History of the Diocese

Calendar of Commemoration

All Christians are called to be holy (1 Peter 1:15) and in the New Testament the term ‘saints’ is used to describe members of the Christian community as people ‘set apart’ in Christ Jesus to live consecrated lives. Gradually, the word came to be used to describe those Christians who had lived exemplary lives and had died but are now alive with God in heaven.

Over the centuries, the Christian Church has recognised or ‘canonised’ people of great holiness, sometimes by a formal process and sometimes by popular acclamation or local custom. There are saints who are universally recognised and those whose lives are normally recognised in particular countries, churches, dioceses or religious communities. The Common Worship Calendar contains a variety of such saints and some of these have had a particular connection with the Diocese of Oxford (Charles Gore, Thomas Cranmer, Harriet Monsell, John and Charles Wesley, John Keble, John Henry Newman, St Birinus, Edward Pusey, William Tyndale, Thomas Traherne, Richard Hooker, St Edmund of Abingdon, John Wyclif).

The names included in this Diocesan Calendar with short biographies are those who had a definite link with our Diocese and whose lives of holiness have enriched the life of the church in their witness to Christ. This may be through the things they said or did, in the way they lived their lives or the way in which they died. Such lives often witness to God’s love and grace, proclaim the truth of the gospel and bring others closer to God.

As we embrace the principles of Sharing Life, we are called to live our lives centred on God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to reach out to the world and its needs, to seek new ways of connecting with people and to be serious about our Christian discipleship. We give thanks for the lives and examples of those in our Diocese who have lived such lives and we rejoice in the communion of saints that unites the church on earth with the church in heaven.

All entries are Commemorations and at the Daily Office and Eucharist, the Collect, written by the Very Revd Robert Jeffrey, may be used.


Richard Meux Benson S.S.J.E., priest, religious founder 14th January
William John Butler, priest, Founder of the Community of St Mary the Virgin 14th January
Charles Gore, bishop, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection 17th January
Mother Millicent Mary S.P.B., religious founder 19th January
Roland Allen, priest 27th January
Mother Harriet C.S.M.V., religious 29th January
Christopher Wordsworth, bishop, scholar 20th March
Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Reformation martyr 21st March
Mother Harriet Monsell C.S.J.B., Founder of the Community of St John Baptist 26th March
Thomas Scott, priest, teacher, missionary 12th April
Ronald Hall, Bishop, Missionary 22 April
Robert French Laurence, priest, social reformer 23rd April
Edith Barfoot 30th April
Annora of Iffley, anchoress, 13th century 8th May
Blessed Hugh Faringdon, abbot, martyr 13th May
Charles Williams, teacher, spiritual writer 15th May
John and Charles Wesley, evangelists and hymn writers 24th May
Thomas Harding, martyr 30th May
Mother Marian Hughes, religious 6th June
Rosemary Spooner 9th June
John Keble, priest, Tractarian, poet 14th July
Samuel Wilberforce, bishop 19th July
John Henry Newman, priest, Tractarian 11th August
St Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester, Apostle of Wessex 4th September
Edward Bouverie Pusey, priest, Tractarian 16th September
George Kennedy Allen Bell , bishop, ecumenist 3rd October
Thomas Clarke, priest, evangelist 4th October
William Tyndale, martyr, translator of the scriptures 6th October
Thomas Traherne, poet, spiritual writer 10th October
Austin Farrer, priest, scholar 11th October
St Frideswide, religious, Abbess of Oxford 19th October
Thomas Thellusson Carter, priest 27th October
Richard Hooker, priest, apologist 3rd November
St Edmund (Rich) of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury 16th November
C.S. Lewis, evangelist, teacher, spiritual writer 22nd November
John Wyclif, Reformer 31st December