The Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology

Patrons: The Rt Revd John Pritchard, former Bishop of Oxford and Dr Paula Gooder

The Centre exists to serve the life and mission of the church by attending to God's work in the world in order to develop faithful and reflective practice. People connect with the Centre to collaborate and engage in strategic thinking, to develop resources, to do research - all with the aim of transforming practice.

There are five strands to our work:

  1. Research
  2. Consultancy
  3. Professional Development
  4. Chaplaincy
  5. World Christianity and Ecumenism

Current Research Projects


Contributing to a three year research project on Receptivity, thinking about what the church receives from the edges (rather than from the centre). This may be noted in discussions on diversity, mission and differing model of theological education. This theme will be explored with colleagues form partner institutions.

Beyond Bums on Seats – Understanding and Evaluating the Impact of Pioneers

Durham University gave a £2,000 seedcorn grant to evaluate pioneer ministry.  Dr Cathy Ross is carrying out this research with Jim Barker, Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Church Mission Society. We are using the Transformational Index tool to evaluate the impact pioneer ministry is having on their communities.

African Migrant Christianity

This ongoing research seeks to understand the gifts that African Christianity and British Christianity can share together for the sake of mission.


DeathLife is a project of the Diocese of Oxford, in partnership with Ripon College Cuddesdon, funded by the Henry Smith Charity. We aren’t good at talking about death – and yet we desperately need to do just that. 

Joanna Collicutt’s idea for this project came out of personal experience and theological reflection, "In 2003 my mother suffered a serious heart attack and at one point was given 48 hours to live. In the event she lived another seven years. She spent those years well, regularly visiting churches to pray privately and prepare herself spiritually for the end of her earthly life.

Whether by choice or not, she did this alone and unsupported. When I shared this with a senior church leader he reflected ‘It’s a great shame that the churches don’t do more to help people with this important task!’ The germ of an idea had been planted."

The DeathLife initiative has two aims – to equip churches to explore issues around death and to change the culture.

To find out more and for resources, please go to

Joanna Collicutt
Joanna Collicutt and Victoria Slater, who dreamed of and devised the Death and Life project