Newbury

Anglican parochial organisation

Newbury is an Anglican deanery, under the archdeaconry of Berkshire, within (since 1836) the diocese of Oxford. Before 1836 it belonged to the diocese of Salisbury.

Anglican churches

See under Links on page 2 for individual church websites.

St Nicolas, Newbury’s town parish church, built at the beginning of the sixteenth century. It has a churchyard, part of which was dismantled and used to build a church hall in the 1980s.

Newbury-St-Nicolas

St John the Evangelist is a 1950s building of red brick, sited at a major road junction south of the town centre. It replaced a Victorian predecessor destroyed by enemy action in 1943.

St Mary, Greenham, dates mostly from 1875-76, when Victorian renovation obliterated a much older chapel.

St Mary the Virgin, Shaw-cum-Donnington, was built in 1840-42, replacing a church of great antiquity.

St Mary the Virgin, Speen, was renovated in mid-Victorian times, but has interesting monuments going back to the early eighteenth century.

St Mary, Speenhamland, was built in 1830 on the London Road. It was demolished in 1976.

St George the Martyr, Wash Common, was begun in 1933 and completed in 1965, replacing the tiny mission church of St Luke’s which had served Wash Common since the late nineteenth century (and which still stands as a theatre). The parish was carved out from those of Enborne and St John. It has no churchyard.

Other churches

The Roman Catholic church of St Joseph dates from 1928, but its predecessor of 1864 still stands alongside. There was a mission in the town before 1864. In 1968 the Catholic parish of St Francis de Sales was formed in Wash Common, and a church was opened in 1970.

In 1697 the Presbyterians built the Lower Meeting House on the north bank of the river, east of Northbrook Street. In 1924 this chapel was recorded as mainly Unitarian. It was pulled down in 1960.

The Independents, as they were at first known, built their first chapel in Newbury in 1717, known as the Upper Meeting House. The present URC church (Congregational until 1972) in Cromwell Place was built around 1960, replacing a church of 1822.

By 1669, and probably before, there was a very small Baptist congregation at Newbury, which licensed a new meeting house in Northcroft Lane in 1702. The Baptist church of 1859 in Northbrook St was demolished in the 1930s, and replaced with a new building in Cheap St.

The first Methodist chapel was in Wharf Road. The present Wesleyan chapel was built in 1838 in Northbrook St and still stands. In the mid-nineteenth century it had a school attached. Stroud Green, in Greenham also had a Methodist chapel at one time. Primitive Methodists were active in Newbury from 1830, but did not have a chapel until about 1887; it was demolished after gale damage in the 1940s. A Primitive Methodist chapel which opened in Wash Common in 1844 lay (technically) in Enborne until the boundary move of 1934 brought it into Newbury. The chapel was demolished in 1990, but a plaque marks the spot.

Newbury’s original Quaker meeting house stood in Bartholomew St, later moving to Highfield Avenue, behind the bus station, and near the old burial ground site. The area is likely to undergo redevelopment soon.

Additional information