About Us


St Mary and St John is a vibrant, diverse community in the heart of East Oxford on the Cowley Road. The worship is in the liberal catholic anglican tradition, having a strong liturgical and musical tradition, as well as a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

Founded in 1875, St Mary and St John began as part of the heady days of the Oxford movement, and with it reclaimed Sacramental Liturgy, offered retreats and spiritual formation to clergy and laity alike, and reached out – through slum-priests and laity – to support the poor and destitute in East Oxford as well as far-off lands.

Through liturgy, music and the sacraments, through ecological activities based around our Churchyard, and via proactive engagement in the community, St Mary and St John still seeks to unlock authentic spiritual community, and to gather together a people of prayer and sincerity. None being perfect, all can and do contribute.

St Mary and St John offers morning and evening services on Sundays, as well as a range of services through the week. During Lent, special Lenten groups provide opportunities to learn something new. These and other activities are on our calendar

At present we have a vacancy, and will shortly be advertising for a new incumbent. In the meantime the ministry and leadership team consist of: Rev’d Sabina Alkire, Licensed Lay Ministers Janet Proudman and Petronella Spivey, Shei Crowther (in training for ordination) and the Churchwardens Rosy Hancock and Ruth Rundle.

St Mary and St John is one of three churches in the parish of Cowley St John. The other churches in the parish are St Alban the Martyr, a small quiet child-friendly church on the corner of Charles Street and Catherine Street in East Oxford, and a medieval chapel, Bartlemas Chapel, which is the site of occasional services.

Pamphlets are available from the Churchyard website that provide further information on the church building as well as on the East window.

Photograph, Copyright James Yardley and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence Photograph: Copyright James Yardley and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence

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