About The Oxford University Catholic Chaplaincy
The Oxford University Catholic Chaplaincy building is situated in the heart of Oxford, in Rose Place just off St Aldate’s. It offers a range of conference facilities for groups large and small, and can provide holiday accommodation for both individuals and families. You have a choice of Single, Twin, Double and Ensuite Rooms available in one of the most historic and atmospheric buildings.
The Old Palace, the current home of the Catholic Chaplains to the students and other Oxford University members, was the residence of the first Bishop of Oxford, Bishop King, in the 1540s.
Its present impressive frontage dates from 1628, and the interior includes vestiges of both the earlier occupancy and the more ornate decorations of the Jacobean period, with the ceiling of the ‘Blue Room’ being the most striking.
Before the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales had given formal permission to Catholics to attend Oxford, a group of Catholic undergraduates found the Oxford University Catholic Club (soon after to be renamed the Newman Society).
In 1917, the Newman Trust, founded in 1904 to support the Chapel and the Chaplaincy, purchases the Old Palace in Rose Place, St Aldates. The purchase is made possible by the gift of another Oxford property to the Trust by the Duke of Norfolk.
Following the restoration of the Old Palace in 1920, Fr Arthur Stapylton Barnes, the fourth Chaplain, moved in. The Chapel opened on the second floor (the current Assistant Chaplain’s room), and the Newman Society hold their meetings in what we now know as the Blue Room.
The buildings that we know today, with the Chapel and the Newman Room and the library and student accommodation, were opened in 1972 – following redevelopment and expansion to accommodate the increasing number of Catholic students.