Sermons and prayers on the ‘Articles & Sermons’ page are selected to give an idea of the sort of Christian outlook the church has. They are the minister’s sermons, so they don’t necessarily express the religious outlook of every member, but the minister wouldn’t be in post if the members disagreed too much with them!
Temple Cowley URC is one of eight United Reformed Churches in the Oxford area. During the 1930s it became a spiritual and social home for many who came seeking work at the nearby Morris car plant (now home to the new BMW Mini). Many of them were Welsh, but the Welsh connections are now largely dissolved. Many migrant workers still come to Oxford however; Cowley is now home for many different nationalities, and has a large number of students, mostly from Oxford Brookes University and the many language schools in the area.
What is the United Reformed Church?
The URC was formed in 1972 from the merger of two churches with roots in the 17th century Reformation : the Congregational and the Presbyterian Churches. Later, the Churches of Christ joined (the church that Barack Obama belongs to), and some of our Oxford churches have in the past been served by American ministers. These churches are all founded on the principle that ‘priesthood’ is never vested in an individual but in a committed body of believers trying to live together according to the ‘Word of God’ that they hear in the Bible. A minister is called to help the congregation as a whole ‘be the priest’ and listen for that ‘Word’. As a result, the URC has a ‘bottom-up’ structure, not a ‘top-down’ structure (like episcopal churches do, e.g. The Church of England and Roman Catholic Church). It is driven by the membership, hopefully in response to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit.
The church operates an environmental policy and a Fair Trade policy
The active membership is now around 15 in number; the church also hosts the Oxfordshire Play Association. On the site of the former church hall next door, Emmaus Oxford have built a new community house for homeless people. It opened in March 2009 and is home for 25 ‘Companions’.
The Jubilee Brass Band rehearse at the church weekly, and are always keen to welcome young players.