When I received a telephone call from Fr Richard Walker, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, in July, inviting me to move from Carterton to Watlington it came out of the blue. When you are ordained as a diocesan priest not only are you "incardinated" into a diocese, where you would normally expect to remain, but you also promise obedience to the diocesan bishop AND to his successors. I gave myself a week to decide and then said "Yes". I had put my name down for Watlington on retirement, but that is at age 75 for a priest, and I am (only) 65. Who gave the Vicar General the bright idea? Yes indeed, it was your Parish Priest, Fr Michael Miners! I had mentioned to him, when helping with Reconciliation at St Joseph's, Thame a couple of years ago, that I intended to retire to Watlington.
I do not consider I have retired just yet. The old Catechism has it that God created us "to know, love and serve him in this world". That is therefore my mission statement for the people of the parish, since what we do to God we should do to others (love Him in others). The new commandment of Jesus is "to love one another as I have loved you". I intend, firstly, to visit everyone with their permission and to compile an index of parishioners (which it appears does not exist). Secondly, I intend to do whatever I can to promote the unity of the parish. Thirdly, I intend to cooperate and collaborate with the other Christian churches and communities of the area for the common (Christian) good.
To further the second aim may I would like to extend a warm invitation from William and Ailsa Stonor to the Watlington and Stonor congregations to come to Stonor for drinks and nibbles. Please let me know if you would like to join us and I will give you the details.
Getting to know each other is an essential condition to doing things together for the greater glory of God, and I know how much that matters in parishes. Having fun together is definitely part of that. Being cheerful and happy about being convinced and committed Christians sends just the right sort of message to those who have never been able to "tune in" to the Christian radio frequency.
I look forward to meeting you and getting to know you, and just so you know, I would prefer to be called just "Andrew", although I do not object to the "Father". Please may I request your daily prayers for me and the Parish of St Edmund Campion.'
Welcome to the website of St Edmund Campion Roman Catholich Church
St Edmund's is a small church, located in the tiny market town of Watlington, South Oxfordshire and is part of the Catholic Arch-Diocese of Birmingham. The Catholic church has a vibrant history in the area and the church is dedicated to St Edmund Campion - the Jesuit priest who was sheltered at nearby Stonor Park - where the private chapel has served the Stonor family as a place of worship since the 13th century. You can use this website to learn more about our church, to find mass times, or to contact us and we look forward to welcoming you to our community.
Click here for directions to our church
St Edmund Campion Roman Catholic Church, No.2 Watcombe Rd, Watlington OX49 5QJ T: 01491 612431