An independent evangelical church, planted in Oxford two years ago, has launched an evangelistic evening service, designed to share the gospel with students in the city.
This second service at Trinity Church, which is affiliated to the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) and belongs to the South Central Gospel Partnership, will take place in term-time and complement the morning all-age worship.
A Baptist church building in the centre of Oxford will be the home of these new outreach services, which start on 4 October. The main morning service will be in a venue just outside the city centre, where there is more space and room for parking.
Robin Cooper, one of the elders at Trinity Church, said he was excited about the plans, but acknowledged there were plenty of challenges. He said, ‘Trinity’s vision is to invest deeply in the spiritual lives of successive generations of Oxford students, in the hope that, with God’s grace, they will be useful in the kingdom both here in the UK and throughout the world. We believe that quality Bible teaching within a loving church is key to realising this goal’.
He added that the church was ‘very conscious’ of its vulnerability and fragility as a new plant, and asked for prayer, especially as the projected two-service model would stretch the small church, which has approximately 50 members.
Trinity Church’s regular morning services now take place in the Brent Building at the City of Oxford College — the church’s third home since launching in 2013.
‘City centre locations, which we see as essential to attract students, are like gold dust’, Mr Cooper said, adding: ‘Our longer-term challenge is to find a more permanent building large enough to accommodate growth.
‘The decision to start a second meeting was strongly influenced by the lack of affordable premises of the right size in the city centre. Our morning venue, although central, was often three-quarters full and would not have coped if we were suddenly blessed with a healthy invasion of undergraduates. We felt we had to pray and plan in faith for this’.
He pointed to God’s kindness in providing funding for a student worker, and an offer for the evening use of a Baptist church situated in the centre of town. Mr Cooper added: ‘We are still working on the precise format of our evening meeting, but we are clear on one thing: the need to provide nourishing food, both spiritual and physical’.