Who we are

Welcome to Cowley St John Parish, a living community of Christians in East Oxford.

We welcome believers, doubters and those who are searching. We believe in a church which uses the dynamism of tradition to value both faithfulness to the faith entrusted to us and inclusivity.

Our worship is in the inclusive Anglican-Catholic tradition, and our church was founded as part of the Oxford Movement by Fr Richard Benson. He was dedicated to serving the poor and preaching the Gospel, nourished by a contemplative prayer life, and founded a community of Anglican monks, the Society of St John the Evangelist, to help with this aim. Like Fr Benson and his brethren, our life together today is nourished by both the daily rhythm of prayer known as the Office and the celebration of the Eucharist, which together form the backbone of our public worship or liturgy (leitourgia).

We are a member of Inclusive Church, and hold to its statement of belief: “We believe in inclusive Church – church which does not discriminate, on any level, on grounds of economic power, gender, mental health, physical ability, race or sexuality. We believe in Church which welcomes and serves all people in the name of Jesus Christ; which is scripturally faithful; which seeks to proclaim the Gospel afresh for each generation; and which, in the power of the Holy Spirit, allows all people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Jesus Christ.”

We maintain our cultural heritage through our services and through our commitment to engaging with the wider community of East Oxford. We offer a place of welcome for all who come to share in our life together. On these pages you can discover more about our life and faith.