About the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford
The University Church of St Mary the Virgin is a vibrant, welcoming, and inclusive church within the Church of England. Standing in the very centre of Oxford, it is the spiritual heart of the oldest university in Britain. With dignified liturgy and beautiful music, it has been a place of Christian worship for over a thousand years. Today we strive to be a community of faithful Christian witness and intelligent debate, unafraid to engage with the modern world.
We have a diverse worshipping community at the University Church. Everyone is welcome to join us for any of our regular services, ‘town and gown’, residents of Oxford and visitors passing through. A Christian church within the Church of England, the University Church welcomes people of all Christian traditions as well as people of other faiths, and those of little or no faith.
We offer a range of services of worship and prayer, from the quiet of daily prayer and Eucharist, to the full Sunday Choral Eucharist and Choral Evensong. From large services for special occasions, festivals and causes, to more intimate midweek gatherings, we hope that everyone may find a space for reflection and spiritual nourishment, as well as a place where they belong.
Music plays a profound role in our worship and reflection, and the Church is a stunning location to visit for one of the many professional and student concerts we host throughout the year. The University Church is a place where musical excellence inspires and enlivens us, and builds bridges within the community.
The University Church has a long and rich story which we want to share, and we invite visitors to explore the building in their own time. The church is open to visitors throughout the year and welcomers and guides are usually on hand to answer any questions you may have. Visitors can use this space for quiet prayer, for meditation or to light a candle – we hope you find this a space of calm refreshment in the busy city centre. You can also climb our tower for the highest view over Oxford and the Vaults and Garden café offers an opportunity to sit down with a coffee, tea and locally source food.
The University Church is situated in the heart of Oxford on the edge of Radcliffe Square amidst some of the most iconic buildings of the city. The Church provides one of the finest venues for concerts, while both the Clore Old Library and the Vaults Cafe offer beautiful venues for meetings, seminars, conferences, fine dining and drinks receptions. The De Brome Transept can also be used for book launches and drinks receptions.