St Cross Closure

In 2008, St Cross applied to the diocese to close the church. This was granted and the last service at the church is on at 5pm on Sunday 12th October 2008. The bells are unlikely to be rung after this. The church has been purchased by Balliol College and is being turned into a Historic Collections Centre.

From Balliol's News section of their website on 20 Jun 2008,

"Balliol College is pleased to announce that The Shirley Foundation has agreed, in principle, to contribute £1 million towards enabling Balliol to establish an Historic Collections Centre in St Cross Church, Holywell. The Master, Dr. Andrew Graham, commented, “St Cross Church is one of the oldest buildings in Oxford. Balliol is possibly the oldest college in the English-speaking world with archives to match – certainly the oldest on its original site. Bringing these together and combining them with state-of-the-art conservation facilities so that scholars from around the world will be able to consult Balliol’s archives and historic collections will represent a unique and long-lasting contribution both to heritage and to scholarship.

Discussions to change the use of this church in this way are well advanced. In particular, the Parochial Church Council of St Cross at a meeting on 5 February 2008 decided unanimously in favour of Balliol College developing a specialist archive library in the church. The Balliol scheme has also been warmly welcomed by the Vicar and the Archdeacon.

The physical location of St. Cross is contiguous with Holywell Manor, Balliol’s flourishing Graduate Centre and itself a building that dates back to medieval times. This project represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Balliol to bring together its rich and varied collections in an exceptionally convenient and scholarly environment."