Baptists first began to meet together in the mid-1650s, generally in the homes of their members.
In the early 1700s they joined with other Dissenters, notably Presbyterians, and began meeting on the present site of New Road Baptist Church. The members issued a ground-breaking Church Covenant in 1780, describing themselves as ‘a Protestant Catholic Church of Christ’.
In 1798 a new two-storey building was erected which forms the core of the church building as it now stands. Major enlargements and improvements to the building took place in 1819 (at which point the pillars and architrave on the front of the church were added) and again in 1982 (when a new pulpit was put in place and new seating arrangements in the sanctuary were installed). The developments of 1982 included the creation of a suite of rooms extending over four floors and the creation of a “coffee shop” in what was formerly the Royal Mint. The central cross in the sanctuary was installed in 1982.
The chapel is a grade II listed building.
Most recently, in 2008 the forecourt of the church was opened to form part of the new Bonn Square development project, thus placing New Road Baptist Church at the heart of one of Oxford’s public squares.
You can download a more detailed history here.
Our Covenant of 1780 can be found here.