Building » Bourton-on-the-Water – Our Lady Help of Christians

Bourton-on-the-Water – Our Lady Help of Christians

Station Road, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire GL54

A simple, functional church-cum-hall of 1960, intended to serve a more substantial permanent church which has never been built.

In 1662 Charles Trinder, a lawyer and Recorder of Gloucestershire (and later lord of the manor), established a resident priest at the Manor House in Bourton. The mission established by Trinder lasted for seventy five years, and was mainly served by Benedictine monks.

The present church traces its origins back to 1927 when Henry James (‘Jim’) Barnes and his wife Mary settled in Bourton. Mary taught small groups at her house to which the parish priest from Chipping Camden came occasionally. During the Second World War, as in the First, Bourton received refugees from Belgium, so regular Masses began to be said at the Barnes’ home and later in the front room of that of Dr Liston. In 1940 Mass was said in private houses and in 1942 the newly-appointed priest at Stow determined that a Mass centre should be provided at Bourton and the Church of England hall was duly rented. After the war fundraising was begun and in 1957 a large site in Station Road was acquired, and building work on the present church-cum-hall started in May 1960. The first Mass in the new church was on 9 October the same year. There were ambitions to build a more substantial church and a presbytery but these have not materialised. The roof covering was replaced in the early 1990s (it is thought) but the new thick concrete tiles were too heavy for the roof structure and internal strengthening had to be carried out, hence the two steel rectangular hollow section supports on either side. The church is served from Stow.


The church has a nave and sanctuary in one plus a sacristy on the right. The walls are of artificial stone and the building is roofed with concrete tiles and has metal-framed windows. The entrance frontage has a raised gabled parapet incorporating a crucifix.  The interior is simply appointed and is seated with chairs. There are no fixtures or fittings requiring particular mention.

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established

Original Date: 1960

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed