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 Christians 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 founder14 January
William John Butler, priest, Founder of the Community of St Mary the Virgin14 January
Charles Gore, bishop, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection17 January
Mother Millicent Mary S.P.B., religious founder19 January
Roland Allen, priest27 January
Mother Harriet C.S.M.V., religious29 January
Christopher Wordsworth, bishop, scholar20 March
Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Reformation martyr21 March
Mother Harriet Monsell C.S.J.B., Founder of the Community of St John Baptist26 March
Thomas Scott, priest, teacher, missionary12 April
Ronald Hall, Bishop, Missionary22 April
Robert French Laurence, priest, social reformer23 April
Edith Barfoot30 April
Annora of Iffley, anchoress, 13th century8 May
Blessed Hugh Faringdon, abbot, martyr13 May
Charles Williams, teacher, spiritual writer15 May
John and Charles Wesley, evangelists and hymn writers24 May
Thomas Harding, martyr30 May
Mother Marian Hughes, religious6 June
Rosemary Spooner9 June
John Keble, priest, Tractarian, poet14 July
Samuel Wilberforce, bishop19 July
John Henry Newman, priest, Tractarian11 August
St Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester, Apostle of Wessex4 September
Edward Bouverie Pusey, priest, Tractarian16 September
George Kennedy Allen Bell , bishop, ecumenist3 October
Thomas Clarke, priest, evangelist4 October
William Tyndale, martyr, translator of the scriptures6 October
Thomas Traherne, poet, spiritual writer10 October
Austin Farrer, priest, scholar11 October
St Frideswide, religious, Abbess of Oxford19 October
Thomas Thellusson Carter, priest27 October
Richard Hooker, priest, apologist3 November
St Edmund (Rich) of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury16 November
CS Lewis, evangelist, teacher, spiritual writer22 November
John Wyclif, Reformer3t December