Emmanuel Church is working for the spiritual, social and cultural renewal of Oxford.
We want to help those seeking faith to learn about and meet their Creator through Jesus Christ.
We love this city. We love the creativity, beauty and diversity that can be found here – from Blackbird Leys to Summertown, from the universities to the MINI Plant. We think everything good points to the Creator who made it, and so we want to celebrate and support what’s good about Oxford when we see it. And where things could be better we want to serve and support those who are working to improve them.
We love helping people grow in their relationship with God and place a high value on worship and discipleship. We also want to help those seeking faith to learn about and meet their Creator through Jesus Christ. We want to provide a great environment for people to connect with God. And we think the best way to do that is with others, which is why we gather together on Sunday mornings and scatter throughout the city in Connect Groups during the week.
We believe the church should make the city a better place to live, and so we support projects and people who are trying to make life here better for everyone - particularly the poor. We’re already involved with serving refugees, helping people gain employment and contributing to the local foodbank, and we’re always looking for more ways to serve.
And we encourage people to use their gifts and passions in a way that brings our city to life – whether in the arts, medicine, education, academia, business or anywhere else. We want to see Oxford flourish, and we want to play our part in that by connecting faith with everyday life.
We are a Christian church that believes in the authority of the Bible for our life and practice
We believe that God invites each one of us to enjoy a restored relationship with Him. This is achieved by trusting in Jesus and following him in our everyday lives. At Emmanuel we love to welcome the Holy Spirit and the gifts he brings, we are passionate about worship and discipleship, and trust the authority of the bible. Our faith in Jesus motivates us to make a difference in our own city, hoping to create a better place for everyone who lives and works here.
We combine both charismatic and reformed theology, believing that a deep trust in the bible and a dynamic experience of the Holy Spirit are both vital for a healthy church.
This means that as well as embracing the historic beliefs outlined in the Nicene Creed and Apostles Creed (along with Christians of all other traditions), we also affirm the Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith as well as holding an ongoing openness to the person and work of the Holy Spirit today. You can read these creeds and statements here.
That said, there is no requirement to hold to a certain set of beliefs to attend our church services or be part of our community – all are welcome.
Where we've come from
Emmanuel Church began in 2005 when a small group moved from Cambridge. There were already many fantastic churches in the city, but this group of pioneers felt they had a unique contribution to make in partnership with them. The first Sunday service was held in September 2005, and the first leaders were appointed in April 2007.
Emmanuel was launched from within the Newfrontiers family of churches and continues to be connected with this worldwide network. The church was started on the foundation of prayer, openness to the Holy Spirit and worship – all of which continue to be priorities for us today.
Originally meeting in Cheney School in Headington, we grew substantially over the next few years, not least due to a steady stream of students from Oxford and Oxford Brookes universities. In February 2007 our Sunday services moved to Magdalen College School on The Plain (pictured), and in September 2016 we moved to Oxford Spires Academy in Cowley, where we currently meet. Despite moving further out of the city, we still felt that we should be a church for the whole city. So, in September 2017, we started a second site, to serve Central and North Oxford, which meets in Oxford High School Junior.
From the earliest days we wanted to be a church that served our city, making Oxford a better place to live and work. We continue to work this out by supporting various events such as a theCowley Road Carnival, running regular Alpha courses, and getting involved with projects to serve the poor and disadvantaged.
Now over ten years old we continue to gather every Sunday and scatter during the week in Connect Groups throughout the city, and we're excited to see what's next. Please come and join this adventure with us.
We think that churches work best when they’re not trying to go it alone
We're passionate about working in partnership with other churches and organisations in our city and nation. The groups we work with include:
We’re part of Newfrontiers, a family of around 1000 churches in over 80 different nations. newfrontierstogether.org
Within Newfrontiers we’re part of Catalyst, a network of churches aiming to make disciples in the nations of the world. catalystnetwork.org
We’re members of the Evangelical Alliance, the umbrella body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. eauk.org
We’re closely involved with Love Oxford - an annual gathering of churches in Broad Street to worship God and pray for our city. loveoxford.org
We have a podcast about putting our faith into action. Give it a listen, and 'step out' with us.
Each episode, we interview a new guest about their journey of stepping out and following a God inspired calling. There are also some useful application points.
What we do is only possible thanks to teams of people across every area of church life
The eldership team is responsible for leading the whole church – teaching and caring for people, and ensuring we stay on the mission God has called us to.
Lead Elder (staff)
The staff team are responsible for supporting the various projects and programmes the church runs.
Kids' & Youth Worker
Student & Worship Worker
Communications & Operations Manager
The leadership team take responsibility for various projects and programmes within the church.
Chair of The Trustees
Matt & Wendy Partridge
East Site Team Leaders
Robert and Louise Grayson
East Site Team
Vincent and Machilu Van Bever Donker
Central (North) Site Team
Paul and Helen Billingham
East Site Team
Dave & Jude May
Central (North) Site Team Leaders
East Site Team
Roger & Hannah Mason
Central (North) Site Team