Once more I’m sitting on the bus using wifi, this time en route to Heathrow airport. It’s been a wonderful vacation in Oxford. I’ve loved virtually every minute of it.
Anyone who has lived in another country or part of the country will tell you that every place has its good points and its bad. Nowhere is perfect and such perfection as can be found is often more a function of relationships and place than it is simply of place.
Our stay in Oxford was greatly enriched by staying with our friends Justin and Jill Hardin. Oxford is an incredibly beautiful and historic city. That beauty and history is brought into finer relief by sharing it with friends for whom it is now home.
WIth that in mind here are my thoughts about what’s great and not so great about Oxford.
A bookshop devoted to theology and church history. Brilliant!
The beer in England is hit or miss, but Pimms never disappoints.
University parks, the Ashmolean Museum, etc.
It’s easy to get to the city centre, further out is a little more challenging.
Nero’s seem to own Oxford, but there’s also some Starbucks stores as well.
I saw at least two very strong evangelical parishes in Oxford, a university not known for hospitality to evangelicals. Wycliffe Hall also maintains a vibrant, academically-strong witness in the university.
The not so good:
This is an English thing, but best to plan your day around guaranteed access to the loo.
As bad as an American mall, but with higher prices. Oxford seems to be more dedicated to tourism than Cambridge, which is smaller and more remote.
Oxford was a centre for the revival of Anglo-Catholicism, and still seems to favor high church Anglicanism.
It’s the high tourist season at the moment, and prices are sort of steep. It helps to consider the setting–after all a pint of lager at home isn’t quite so pleasing.