St Ebbe's Church, Oxford

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St Ebbe's Church
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Low Church / Conservative Evangelical
Parish St Ebbe's
Deanery Oxford
Archdeaconry Oxford
Diocese Oxford
Province Canterbury
Rector Vaughan Roberts

St Ebbe's is a Church of England parish church in central Oxford. The church has a conservative evangelical tradition and participates in the Anglican Reform movement.[1] It has members from many nations, many of whom are students at Oxford University. The rector is Vaughan Roberts who is also an author and conference speaker.


Norman period west door

The church stands on the site of one dedicated to St Æbbe before 1005. Most sources suggest that this was the Northumbrian St Æbbe of Coldingham,[2] but it has been suggested that Æbbe of Oxford was a different saint. The name was first recorded in about 1005 when the church was granted to Eynsham Abbey.[3]

The present church was built in 1814–16. It was enlarged and improved in 1866 and 1904. A Norman doorway of the 12th century has been restored and placed at the west end.[4] The church is the parish church for the parish of St Ebbes, a portion of which was demolished to make way for the nearby Westgate Shopping Centre in the 1970s. The church has a ministry among the remaining part of the parish, although most of its members live outside the parish. The church is a partner church of St Ebbe’s Primary School, a school within the parish.[5]

Former rectors include Nathaniel Bliss (1736, later the fourth Astronomer Royal),[6] Thomas Valpy French (1874-7),[7] John Arkell, John Stansfeld (1912-1926),[8] Maurice Wood (1947–52),[9] Basil Gough (1952–64),[10] Keith Weston (1964–85)[11] and David Fletcher (1986–98).[12]

Sale of wooden chests - In 2010 the PCC of St Ebbe's in Oxford sold two wooden chests without the necessary permissions. One of these was one a rare 13th century elm coffer.[13] This action was challenged at a subsequent Consistory Court Hearing and the church took action to resolve the matter.


Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 51°45′02″N 1°15′35″W / 51.75056°N 1.25972°W / 51.75056; -1.25972