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Oxford life

The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford

The total Oxford population is now around 165,000, with 151,000 living within the district boundary. Of these, over 30,000 are students and as a result, the city has a youthful and cosmopolitan atmosphere with plenty of things to do at almost any time of the day or night. Beautiful and historic architecture sits alongside all the main high street stores, numerous coffee shops and restaurants. Oxford also boasts a surprising amount of green space, including beautiful riverside walks, the oldest botanic garden in the country, woods and surrounding countryside as well as the University Parks and college gardens. Most colleges and departments are situated in and around the city centre, including OCMS which is on a main bus route, and within walking distance of the heart of the city.

Buildings in Oxford demonstrate an example of every British architecturalperiod since the arrival of the Saxons, including the iconic, mid-18th century Radcliffe Camera which OCMS students have access for the theological library it boasts, among other books. Oxford is known as the "city of dreaming spires", a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold in reference to the harmonious architecture of Oxford's university buildings.

In the main, OCMS students are in the city for only a short period each year, and their stay can often be very intensive meaning that they see little of the city and all it has to offer. We recommend strongly that at the very least, scholars find a local church to attend while they are here. The relationships that can be built through being a part of a worshiping community not only help ‘ground’ scholars in Oxford life, but also provide prayerful and practical support and can lead to life-long friendships and support.

Activities that OCMS students have enjoyed include academic lectures in the broadest possible range of subject matters, concerts, plays, wonderful and fascinating exhibitions at the city’s free museums, visits to Blenheim Palace (Churchill’s birthplace) and traditional nearby villages, intimate Evensong services in some of the oldest colleges, Carol Concerts in Christ Church Cathedral, open-air services, the opportunity to see inside the ancient University Church of St Mary's, one of the city’s mosques and the Jewish Temple.

Student blog

Jonathan Bornman
Terry Garde - Kenya Fieldwork Diary
Matthew Reifsnider - Cleaning Day
Flora and the OCMS family
Usha Reifsnider
Interfaith and International Vigil for Peace
Jeremiah Johnston (OCMS Alumnus)
Worku Mohammed
Anonymous Student - This student wishes to remain anonymous due to the sensitive situation he currently works in

Student blog

Students are encouraged to submit blog entries for this space, either about their time in residence in Oxford, or their work in the field, or their life outside of OCMS.