ST SWITHUN WELLS
For generations the Catholic community in the Fair Oak area of Hampshire was dependent for its leadership on the Wells family who owned Brambridge House on the road between Otterbourne and Twyford.
From Tudor times until the 18th century (when the house passed to their cousins, the Smythes who continued the catholic tradition) the family maintained a private chapel which served as a Mass Centre for local Catholics.
St Swithun Wells Church was consecrated in 1978.
Our local saint was one of the 40 martyrs canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970. He was born at Brambridge, between Otterbourne and Twyford in Hampshire in 1536 and was a teacher who spent most of his life teaching boys who were to become missionary priests.
His association with these priests and the opportunities he provided for priests to say mass in his house led to his arrest and subsequent execution during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the 1st.
St Swithun Wells feast-day is 10th December.