St Barnabas Church
Arriving by train from the North, one of your first impressions of Oxford will be striking 'campanile' tower of St. Barnabas Church. St Barnabas was built in the 1860s thanks to the efforts and finance of Thomas Combe an early Superintendent of the Clarendon Press (OUP).
Combe was a follower of the 'Oxford Movement' a religious movement that was centred on the University and that sought a renewal of 'catholic' practices within the Church of England. St Barnabas Church was to follow the same principles and even today would be classed as 'high Anglican'. Also, following Combe's wishes, the church was to have little external adornment – so visitors entering the church find the decorated interior a striking contrast to the plain exterior. Combe was buried in St. Sepulchre's Cemetery.
Photo: Alistair McIntyre
The Oxford Movement also emphasized community responsibility for the health and education of the poor, and the Church has always played an important part in the community life of Jericho, especially through its school and 'Institute' (now the Community Centre).
At the beginning of 1996 the Church launched a £250,000 appeal for funds to restore the famous tower. That target was achieved in 1997 and the tower now has a freshly scrubbed appearance. In 2001 work finished on restoring the the 'bells', which are actually metal cylinders controlled by a splendid Victorian contraption.
See also the entry in the Jericho Sketchbook
Further information on the Church is available from the St. Barnabas web site.