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Church History

Baptists first began to meet together in the mid-1650s, generally in the homes of their members.

In the early 1700s they joined with other Dissenters and began meeting on the present site of New Road Baptist Church.  The members issued a ground-breaking Church Covenant in 1780, describing themselves as ‘a Protestant Catholic Church of Christ’.

Our Covenant of 1780 can be found here.


In 1798 a new two-storey building was erected. This forms the core of the church building as it now stands.  Major enlargements and improvements to the building took place in 1819 (at which point the pillars and architrave on the front of the church were added) and again in 1982 when the striking central cross was installed. The developments of 1982 included the creation of a suite of rooms extending over four floors and the creation of a “coffee shop”, known as The Mint House because of its proximity to the location of Charles I's Royal Mint in New Inn Hall Street. This Mint House building was also the site of the original Quaker Meeting House in Oxford, first established by Richard Bettris (c. 1606-1682), a dissenting colleague of our first pastor Richard Tidmarsh.  For more on this see the article by Larry Kreitzer published in Oxoniensia 73 (2008) located here. 

An essay collection, published to mark the church’s 350th anniversary in 2003, looks at different episodes and eras in the church’s history. A copy of this is available here.
Larry Kreitzer’s presentation “Who do we think we are” that was used in our 2012 Anniversary service can be downloaded here.

Most recently, in 2008 the forecourt of the church was opened to form part of the new Bonn Square development project, placing the church at the heart of one of Oxford’s public squares.

The chapel is a grade II listed building.
More information on this cross and some of the other sanctuary art can be found in this leaflet.
More information on pictures of the chapel from the 19th century can be found in this leaflet.
A brief history of the Mint House (the building above the newsagent on 1 New Inn Hall Street) can be found here.  

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