Our unique setting allows for a strong sense of community, which becomes an inseparable part of training for ordained ministry as we live, pray, study and eat together. Residential students come into the community with a wide range of experiences and interests, some direct from other colleges or university; others have considerable work experience, some are single, others are married. The Common Room is the centre of an active social life with a fully licensed bar and a wide range of social events. Whether an experienced musician or a complete novice, there is an opportunity to join in a wide range of music activities, and there is also a football/cricket field, tennis court and croquet lawn to provide recreation in the midst of a busy life of study and prayer. Within this residential environment, students are encouraged to work out how to organise enough time and space for themselves and become accustomed to the public nature of the ordained ministry.
Partners and families are welcomed and valued members of the community. There is an active Partners’ Group and a club for children during the College Eucharist. There are children’s rooms in the main College building enabling families to entertain their children whilst at social events. An appointed children’s representative and Children’s Handbook provide children and young people with a voice within the community. There are excellent schools close to Cuddesdon, Garsington Primary and Wheatley Park Secondary School. Pets are also accepted as part of the community and suitable accommodation can generally be provided.
A small order of Sisters came to live within the College in 2012, and they provide a year-round praying presence and share in the lives of the student community.
Single students and weekly boarders are provided with furnished single study bedrooms within the College campus, and a shared lounge and kitchen. Students with families are provided with unfurnished flats either on the College campus or in nearby properties, with a study in College if available. All meals for students are provided by the College, and student’s families are welcomed into College for lunch.
All College studies and bedrooms have an internet point, and wifi is available in the Common Room and Library. There is a fully equipped computer room for those without their own computers, and for printing/photocopying.
Our extensive theological library contains over 25,000 volumes and is continually updated with academic books and journals.
Worship is central to College life. Through the regular practice of prayer and worship, students are encouraged to come to engage more deeply with God.
The pattern of prayer and worship is rooted in the Anglican liturgical tradition of the daily office and regular eucharists. Students are expected to share in the regular offices of Morning Prayer in Chapel and Evening Prayer in Church from Common Worship Daily Prayer Monday to Friday. There is a very close connection with the twelfth-century All Saints' Parish Church which provides the venue for evening acts of worship and larger services. The rhythm, simplicity and continuity of the offices provide space for prayer, worship and reflection on Scripture in an otherwise busy day. The Book of Common Prayer is used for Evensong in the second half of Michaelmas and Hilary terms. The Eucharist is celebrated daily, usually at 8.00am, and Compline is said or sung each night in Chapel for those who wish to attend. On Wednesdays at 5.15pm the community usually gathers for a Sung Eucharist in Church.
Students, who come from a wide diversity of traditions, are encouraged to bring variety to this pattern of worship by preparing and leading creative liturgy and worship in weekly small groups and for the whole College, usually instead of Evening Prayer, on Monday evenings. Twice a term there is a shared act of worship with the non-residential students of the Oxford Ministry Course.
The current weekly pattern of worship during term-time is as follows:
Monday: 7.30am Morning Prayer; 8.00am Eucharist (Common Worship); 5.45pm Group Worship for the whole College.
Tuesday: 7.30am Eucharist (Common Worship); 9.00am Worship in College Groups; 5.45pm Evening Prayer (in Church).
Wednesday: 7.30am Morning Prayer and Litany followed by meditation; 5.15pm College Eucharist with sermon in Church.
Thursday: 7.30am Morning Prayer; 8.00am Eucharist (Common Worship); 5.45pm Evening Prayer in Church.
Friday: 7.30am Morning Prayer; 8.00am Eucharist (BCP or Common Worship); 5.15pm Evening Prayer in Church.
Compline is said or sung daily in Chapel (except Saturday) at 10.00pm (Tuesdays at 9.30pm).
There is also an emphasis on personal spiritual growth. The Church, Chapel and Oratory are available for private prayer. Guided quiet days are held once a term and spiritual directors visit from outside the College. We have a College Chaplain, the Revd Raymond Tomkinson, who is available to listen and offer guidance.
Everlasting God, ever adored by the holy angels,
yet choosing men and women to be the stewards
of your mysteries;
Bless, we pray, the work of the College,
And prosper the intentions of its founders;
That those, who cannot do any good without you,
may be won to godliness and love,
and illuminated with a true knowledge of your
Word and Sacraments;
And so, being made able ministers of your
may advance your glory,
and the salvation of your servants;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen