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We continue to raise funds to support the efforts of the Church of Bangladesh and the Diocese of Calcutta supporting the communities we serve throughout Bengal. Whilst our sites remain subject to the lockdown and/or other constraints imposed by the respective governments in India and Bangladesh, we are able to support our staff, boys and girls, and the broader community via the Church organisation. Read more about this here (click here)
In 1879 the Bishop of Calcutta, acutely aware of the work to be done among the educated people of the city, appealed to the University of Oxford. In response, ten men outstanding in intellect and spirit met in Canon (later Bishop) Kings room at Christ Church and there the Oxford Mission came into being. It was decided to form a brotherhood of the Epiphany: Bishop Charles Gore drew up its Rule.
By 1880 the first Brothers had sailed for Calcutta, to live and work in the city close to the University and its colleges.
Some years later, again in response to a call from the Bishop, Brothers were sent to a rice-growing area east of Calcutta, to care for a neglected group of village Christians. Then in 1902, because pastoral work could not be carried on by men alone, a Sisterhood (also dedicated to the Epiphany) was formed at Barisal under the guidance of Fr. Strong. Later branch houses were formed at Behala, south of Calcutta, under Fr. Douglass, and at Jobarpar, thirty miles north of Barisal.
The partition of India in 1947 resulted in the separation of the Mission work in Calcutta, India, from that in Barisal and Jobarpar, Bangladesh. The brotherhood has come to an end, but in India the work continues under an Administrator appointed by the Bishop of Kolkata, and in Bangladesh under the supervision of the Diocese of Dhaka.
At Behala, India, there is a boys orphanage, St. Josephs Primary School, an English-medium Primary School, Hostels, training schemes for less academic boys, and an ENT/Eye clinic.
At Barisal, Bangladesh, the Mission runs boarding schools, Christian students hostels, St Annes Medical Centre, an orphanage and a Primary School. A Bangladeshi Brotherhood of St. Paul was also formed in 2003.
In 1970, a Bangladeshi Sisterhood was formed in Jobarpar, the Christa Sevika Sangha. The Sevikas supervise boys and girls hostels and a play-centre for small children, help in St Gabriels School and supervise St. Marys Home in Barisal.
To read the latest news please (click here).
Urgent appeal The Coronavirus has hit the world with a vengeance. In the Wetsern world, we have witnessed a hugely difficult situation with different countries reacting in different ways and with apparent contradictions as to both the severity of the disease and how to deal with it for patient care and society as a whole. The economic and social disruption has been enormous. In Bangladesh and India the situation is also enormously difficult. The tradition for manual labour has been to be paid on a day basis, i.e. only at the end of the working day. With lockdowns in both countries this has left many millions of poorer people without any way to support their families. In the light of this we are seeking to raise money to provide emergency relief in conjuction with the Church of Bangladesh and the Diocese of Calcutta, with whom we work closely, for both food parcels and to support medical care, particularly in rural areas where medical equipent and protective clothing is just not available. To read more about the appeals and support this vital work please look at our Urgent Appeal page (click here).
General Secretary Mrs Margaret Miles has decided to retire from serving the Oxford Mission. She will stop working on 31st October. We are sorry that she will no longer be working for us and would like to thank her for her excellent work. Having moved to Cornwall, where for all the benefits of rural life have been a joy, the frustration of reducing services has made it increasingly difficult for her to do many of the simpler tasks such as visiting the post office or bank, with often huge distances, and thus much time, necessary to complete them. Nonetheless she has shown herself to be very dedicated and has done an excellent job, and will be much missed by the UK Committee, Behala, Barisal and Jobarpar, and of course by our many supporters in the UK and throughout the world.
Bishop Mondal: We have received the sad news that Bishop Mondal, Bangladesh's first national Bishop and also former Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh died on June 29th 2019. His funeral took place on Sunday 30th June 2019. He was a great friend and supporter of the Oxford Mission. More information on his life can be found by clicking on his picture.
Postulent sister Martha became a Novice on 25th January 2019, our CSS Foundation day, please pray for her for all the programmes of the CSS and the Oxford Mission in Bangladesh.
Col. Subir Ghosh retired from office as Administrator at the Oxford Mission in Behala, Kolkata, India, at the end of January 2019. We thank him for his diligence and hard work over many years and his extended stay as Administrator. Simon Ling, Chairman of the UK Committee wrote to Subir and said "We are all extremely grateful to you for what you have done for the boys of the Mission during your period of office, and for the maintenance and security of the buildings and grounds. We are also impressed with the efforts you have made to seek local sources of income for the Mission, and how these are already bearing fruit." We wish him and his wife every happiness in a much retirement.
The role of Administrator in Behala has now been split. Mr Stanford Francis has taken up the position of Associate Administrator. Mr Raghav Naik has taken charge as Administrator. He is Secretary of the OMTA (Oxford Mission Trust Association). Mr Francis was the former Assistant Secretary at La Martinière School in Kolkata before joining the Oxford Mission. His experience will be a major help with the creation of the new La Martinière school at the Oxford Mission in Behala and the integration of St Jospeh's Primary school with it.
Following the sad death of Sister Superior Jharna and the inter-regnum during which Senior Sister Ruth took over temporary charge of the Christa Sevika Sangha, the sisterhood has now confirmed the appointment of Sister Dorothy as Sister Superior. We congratulate her and thank Senior Sister Ruth for her hard work.
The Oxford Mission welcomes support in various ways:
Financial support: You can give money to support the work in India and Bangladesh through contacting either one of the Mission locations directly or through the General Secretary's office in the UK. In addition, from time to time the Oxford Mission looks for specific types of help such as sponsoring of a child at a European musical college, or providing board and lodging for a given period of time to one or more members of the Mission that may be traveling overseas. To see our current projects (click here). If you would like to give financial help please look at the Donate! (click here) or Contacts (click here) pages of this site for details of how and where you can do this.
Voluntary work: From time to time one of the Missions can welcome volunteers either on specific projects or for general work. We are particularly interested in short term visits (say a month) by Music students. If you are interested in voluntary work please contact the General Secretary.
Prayer: All involved with the Oxford Mission welcome your prayers and support for our work. A daily programme of prayers, which you are welcome to follow, can be found in the latest Newsletter (click here)
Change of address: Please note that we have now changed our postal address. You can now contact us by post at PO Box 1455, Peterborough, PE2 3WE. Our other contact details remain unchanged and can be found on the contact page.