St Margaret of Antioch, Binsey
Who Are We?
You can find the Church of St. Margaret of Antioch in the small, beautiful rural hamlet of Binsey. It has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries and many people still visit St. Margaret’s to rest, and pray and wonder.
The medieval church building is simple and unspoilt and thought to be the resting place of St. Frideswide and her maidens as she fled from her suitor Prince Algar. The adjacent ‘Treacle well’ gave Charles Dodgson inspiration for part of his Alice in Wonderland story.
St. Margaret of Antioch is part of the St. Frideswide with Binsey Parish, which includes St Frideswide Church, and is run by the Parochial Church Council.
There is a traditional said service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer on the fourth Sunday of every month at 9.00am. During British Summer Time (end of March to end of October) there is also a service of Evening Prayer (also BCP) every Sunday at 4.30pm.
Getting Married at St Margaret's:
St Margaret’s is not licensed for weddings (rather like Oxford College Chapels), so couples who have a qualifying connection with the parish and would like to be married there have to apply for an Archbishop’s special license in order to do so. You can find out more about an Archbishop's special license on this site www.facultyoffice.org
To establish a qualifying connection with St Margaret you need to show habitual worship there for more than six months, so, dependent upon when a couple is planning to marry, that might be possible. St Margaret’s has weekly evensongs on Sundays at 4.30pm from March to October and a monthly service of Holy Communion at 9am on the fourth Sunday of the month.
St. Margaret’s seats about 80 people and has no facilities – parking, heat, electricity, water or toilets. St Frideswide on the Botley Road is the other church in the parish and is 1.5 miles away, with facilities, but no parking.
The church is opened daily and has an open churchyard
The church has no facilities
The book, Binsey, Oxford’s Holy Place, its Saint, Village and People is available to purchase priced £20.00 from The Osney Benefice office, 81 West Way, Botley, Oxford. OX2 9JY or email firstname.lastname@example.org
View a 360˚ image of St Magaret of Antioch here.
Friends of Binsey
St Margaret of Antioch, Binsey, is supported by the Friends of Binsey. You can learn more about them at this page.
Binsey as a place to live
Binsey is a close knit and friendly village with a long history and popular attractions. To find out more about Binsey Village, their website has more information, particularly about the popular Binsey Fete.
Stories about the church and its well
A Medieval healing miracle at St Margaret's Well
A woman named Brichtiva from the vicinity of Northampton had lost hearing in her right ear for a full year and ten weeks. When she had come to the church of the holy virgin to recover her health, those standing round urged her to go to the well that the blessed virgin had obtained from the Lord during her lifetime by her prayers, which is about a mile from the city. She immediately walked there, and filled her ears with water from the well. A ringing in her ears and a tribulation of itching immediately followed. She inserted a stalk into her ear, and drew out a small portion of flesh. She had received the gift of hearing perfectly. She returned to the church, blessing God, and showed all who were present that she was cured.
Bodl. MS Digby 177, fol. 16v.