An update from Steve Jones, pastor of Oxford Community Church, about the work that he is currently involved with in the city of Oxford.

About 15 years ago, Oxford Community Church received an inspiring word about the church becoming ‘a rudder to the city.’ In the last few years, we’ve learnt more about how to do that, and have pioneered Renew Oxford events (renewoxford.org) as a way of galvanising the city’s churches to make their best contribution to the city of Oxford. Then, more personally, as I’ve handed over some responsibilities in the last 6 months, I’ve had a bit more time to pursue these things, and that has led to some pleasing developments:

  • A group of 15 Oxford churches have now formed a partnership with the charity, Safe Families, to serve the city’s most vulnerable children.
  • Fresh energy is being put into mapping all of Oxford churches, which has revealed that more than 40 new churches have been planted in the city since the year 2000, with most of these being led by migrants to the UK.

Since the New Year, I have shared this information with senior managers at Oxfordshire County Council, leading them to recognise that new channels need to be created that will allow the county’s new churches to engage well in public life. Please pray for wisdom to know how to respond to the doors that are opening, and for God to reveal fresh insight into his plans for the future of our county.