We at Headington Baptist Church (HBC) believe the world is a better place with a reformed Oxfam than with no Oxfam, or a degraded Oxfam, or a silenced Oxfam. Therefore, at this difficult time we will be making a financial offering to Oxfam on Sunday 18th March.

Seeking justice for the poor is a core Christian value. This value is taught in the Bible and has been practiced throughout Church history. The same is true of the duty placed on the rich and the powerful to defend the rights of the poor and to share with those in need.

In light of this, and as a church in Oxford, HBC stands alongside our friends and neighbours in Oxfam as they implement reform and work to rebuild their reputation and continue their important work.

We accept that the reported sexual misconduct by Oxfam staff and the way the matter was handled is a ‘betrayal of trust’, as stated by Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary. We echo her call that Oxfam ‘now demonstrate moral leadership to address the scandal and deliver progress on its assurances over safeguarding.’

For the future, we hope for a reformed Oxfam that will be able to continue to offer its skills in delivering aid, assisting development, and authoritatively informing the public about the nature of global inequality and its consequences.

We note that Mark Goldring, CEO of Oxfam, has informed MPs on the International Development Select Committee that Oxfam has lost around 7,000 regular donors since the scandal broke and the corporate partners were “reserving judgements”. This is a serious potential loss of revenue for a charity and we trust our small financial gift at this controversial moment might encourage others to do likewise.

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