far from the centre of Oxford. It is ideally situated for Catholic guests staying at the Four Pillars Hotel.
Please find a useful map below which highlights the exact location of the Church of Holy Rood.
Holy Rood Church,
38 Abingdon Rd, Oxford OX1 4PD
(Sacrament of Reconciliation from 4.30pm)
(Mass in Portugese)
Thursdays – Adoration and Confessions 7-8pm
Fridays 12.30pm – Mass (Latin (Ordinary Form))
(Followed by Sacrament of Reconciliation)