St Birinus Church, Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

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