New Road Baptist Church has a strong history of planting and serving numerous churches in the Oxford area. The present-day members of the church find it humbling to acknowledge the way our ancestors shared their resources – human and material – and we wish to continue the tradition. The closure and sale of Charlton-on-Otmoor chapel has provided us with an exciting opportunity. We have, in a sense, received our investment back and now wish to disperse the proceeds of this sale in a creative and imaginative way and strengthen our relationship with the churches around us.
Two years ago we created a mission fund, available to Baptist Churches within Oxfordshire, which are engaging with their local communities in new and imaginative expressions of mission. The fund is now entering its third year of operation and has already made 23 grants. It will continue to be open to applications until the end of 2020.
The fund has three categories: 1) People and Place, 2) Small Grants, 3) Seed Money.
Successful applications to this fund will normally come from Baptist Churches in Oxfordshire that are in membership with the Baptist Union of Great Britain, although some flexibility may be given to new/informal groups that are not actually in membership with the BUGB, yet which have strong links with churches that are.
Applications for mission events that are being carried out ecumenically are welcomed, as long as a) it can be demonstrated that a Baptist Church is a strong and active partner in the venture and b) the application is made by the Baptist Church.
This report illustrates and gives further details of grants awarded under these categories during the first two years of the Fund’s existence.