The community is an ever changing creature, with students' residencies starting and finishing at varying points in the year. This means that we never have exactly the same group of people together one week after the other, though over the period of study the part-timers get to know the full timers, and some plan their residencies to coincide with others whose work they know shares some points of interest, or for other reasons, too.
Mutual support, shared meals, regular prayers together, tough academic discussions and helpful references to material discovered by one student or another, all helps to build the community here. The Alumni and Community Association, started this year, is really an extension of what is done naturally by the community in its widest sense here, with board members as likely to pop in and share a cup of coffee and a chat with some students relaxing in the kitchen, as staff to join in on an outing, maybe to see a famous church in another part of the country, hear a speaker somewhere in the city or enjoy a cream tea in some bluebell woods or the like.
Family and friends are always welcome, and we have specific times of the week, such as the Open Lecture on a Tuesday and Chapel and Community Lunch on a Wednesday, when we work even harder at bringing people together, and opening our doors to new people, too.
Deep friendships have been nurtured here, matured through the shared experiences of tough peer reviews and listening to spiritually challenging talks, reflecting the glory of the body of Christ's church through cultural diversity and breadth of geographical context. Truly interdenominational and with its roots firmly in the global south, OCMS is a rich mixture of Christians - and through it, we believe, a small foretaste of the Kingdom to come.