Welcome to the website of the historic church of St Margaret of Antioch, Binsey. We are glad you have visited us.
St Margaret’s is part of the Osney Benefice, working in partnership with St Frideswide, Osney; St Lawrence, North Hinksey and Ss Peter and Paul, Botley.
St. Margaret’s is an open church and welcomes visitors and pilgrims throughout the year who seek it out for quiet contemplation and prayer. This beautiful church is on the Diocese of Oxford’s Pilgrimage route because of its links to St Frideswide, Patron Saint of Oxford.
I hope you enjoy your visit to this website. See the side panel for regular services and up and coming events.
The Reverend Clare Sykes
The church of St Margaret of Antioch in Binsey, located a short walk from Oxford, is a much loved and visited church of outstanding architectural and historical significance. It dates from the twelfth century, and its churchyard is the site of St Frideswide’s treacle well.
Both church and well were re-ordered in the nineteenth century by T. J. Prout, whose friendship with Lewis Carroll explains the presence of the “treacle well” in Carroll’s book Alice in Wonderland.
The aim of Friends of Binsey is to bring together the many people who have enjoyed the tranquil and spiritual qualities of St Margaret’s Church and its holy well, and to involve them in the support and preservation of this special place.The objectives of Friends of Binsey are:
- To preserve this historic Church in its peaceful setting and allow it to remain accessible to all visitors.
- To support the work of the Church in the Parish and maintain regular Services.
- To encourage events and activities that increase interest in and knowledge of St Margaret’s Binsey.
- To be a point of contact for people unable to visit the Church regularly and participate in its services.
Would you like to help? Please consider joining the Friends of Binsey: your support for the Church will be greatly appreciated.
Our wonderful St Margaret of Antioch at Binsey continues to provide comfort and succour to people of all faiths and to those of none, as the many comments in the visitors book testify. The comments are in many languages including Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Greek, French and English. Comments such as: ‘Thank you for sharing this lovely quiet space’. ‘What a treasure to find this peaceful haven. It stands as a beautiful testimony to all the souls who have gone before us. Thank you for leaving it open’. ‘Lovely to come back again, after so many years. My first visits were as an undergraduate in the late 60s’. ‘I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in whatever, who ever inhabits this place. Thank you’. ‘I come for a top up of strength, thank you St Margarets’. ‘I visit this old and lovely church from time to time. I am a Muslim, but I love this church and find peace here. This is God’s place no matter what you call it’. ‘This is my place of peace; I know that God dwells in it’.
NEXT SERVICES AT BINSEY
We hope you will be able to join us.
Throughout the year there is Holy Eucharist on the fourth Sunday of the month at 9.00am.
Evensong is held during British Summer Time only on each Sunday at 4.30pm
SUNDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 2014
SUNDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2014
9.00am: Holy Eucharist
SUNDAY 5 OCTOBER 2014
SUNDAY 12 OCTOBER 2014
SUNDAY 19 OCTOBER 2014
GRAND DAY OUT
Friday 20 September 2014
Day of diocesan-wide celebration in Oxford.
See PDF leaflet
The day starts with Bishop John coming to St Margaret's Church, Binsey for Morning Prayer as part of his launch of the Thames Pilgrim Way
NEW BOOK ON BINSEY
Binsey: Oxford’s holy place – Its saint, village and people edited by Lydia Carr, Russell Dewhurst, and Martin Henig (Archaeopress and St Frideswide's PCC, 2014). 147pp, profusely illustrated in black and white and colour. Available at £20 + postage and packing.
There are ten contributions dealing with the archaeology, history, topography, people and literary connections of Binsey (Gerard Manley Hopkins and Lewis Carroll) and the church of St Margaret’s.
The Revd Professor Martin Henig was licensed as Associate Priest in the Osney benefice on 27 May 2014 by the Bishop of Oxford, The Rt Revd John Pritchard: Photographs
ST FRIDESWIDE'S CHURCH 2014
All at St Frideswide's Church on Thursdays at 7.30pm. £5 at the door includes a glass of wine and nibbles
25 September: "Trauer und Trost" (Sadness and Comfort) Organ Recital by Dorien Schouten
23 October: Organ Recital by Greg Wheele
Newman Pilgrimage: 22 June 2013
Pilgrims from St Margaret and St Giles,
North Oxford: Sunday 19 June 2013
OPEN LETTER FROM THE REVD CLARE SYKES, JUDITH BROWN, MARTIN HENIG, AND PHILIP BUDD
The vote on women bishops
ST FRIDESWIDE WITH BINSEY
St Frideswide, in partnership with our sister churches in the Benefice is launching a major fund-raising appeal. Our heating system is not fit for purpose; the church is very damp as a result, which is affecting our magnificent Hunter organ, which reacts badly to damp and high humidity. All this combines to make it difficult to use the church to its full potential, particularly in the winter months.
This combined with the need to replace the asbestos/concrete guttering on the north side of the church and with our desire to make the church look more welcoming by opening up the porch means that we are looking to raise £75,000 plus. Before proceeding with any work we canvassed our local communities, asking them about what St Frideswide meant to them and how they would like to use the church for both sacred or for secular activities. The response was a very positive ‘yes’ to making more use of the church and on the basis of this we have decided to go ahead with the fund-raising.
The Benefice’s churchwardens have met with the Rector, to discuss how best to proceed and how we can best tie together the essential work that is needed at St Lawrence and that at St Frideswide into a Benefice-wide effort that will work to the benefit of all local people, our congregations and other interested parties. And as churchwardens we would warmly welcome your help with this and your advice!
Anne James, Churchwarden
SERVICES OF BLESSINGS
AT THE WELL 2012
The well at St Margaret’s Binsey is often blessed throughout the year