• Church: a community for others, not (just) for me

    By Andy O'Connell

    A couple of weeks ago I was talking to one of the leaders in our sister church Lifehouse (Bicester and Banbury) about the opportunities presented in Bicester as the town undergoes planned growth from 30,000 to 80,000 people, with 18,500 new jobs, by 2031.

    We were talking about the sort of church we needed to be to respond to what God was doing in the town. In our conversation one phrase stood out starkly: "A church for those not yet there." 

  • Church: a place of growth, not (just) a place of worship

    By Andy O'Connell

    A few years back I was talking to a friend about a particular city in the UK. We both knew undergraduate students in this city, and we were lamenting the lack of churches who were willing to nurture, train and disciple students. While churches in the city were happy for students to serve on rotas, there was a 'glass ceiling' in terms of their development as disciples and as leader. 

  • God in the storm

    By Bev Jones

    "In his kindness, God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation." 1 Peter 5:10. 

  • God's New Year's Resolution

    By Sanjay Mahtani

    The start of a new year provides an opportunity to pause, to pray, and to reflect. But this January, we might feel like we've traded New Year's Resolutions for New Year's Restrictions. Last January, we had no idea what 2020 would hold. As we enter 2021, we are prompted to look to the only One who knows the future, and ask what He is doing.

    What is God's New Year's Resolution? 

    On Sunday 3rd January, Steve Thomas (OCC's founding pastor) prophesied to us from Isaiah 43 & 44. 

  • OCC and Lockdown 3.0

    By Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)

    England is now in national lockdown. While there are difficult constraints on our social lives, schooling and work, places of worship can remain open, and people are allowed to leave home to attend.

    What are we to make of this freedom to gather, while other aspects of life are severely constrained, and we are advised to 'stay at home' except for essential reasons? Is OCC right to continue with onsite services, or should we revert to online only? 

    Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)
  • OCC and Tier 4

    By Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)

    From Boxing Day 2020, Oxfordshire has been in 'Tier 4' of the England Covid regulations. Tier 4 (and all other tiers) allow places of worship to 're-open', and people are allowed to leave home to attend a place of worship.

    What are we to make of this freedom to gather, while other aspects of life are severely constrained, and we are advised to 'stay at home' except for essential reasons? In other words, is OCC right to continue with in-person services, as we intend to do, or should we revert to online only?

    Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)
  • Covid-secure worship: behind the scenes

    By Andy O'Connell

    Some of you will be interested in what has been going on behind the scenes, as Christian and other faith leaders have worked with government on the question of whether and how places of worship can re-open while the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

    During 'lockdown 1' (from 23 March 2020) places of worship were required to close, until 4 July, when they were allowed to re-open as the first wave waned.

  • The greatest secret!

    By Andy O'Connell

    We've come to the end of our Autumn 2020 series IDENTITY. Although it was unexpectedly disturbed by another lockdown, meaning we had to interact online instead of in-person, it has been a rich series. 

    We've explored God, and who he is - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and who we are in relation to him.

  • Lockdown 2 and OCC

    By Sanjay Mahtani (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)

    You will have heard that England is going into lockdown from Thursday, 5 November, 2020. Before we can respond fully, we are waiting for the government to publish advice and legislation early this week. However, government has already made clear that places of worship will not be able to open for public worship for at least 4 weeks.

    Sanjay Mahtani (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)
  • Oxford in Tier 2

    By Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)

    On Saturday 31 October, Oxford City will move into Tier 2 "High Alert" for coronavirus. More information from Oxford City Council, including a map of the City boundary, can be found here

    Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)