There is currently one meeting held at the Oxford New Road Baptist Church – Wednesday 19:30. All the meetings on Wednesday are Closed meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Monday 19:30 meeting, which used to be held at this venue now moved to St Michael at the North Gate. It starts at 18:00 and is 1 hour long.
History of the Wednesday Meeting
Wednesday (7.30 pm)
New Road Baptist Church (next to Bonn Sq.), Westgate
Formed early summer 1984.
Early in 1984, Michael Hall, head of Simon House in Paradise Street, invited AA to start a group, with a view to encouraging those living on the premises (a strict no alcohol rule) to attend meetings. Richard S, a sober member of AA, had first put down the bottle in Simon House. Alex the Boat and Laurence also had connections.
Intergroup supported the group for three months or so, and it took about five years for it to settle (eventually 8-9 steady members, including resident Eddie). The first Secretary was Mike C, followed by Philip S. Then Andy S/Alex did it for two years in three-month stints. The group has always been Open and Smoking; the format is an ordinary ‘share’ and the group is known for a certain type of deep sharing.
As told by Andy S to Mike M. (May 1999)
In September 2000 the group moved to its present location. The main reason for the move was Simon House’s policy to refuse entry to any person who had been drinking. As this is not part of how an AA group should be run we decided-quite reluctantly-to change venues. Many of the people who come to this group are in their early days of recovery and to turn them away was just not appropriate to our philosophy. We departed on good terms with the management and staff of Simon House.
The new venue has brought some minor changes: it is now a non-smoking meeting, and it also much more “female friendly”! – i.e. the decor is more becoming and this seems to have attracted more female members. Tea and coffee are now served from china mugs/cups as opposed to disposable beakers. It is altogether a cleaner and more refreshing atmosphere.
But the main ambience of the group remains the same: we are still known for our “deep sharing” (without being conceited) and there is sometimes a good deal of emotional input-plenty of tears and laughter. We also get regular attendance from people who are members of other rehabilitation programmes; their presence is very welcome and they contribute greatly. We are self supporting, with regular contributions to SMIG. The group secretary, Jason, has been in this position since the group moved.
Kevin W. (June 2001)