In 2013 Peter Comont planted Trinity Church in Oxford. Read about how his church has grown to plant more churches and host Union's Oxford GDip Learning Community.

It was a thought that just would not go away.  I was a very young Christian, just recently converted at Cambridge University.  I felt called to pray for Oxford.  Perhaps an interest in ‘the other place’ was only natural, however, I felt that it was from the Lord.

I bought a map of Oxford and would spread it out on my student room floor and pray over it.  I took an interest in the city.  Judy and I married and contemplated missionary service but always with the sense that the journey would end in Oxford.

In the event a missionary interlude never happened, and we found ourselves called by a church in East Oxford for me to be its pastor.  So began 17 years of happy, tough but fruitful ministry, seeing the Lord transform Magdalen Road Church into a strong, healthy and distinctly youthful congregation.  In recent years Magdalen Road Church has planted three churches and acquired a large building of its own, but as that phase began I was feeling unsettled.

we became convinced that he had ‘more people in this city’ but our calling was to pioneer again – this time into the heart of the city.

We prayed again about our larger vision for gospel ministry.  Would the Lord finally send us overseas?  In the event we became convinced that he had ‘more people in this city’ but our calling was to pioneer again – this time into the heart of the city.  In 2013 Trinity Church was born.

The past seven years have definitely been the most difficult, most faith-stretching and most fruitful period of our 30 years of ministry.  I have often been humbled by my failures, overwhelmed by the forces opposing us, and amazed by the provision of the Lord.

In God’s goodness Trinity Church, though still small, has been able to see a steady trickle of conversions and to sprinkle the world with some 200 alumni.  We have sent people to three local church plants and one revitalisation.  We have released nine full time evangelists and missionaries to America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.  We have discipled three church planters and supported two of Lausanne’s 1000 most promising younger world leaders.  In addition, I mentor a range of gospel workers in the UK, America and Europe.  Every year people have joined us from every continent and left for every continent.

The Lord has made us an engine for gospel growth and church planting throughout Britain, Europe and the world.

Over the last few years our vision to reach people from the whole world, to disciple and train them, and send them to the world has been steadily growing.  We offer junior internships, and more advanced residencies to prepare men and women for fruitful service.  We have formed a local cooperative network of training churches called the Oxford Training Partnership

A couple of years ago I became the Oxford Lead Mentor for the Union GDip.  This has become a valuable part of our vision to teach and train future leaders.  Combined with a pastoral residency it enables us, if necessary, to fully train a person for full time gospel ministry in our local context.  We do not think of ourselves as primarily a local church planting church, though we expect to do some.  Rather the Lord has made us an engine for gospel growth and church planting throughout Britain, Europe and the world.

At the beginning of 2020 we are entering a new phase.  The church is slowly gathering a longer term core, settled ministries are developing, and we are praying about a building which may have become available for purchase.  I do not expect the next period to be any less faith-stretching than the last, but I remember a young man of 35 years ago who prayed for Oxford.  That young man didn’t dare hope that he would see what I have seen.  So I dare to hope that, in years to come, Jesus will do ‘immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine’ (Eph 3:20).  What he asks me to do is what he has always asked me to do – pray.

- Peter Comont

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