The Oxford Mission

The Oxford Mission

Our origins

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) King’s 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.

Our Mission today

Map of Bengal

Map of Bengal

At Behala, India, there is a boys’ orphanage, St. Joseph’s 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 Anne’s 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 Gabriel’s School and supervise St. Mary’s Home in Barisal.

To read the latest news please (click here).

Why not get involved with our 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. 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)

Mary Marsh We are extremely sorry to announce that our very much respected and loved General Secretary to the UK Committee, Mary Marsh, sadly passed away on 4th October after a short, courageous battle with cancer. She had already advised us that she would be retiring from the Oxford Mission at the end of this year after over 30 years wonderful service to the Oxford Mission. A short homage to her, which will be reproduced in the next magazine, can be read here (click here). Please pray for her and her family in these difficult times.

The Oxford Mission