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Update on Oxford Winter Night Shelter and the Living Room

Winter Night Shelter 2022
OWNS did not run a night shelter during January and February.  This was because many rough sleepers were accommodated in hotels, extended due to the new variant of Covid.  However, by the end of February, exacerbated by the end of the lease on the Youth Hostel, Oxford City Council asked us to run a shelter for March.  We had already made contingency plans, including negotiating for the single use of the Cabin, at St Ebbe’s.  They have been very generous towards us and we are most grateful to them. 
At such short notice (a week) we had to muster sufficient volunteers to fill all the slots, as well as liaise with OCC regarding referrals.  In the event almost all the guests were self referred, i.e. they were already engaged with The Living Room.
The cabin had 8 beds on offer, although there were never more than 5 guests at any one time.  It ran well and was appreciated by our guests.  Thanks are due to our amazing volunteers who worked, in some cases, many shifts in order to keep things running. 
The plan was to close on 31st March, but due to the forecasted cold weather, and other venues not being available, we agreed to run for a further three nights, by which time the weather had become milder.
 
The Living Room
Since opening in September, 2021, The Living Room has offered day time sanctuary to homeless people who, for all sorts of reasons, are not engaging fully with other agencies – the hard to reach.  We have seen some real transformation in our guests’ lives.  Some have moved into accommodation, started courses, and grown in self-esteem.  But also, The Living Room has become a real community, with guests supporting each other.
We depend on a team of dedicated volunteers who are supported by Russell Hemmings our Centre Manager.  We initially opened three days a week, but increased that to four in January.  Opening days are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 9.30 – 12.-00 and 1.30 – 4.00.
We are extremely grateful to our donors, without whose support we could not offer either of these services.

The future
OCC have now commissioned Floyds Row for triage and short term emergency accommodation.  At this point it is possible this building would serve as a winter night shelter/SWEP venue.  However, nothing is certain and OWNS are already sounding out a venue to use should it be required.
The Living Room has now become our main focus and it would be good to open more days.  However, this will depend on funding as salaries are our major expenditure.  Because of the growing sense of community, we hope to arrange a summer outing and, working in partnership with St Clements’ PPT, use the Mish for games etc from time to time.
 
For more information please see the OWNS website: www.ownsoxford.org.uk

Glenys
Hello and welcome to our church. If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

This church welcomes you!

 

church front red - Copy

Who are we?

  • All ages, different backgrounds
  • A mix; visitors, new church members, some with lifetime experience
  • An informal church, accepting people as they are


Coming to a 10.30am Sunday service

  • For directions please see the directions page
  • Aim to turn up around 10.25 a.m. (but sometimes we’re late too!)
  • You’ll be met at the door by a friendly face
  • We are a friendly bunch, if you’re unsure of something, please ask!
  • Please be who you are, not someone you aren’t!
  • Please note that things are a bit different at the moment due to Covid restrictions but you are still assured a warm welcome! Check the latest arrangements on our 'Church during Covid 19' page

What to expect


Our aim: whether you’re looking at Christianity for the first time or have been a Christian for many years,
we want you to be encouraged and inspired by a morning with us.
We hope we will all draw closer to God as a result.
 

Here’s a quick summary:

  • We start at 10.30am with a few notices of coming events, followed by silent reflection
  • The service lasts until about 11.30am
  • Our worship blends Bible reading and prayer with traditional hymns and modern songs
  • Everyone can participate in the worship
  • The average size of our congregation on a Sunday morning is around 50 people
  • At 11am young people go to their own groups, there are also crèche facilities. The church implements a strong Safeguarding policy
  • We have a talk from the bible that is relevant and meaningful to our lives
  • We share the Lord’s Supper together as part of the service (first and third Sundays); we explain this as we take part
  • After our service tea and coffee are served; some services are followed by a lunch
A&S sunday 25092017
 

What we believe


We are a Christian church and believe all can have relationship with God.
We believe this can happen because of Jesus, who invites us to follow him.
 

Is it just Sundays?


Absolutely not! God is with us all week long and we aim to lead lives that show it. We’re not perfect and we do make mistakes, but we want to make a positive difference in everything we do.
 

For those with disabilities


We aim to be an all-inclusive church and to meet the needs of all who use our building.
Our premises are accessible for those with disabilities. We have a loop for the hearing impaired.
For disabled parking or for other specific needs please contact the church office