Welcome to Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church


We live in a world of acronyms - from government bodies to educational shorthand; why should we use letters when we can use words? I think that we have fallen victims to this trend. Years ago our parish and its church were called ‘English Martyrs’, The Catholic’ or ‘The Big Church’, but of late ‘Our Lady and the English Martyrs’ has become quite simply OLEM. So, if, as a visitor from outside our area, you see such references across our site, don’t be puzzled. For one reason or another its now as acceptable a title as its predecessors.


Websites do a number of things. They provide straightforward information about mass times and contact names. They fill in the details of what happens in the parish, but, hopefully, above all they give something of the flavour of our church and parish - what makes us tick, what makes us unique, how we live our Christian lives.


But websites, like newspapers are only as up to date as the current edition. Once we notice ‘Last updated June 2010’ we say to ourselves, ‘Seemed like a good idea at the time, but   ‘. That’s why we include the weekly parish newsletter, and any supplements that are relevant. And we’d like to hear from you, if you have any constructive comments about how we might improve it in the future.


Ours is a large parish - each Sunday, as well as those who worship with us year in and year out are students from our universities, colleges and language schools, and a steady, and often quite large stream of visitors. In a church with multiple resources and talents, we try in our liturgy, to reflect the diverse needs of the many people who pass through our doors. It is perhaps, our way of trying to respond to the words of Pope John Paul in his Apostolic Letter Novo MiiIennio Inuente:


To make the church the home and the school of communion: that is the great challenge facing us, if we wish to be faithful to God’s plan and respond to the world’s deepest yearnings’ #43


So, whether you visit our website or the church itself, we hope you will have some sense of being at home among us. Let me conclude with further thoughts of Pope John Paul II on what he calls ‘the spirituality of communion’


…we need to provide a spirituality of communion making it the guiding principle of education wherever individuals and Christians are formed, wherever ministers of the altar, consecrated persons or pastoral workers are trained, wherever families are being built up.’ #43.