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

Fr John writes ...


Last September we devoted a few Sundays to a simple exercise of saying “Hello”, greeting each other at the Sunday Masses. It helped us as a community to get to know each other’s name. For three Sundays in February we will again be invited to engage in a similar exercise. When we arrive at Mass we will be invited to take a name badge. It will give everyone a chance to learn each other’s names without having to ask – it makes it easier to say “Hello” to people we haven’t spoken to before. These are people whose faces we know, who we have offered the Sign of Peace too and see every Sunday at Mass.

So, all of us are encouraged to give this idea a try. When we arrive for mass we will have the opportunity to take a name badge. It will be a light hearted moment with a serious purpose. During the Mass, we will be reminded that we are all members of God’s beloved family because He has called each of us by name and called us to love each other in the same way.


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.