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Our Parish

The Parish of St. John the Evangelist

Saint John the Evangelist is a vibrant parish in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside.  Our church is open each day, not only for liturgies, but also for private prayer and meditation.  If you are in Banbury, please come and visit our beautiful church.
St John's church, constructed in 1838, was one of thirty-five Catholic churches built in England between the years 1837 & 1845 and is a great witness to the growth of the Catholic Church in this area a

It was designed by the Oxford-based architects  Hickman and Derick.  The furnishings in the Sanctuary and stained glass windows are however, attributed to Augustus Welby Pugin.  Inevitably the church has been reordered and various re-decorative alterations have taken place during the history of St. John’s.  The most recent, in 2010, saw the restoration of colour schemes that are more in keeping with Pugin’s original designs at the time. 

St. John's is a Catholic School and teaching is given in accordance with the doctrine of the Catholic Church. We view religious education as a journey of faith formation involving every member of the school community, together with the pupil's family and parish community.




The liturgical life of the Catholic Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments.

There are seven sacraments in total. At school the children receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Our celebrations of the sacraments are signs of Jesus' presence in our lives and a means for receiving his grace.

At St. John's we believe that it is important for children of the Catholic faith to take part in the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation. The children have an excellent understanding of how taking part in these sacraments provide a greater relationship between themselves and God.

The Sacraments

Sacrament of Reconciliation

This Sacrament focusses on the asking for God's mercy and forgiveness for the sins that have been committed. The confession of sins enables the children to be forgiven and reconcile themselves with God.

Children in Year 3 receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. They start preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the month of September in Year 3.

Sacrament of Holy Communion

This Sacrament focusses on the Eucharist which nourishes our life of faith. The signs of the bread and wine we receive are the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

Children in Year 3 receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion. They start preparing for the Sacrament of Holy Communion in May during Year 3.

The preparation takes place during RE lessons and there are also meetings between school, parents and the parish priest. These sacraments are widely celebrated by the entire school and parish community.


The children start their preparation in year 6, via their RE lessons, ready to receive the Sacrament during the school year.

The Sacrament of Confirmation is administered every year and conferred through anointing with chrism and the laying on of hands.

Once again, there are meetings between school, parents and parish priest in order to assist parents with preparing their children. The children are extremely excited about encouraging all their family and friends to come join them in church on the night of their confirmation.