• Awaken!

    By Andy O'Connell and Steve Jones

    Who loves the sound of the alarm clock waking you up in the morning! Are you leaper-out-of-bed, a snoozer, or a coffee-grabber?

    On Sundays at OCC, we're just starting a series exploring the message of Isaiah, one of the so-called 'major prophets' in the Old Testament (OT). Why are we looking at an obscure part of the Bible, when there is plenty of more straightforward teaching in the New Testament (NT)

  • Small town - growing town - Big God! 

    By Mark Eley, leader of Lifehouse Community Church

    Let me introduce Rich and Anna Houghton to you. We have known them for many years having been first connected in Kidlington. Anna works as a primary school teacher and Rich works as a project manager for a design agency. They have two children and are fun-loving people that love sharing life with others in Banbury.

    Mark Eley, leader of Lifehouse Community Church
  • New life in the Garden Town

    By Andy O'Connell

    There's a church just north of Oxford that we're family with! Although its exciting, being actively part of a wider family of churches may be a new idea for some of you, so we want to tell the story of how we got there, and how relationships are sustained today.

    Chapter 1: Oxfordshire

    In the 1970s, UK churches were impacted by a new movement that came to be called both the ‘charismatic renewal’ and the ‘house church movement’. It placed emphasis on authentic community, participation in worship, spiritual gifts, and meaningful discipleship. 

  • What do others think about missional communities?

    By Andy O'Connell

    Part 2 of an article on missional communities - click here for part 1

    In case you are concerned that this is just an OCC thing, most western church networks and denominations are asking the same sort of questions about church life. As the centrality of church in our national life diminishes, we are being compelled to find a fresh expression of church life that is actually truer to our New Testament roots.

  • God's Heart: Speaking confidently

    By Sanjay Mahtani

    Over the past few months, in response to prophetic words throughout 2020, we've been drawing near to God.

    We've done this through our series on Identity and by exploring God's Heart - his heart for people, justice, mercy, family, and for all of us to play our part.

  • Church: for the world, not (just) our parish

    By Andy O'Connell

    A quick read of the New Testament shows us a picture of a mobile and dynamic church. A church committed to each other, but also to making an impact in their towns and cities, and to the task of reaching the world with the good news of Jesus Christ. 

  • Church: a Spirit-filled community, not (just) organised

    By Andy O'Connell

    When I started full-time employment in Oxfordshire Community Churches in 1995, I was taken on as effectively an Operations Director (although we didn't use that term then). We talked instead about the gift of 'steersman' or 'pilot' - a word with nautical roots that appears in 1 Co 12.28 and is variously translated leadership, administration, guidance and governing.

  • Church: a place to belong, not (just) attend

    By Andy O'Connell

    The idea of belonging to a church - or any other organisation for that matter - is increasingly alien in the world today. Tim Keller tweets: "Everyone says they want community and friendship. But mention accountability or commitment to people, and they run the other way." Krish Kandiah discerns a movement "towards a more eclectic individualistic spirituality.”

    Why then does OCC hold to a habit of 'formal church membership'?

  • Church: a family, not (just) an event

    By Andy O'Connell

    Recently I came across this tweet, which could sum up pretty much all that needs saying on this topic: "Church is a Spirit-filled family, not a weekly experience."

    Assistant Pastor Sanjay Mahtani often puts it this way: "OCC: Community is our middle name!" And I can sometimes be heard to complain, "We don't go to church, we are the church!"