St Barnabas Church, Oxford

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St Barnabas
St Barnabas Church
View of St Barnabas Church and its campanile.
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Anglo-Catholic
Founder(s) Thomas Combe and Martha Combe[1]
Dedication St Barnabas
Consecrated 1869
Architect(s) Sir Arthur Blomfield
Style Victorian, Romanesque, Italianate
Diocese Oxford

St Barnabas Church is a Church of England parish church in Jericho, central Oxford, England, located close to Oxford Canal.[2][3]


The church was founded by Thomas Combe (1796–1872), Superintendent of the Oxford University Press close to the church, and his wife Martha[4] (1806–1893), now commemorated by a blue plaque installed by the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board.[1] They were followers of the Oxford Movement (or Tractarian movement). The architect was Sir Arthur Blomfield, a son of the Bishop of London, who had previously designed the chapel for the Radcliffe Infirmary. The first Parish Priest was Fr Montague Noel, SSC. The style is that of a Romanesque basilica. St Barnabas has a distinctive square tower, in the form of an Italianate campanile, that is visible from the surrounding area. The church was built on land donated by the local merchant and former Oxford mayor William Ward.[5] It was consecrated in 1869 by Bishop Wilberforce of Oxford and the campanile was completed in 1872. It has a ring of ten, distinctive, tubular bells, and the hours and quarters are sounded on them.

The poet John Betjeman wrote a poem about St Barnabas Church.[3][6]


The church is still known today for its Anglo-Catholic ceremonial, and remains rooted in the life of the local parish, enjoying close connections with the Jericho Community Association, the Jericho Wharf Trust and St Barnabas Primary School. A parish magazine, Jericho Matters, is produced quarterly and distributed to all of the households in Jericho. There is a fine and dedicated choir, with a flourishing junior section. The choir has published two CD recordings. A local community choir, the Jericho Singers, also rehearses in St Barnabas each week. The History of the Church was written by Mr Roger Nicholas Dixey, who attended the church for many years; it was completed by Miss Anne Abley, another loyal attender. A second guide was produced by Mr Richard A. Whitlock in May 2008[7] The current Parish Priest is Fr Jonathan Beswick, SSC.[8]



  1. ^ a b Warr, Elizabeth Jean (2011). The Oxford Plaque Guide. Stroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press. pp. 39–41. ISBN 978-0-7524-5687-4. 
  2. ^ Hibbert, Christopher, ed. (1988). "St Barnabas, Church of". The Encyclopaedia of Oxford. Macmillan. p. 378–379. ISBN 0-333-39917-X. 
  3. ^ a b "St Barnabas, Oxford". A Church Near You. The Church of England. 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  4. ^ History, St Barnabas Church.
  5. ^ William Ward: Mayor of Oxford 1851/2 and 1861/2, Mayors of Oxford.
  6. ^ "St Barnabas Church". Jericho Living Heretage Trust. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Contact details, St Barnabas Church.

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Coordinates: 51°45′28″N 1°16′11″W / 51.757864°N 1.269745°W / 51.757864; -1.269745