Charlbury - St Terese of Lisieux

Fishers Lane, Charlbury, Oxfordshire OX7

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A small, plain, stone-built mid-nineteenth century chapel, built for the Primitive Methodists and acquired for Catholic use in 1931. It has recently (2000) been sympathetically extended. The church and its setting make a positive contribution to the local conservation area.

The parish has its origins in the mission established at Kiddington Hall, home of the recusant Browne family, where a Catholic chapel was served mainly by Benedictines. In 1841 the family contributed to the cost of a chapel at nearby Radford, a project overseen by the Rev. Patrick Heffernan (builder also of churches at Heythrop and Chipping Norton), from designs supplied by A. W. Pugin. A convent and school were also established.

The church in Charlbury was built in 1853 as a Primitive Methodist chapel. When acquired for Catholic use in 1931 it had lately been in use as a laundry. In 1938 it was placed under the parish of Radford (Enstone), but this was reversed in 1969 when Charlbury was made the centre of the parish and the remotely-located Pugin church at Radford closed. According to the parish history, the pews from there were taken to Charlbury.

In 2000 the church was extended by the addition of an apsidal sanctuary and a lean-to on the side (builder S. B. Harris of Charlbury). Pews were given by the Convent of Notre Dame at Oxford, supplemented by replicas made by Hayes & Finch.

A plain stone-built chapel, of rubble construction with ashlar quoins, under a shallow slate roof. It consists of a rectangular nave of 1853 and an apsidal chancel added in 2000 in contextual style. A rendered and painted lean-to addition on the south side also dates from 2000. On the west front is a central arched doorway with fanlight flanked by two large arched windows. In the gable is a stone tablet, any inscription now too eroded to be legible. The north side has a central arched window, and alongside this a boarded door with timber lintel, a later insertion.

The internal space is plain, with white painted plaster wall finishes, a flat ceiling in the nave and a shallow vaulted ceiling in the modern apsidal sanctuary.  Around the wide sanctuary arch is painted floral decoration. Furnishings are said to include pews from the Pugin chapel at Radford.

Diocese: Birmingham

Architect: Not known

Original Date: 1853

Conservation Area: Yes

Modifications: 1961

Listed Grade: Not listed