Faiths, Belief Groups & Religious Centres in Oxford
Below you can find information and contact details for the different faiths, belief groups and religious centres of all denominations and none represented at the University and/or the wider city.
- Church of England
Church of England
The University Church of St Mary the Virgin is situated on the north side of the High Street. It is the centre from which the University of Oxford grew and its parish consists almost exclusively of university and college buildings. The main Sunday service is at 10:30 am. The church is open to visitors throughout the year from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (July and August 9:00 am – 6:00 pm). On Sundays the tower does not open until after the morning services. A German Lutheran service is held on the first Sunday of each month (except January and August).
St Aldate’s Church, located opposite Christ Church College provides a full schedule of events throughout the year and runs three services every Sunday. Courses and sessions are catered towards a variety of audiences, including Undergraduate- and Postgraduate-specific pastorates for Bible Study and theological discussion. For more information please see their website
St Ebbe’s is a Church of England parish church, and has a conservative evangelical tradition, participating in the Anglican Reform movement. It has members from many nations, many of whom are students at the University.
The University also has an Intercollegiate Christian Union.
The Catholic Chaplaincy on St Aldate’s welcomes students, academics and all those who may find the Chaplaincy a support on their journey of faith, where Mass is said daily during term. There is also St Aloysius Oratarians and Blackfriars Dominicans, which are located closer to the College.
Newman Society: Oxford University Catholic Society exists to work in conjuncton with the Chaplains to support and encourage Catholic students in their Christian vocation by promoting their personal, intellectual and spiritual developement, social interaction, and apostolic witness within the board context of their university experience. It also seeks to establish and maintain links with other religious groups within the University.
The Oxford University Islamic Society serves as the focal point for both Muslim students and staff and those wanting to find out more about Islam in Oxford. We have an open and diverse membership and have a reputation for being amongst the university’s most vibrant and active societies.There are plenty of religious and non-religious weekly activities, from Friday prayer (during term time) and special guest speakers, to football and dinner parties. To join the mailing list and stay informed of future and ongoing events, and general information for freshers/new academics, see: www.facebook.com/ouisoc
Muslim students and staff at Oxford University have their own dedicated prayer space. The prayer space is located in the University’s Robert Hooke building, Parks Road. If you aren’t a member of OUIsoc, and wish to register for access please contact the Islamic Society via their Facebook page.
The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OxCIS) provides a meeting point between the Islamic and Western worlds of learning. Through good scholarship it promotes a more informed understanding of Islam – its culture and civilisation. The centre is a Recognised Independent Centre of the University of Oxford.
The Centre provides a meeting point for the Western and Islamic worlds of learning. At Oxford it contributes to the multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary study of the Islamic world. Beyond Oxford, its role is strengthened by a developing international network of academic contacts. The work of the Centre has attracted global attention and widespread support. The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies regularly hold Lectures, Seminars and Classes on topics pertaining to Islamic knowledge. For more information see: www.oxcis.ac.uk/
A list of mosques in Oxford.
The Oxford University Jewish Society is the representative body for Jewish students for both the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes. We aim to cater for the religious, cultural and social requirements of our members. There is an Oxford Jewish Chaplaincy for all Jewish students. This year is led by Rabbi Friedman and his wife Hannah Friedman, who are members of the SCR at St Hugh’s.
In addition students are also welcome to contact the Chabad Society. Oxford Chabad Society is a registered Society at the University of Oxford. The Society is associated to the Oxford Chabad House and has an active student representation. The Chabad Society hosts high profile national and international guest speakers during university terms and holds open Shabbat dinners every Friday night at no charge to Oxford students.
The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies is a Recognized Independent Centre of the University of Oxford. Its mission is to provide an outstanding curriculum of Hebrew and Jewish studies at one of the world’s leading universities and to promote knowledge and understanding about Jewish history, religion, and culture, as well as about Jewish interactions with and contributions to other cultures.
Although there is no central organisation or place of worship for the Hindu community in Oxford, this section lists different programmes of worship and sanga (spiritual association) developed by the community.
The Oxford Hindu Temple & Community Centre Project (OHTCCP) has as its ultimate goal the building of a Hindu Temple/Community Centre in Oxford to serve all members of the Hindu Community in Oxfordshire.
Hum Soc is the University of Oxford’s Hindu Society. HUM aims to cater for the needs of the Hindu, and by extension Indian, population in Oxford by providing religious, social, and cultural events appropriate to the traditions and customs of Hindu life. HUM is a student run society, which does not affiliate itself, nor promote the agenda of any political party.
The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (OCHS) is a Recognised Independent Centre of Oxford University. It is an academic centre for the study of Hindu culture through a comprehensive programme of education, publishing, and research. The OCHS offers courses in Hinduism for the general public through its Continuing Education Department. It is also the home of the Hindu Chaplaincy to Oxford University.
The Hindu Chaplaincy, is housed at the OCHS, and works in cooperation with HUM, the Young Jains Students Oxford, the OHTCCP, and Guru Kripa Kshetra. The Chaplaincy encourages meetings and discussions among students, and provides pastoral care in areas of spiritual and cultural concern. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oxford University Buddhist Society (Budsoc) offers weekly meditation classes (free of charge) throughout all three Oxford terms, as well as speaker events on areas relating to meditation and Buddhist theory. They practice Samatha meditation. All are welcome. Please email email@example.com for information about the classes.
Oxford Atheists, Secularists and Humanists is a merger of the Oxford Secular Society (founded 2006) and the Oxford Atheist Society (founded 2008). The combined Society exists to promote and improve the understanding and discussion of Atheism, Secularism and Humanism, recognising that these are distinct traditions. The society is open to everyone, students and Oxford residents, regardless of their personal religious or political beliefs.
If you would like to learn more about the Baha’i Faith and the activities of the Oxford Baha’i community, please contact the Secretary of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Oxford: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oxford University Baha’i Society exists to promote the study of the history, teachings and philosophy of the Baha’i Faith and their application to contemporary issues. The OUBS hosts regular events, often in collaboration with students at Oxford Brookes University, that are of particular interest to students but open to all members of the public.
- Latter-day Saints
The Latter-day Saint Student Association (LDSSA) aims to provide students with a framework for a Christ-centered spiritual life during their time at Oxford. It is an officially registered Oxford University student society, and is run in coordination with the Reading Stake Young Single Adult (YSA) programme.
The churches known collectively as the Oxford Methodist Circuit are to be found in Oxford and its surrounding villages. The circuit shares five ordained ministers, five active retired ministers, four lay workers, over twenty-five local and a large body of volunteer lay people in organisation and administration. Visitors and new members are always welcome in all the churches!
- Orthodox Christianity
Oxford Unitarians meet every Sunday from 11 am to 12 noon in the chapel of Harris Manchester College in Mansfield Road, central Oxford (OX1 3TD). They welcome members of the public and the university, of all faiths and denominations or none. Their religious faith does not require adherence to a fixed creed. They believe that religion is wider than any one sect, and deeper than any one set of opinions. They find a basis for unity in a shared search for truth, reverence for life, and a mutual respect for sincerely held beliefs. Everyone is welcome, regardless of gender, age, race, religion, or sexual orientation. The Oxford Unitarians aspire to be a caring religious community in which they value people for their diversity and encourage freedom of thought and spiritual exploration.
- United Reformism
The URC is a trinitarian church whose theological roots are Calvinist and whose historical and organisational roots are in the Presbyterian (Reformed), Congregational and Churches of Christ traditions. Its Basis of Union contains “A statement concerning the nature, faith and order of the United Reformed Church”, setting out its belief in a condensed form. Oxfords UR Church is St Columba’s located just off the High Street. For further information concerning services, please see their website http://www.saintcolumbas.org/home
The central focus of Quaker spirituality is on experience. They have no creed and no expectation of any particular belief. However they share values and practices that are important to us: in particular our religious practice based on waiting in stillness; listening to each other and to inner light. Quakers also share a commitment to a testimony to peace, truth, equality, simplicity and sustainability. Quaker testimony is not just about holding these values to be important; it is about a way of living and of acting in the world.
For information on where to worship see: http://www.oxfordsikhs.com/default.aspx
The University’s Sikh Society is ever-growing and tries to ensure that our culture, traditions and values are intact throughout every pursuit. They meet on a Wednesday evening at St Peter’s College to discuss contentious issues concerning Sikhism, kirtan and food. Please see their Facebook page for more information and updates.
The local Gurdwara holds Paath, Kirtan, Langar on Sundays and is located in Headington on London Road, for more information please see their website.