Built originally as a pub, the property became a venue for adult entertainment before a long term lease was acquired in 2016 by the Trust and the building repurposed for use by St Ebbe’s Church as a church hall.
The Pennyfarthing is ideally situated opposite St Ebbe’s Church which means our Sunday Clubs with children aged 4-11 use the three floors each Sunday when we are able to meet without Covid restrictions. This extra space has been very significant in allowing these groups to thrive and grow. During the week the varied space is used in a wide variety of ways: Monday night children’s after school clubs, a Friday night church youth group, student groups, a homeless group (who also normally prepare sandwiches together), staff meetings, a base for Christians Against Poverty debt consultations and support and training events. This range of groups allow St Ebbe’s to serve the community around us much more effectively. It is our hope soon to be able to let the venue to outside groups to make the best use of the facility and resource.
St Ebbe’s Church
The Trust purchased a residential property in the parish of St Ebbe’s Church to enable the work in the parish to grow.
Our house in Dale Close is a lovely three-bedroom home in the heart of Oxford, set strategically for gospel purposes in that it is just steps away from one of the key housing estates central to the City.
With a sizable walled garden, a medium sized rec/guest room, and a detached garage, it has proved both comfortable for our family of five, and perfect for the ministry of hospitality. Having received a top-to-bottom renovation in the summer of 2019, the home doesn’t distract from family and ministry focus by any glaring deficiencies.
Though there are few school age children in neighbouring homes, the neighbours – many of whom are retired – love to have a young family around, and are very friendly. Our family is very grateful to the Lord for this house, the gift it is to our family, and the platform it provides us for our pastoral ministry at St Ebbe’s Church, and our gospel work in the community.
Grace Church Cowley
Built in 1930 for the United Reformed Church, the church was purchased by the Trust in 2018 and is now the home of Grace Church Cowley, a new evangelical church for the local Cowley area.
It is so wonderful to have a building as the base for our gospel ministry in Cowley, and a wonderfully versatile building in such a prominent location too! We have been able to welcome hundreds of local people through the doors at our launch events and Christmas services. The building gives us a real physical presence in the community which has led to many local people visiting and joining us on Sundays. It also gives us the ability to bless community groups such as a table tennis club and a brass band who have usage of the building for their meetings.
We have a great desire to use the church building even more effectively for sharing the good news of Jesus. We have run a parent and toddler support group, which we hope will turn into a fully blown toddler group when guidelines permit. We have welcomed hundreds of school children in for Christmas visits and Easter workshops. We are praying and considering launching an after-school club or some kind of community cafe. Having a building with a real physical base in the community is so important for all of this work and we’re so thankful to God every week for this.
Ben Vane, Minister