Roman Catholic Parish of St James and St William of York Reading

St James Information Board: A new Information Board has been erected outside St James. It tells the story of the church with maps, diagrams, photographs. Visitors can now read about the architect A.W.N. Pugin, the location in the ruins of the Benedictine Abbey, the martyrdom of Bl Hugh Faringdon and our connection to the pilgrimage to Santiago Compostella in Spain. Click here for more details.

Reading Pastoral Area Sacrament of Confirmation Information is now available. For further details and application form please click here

Fr John writes ...


Today is a day when all of us are invited to reflect on the meaning of God’s call and to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  Jesus is the Good Shepherd.  He laid down his life for the flock, that is, you and me. He invites all of us to care for the flock in our own way and in our own place. But he also calls some from among us to a life long commitment as priests and religious. Pope Francis has called on us priests to be “SHEPHERDS WITH THE SMELL OF SHEEP”. We are called to help sow the seeds in the Kingdom of God, to a life of service and love.  Today we offer a personal invitation to all to become active fulltime disciples in the Lord’s vineyard, to explore a vocation and live as a priest or religious.


Welcome to our Parish 

St James

St William of York

Welcome to our parish website. We hope the list of services, activities, organisations and ministries will give you an overview of life in our parish community. We strive to promote a welcoming, loving and  prayerful atmosphere in our parish. We are blessed to have people from many different nations and cultures. On Pentecost Sunday we have an ‘International Mass’ to celebrate our diversity and faith heritages. Our two churches are the venues for Masses for the Goan (Konkani), Ukrainian, Ordinariate and Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) communities.

St James Church is built within the ruins of the great Benedictine Abbey, today we continue the practice of the monks to celebrate the Sacred Liturgy in Word and Sacrament. The church was built between 1837 and 1840, the architect was A W Pugin. On 14th December 2012 the community celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving on the 175th Anniversary of the Laying of the Foundation Stone and the recent restoration work in the church.  Bishop Philip Egan presided at the concelebrated Mass. To the locals in Reading this church is known as ‘the church next to the prison’.

St William of York Church was built in 1906. In addition to the people of this church community it is also home to the catholic students of Reading University and the  Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP).The catholic students have a full time Chaplain, Sabine Schwartz, the Chaplaincy is opposite to St Williams Church. The FSSP has two priests in their community, currently Fr Armand de Malleray and Fr Matthew Goddard who live nearby.

Thank you for reading our parish website. May God bless you now and always.