Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World


Written by: on September 15, 2023

I will honestly admit that I did not hold the fascination with Oxford that so many people have. I always perceived it as a place that I had little to no connection with. As my departure date grew closer, it seems as though my interaction with people that are completely enamored with Oxford strangely increased. I decided that I owed myself and Oxford the opportunity to research and try to understand what so many people seemed to already understand. So, I set out to find a connection with a place where I would be spending 10 days in fellowship with my peers learning, researching, and exploring.
Great Food, Good Mood
I am a Foodie! I love experiencing culture through food. For me, it creates a perfect connection point- a way to unite with people that hold different views and opinions. And food makes people happy, satisfied, which can create the best emotions. So, as I searched for a connection to Oxford, quite naturally I researched food. My hope was to find something that excited me about Oxford. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled about seeing my Cohort Friends. I have the excitement of a child going to see her Summer Friends at Camp, but I also want to find something to be excited about in the area. Here is what I found.
The eight most famous foods in Oxford:
1. Oxford Sausages-Highly Seasoning Pork and Veal-MAYBE!
2. Frank’s Cooper’s Marmalade- Orange Marmalade- NO THANK YOU!
3. Oxford Sauce-Sweet and Spicy Brown English Sauce- YES PLEASE!
4. Oxford Bishop- a warmed mulled port wine- NO THANK YOU!
5. Oxford Hollgog Pudding- a pudding in pastry baked with syrup and milk-YES PLEASE!
6. New College Pudding-Breadcrumbs, Currants, Sugar and Sherry-NOPE!
7. Burford Lardy Cake- Lard, flour, spices, currants, sugar and dried spices-ABSOLUTELY NOT!
8. Oxford Blue Cheese-Blue Cheese with a Kick-YES PLEASE!
I struck out with the food! I decided to move on to the Streets!
The Streets of Oxford
I love the history of Oxford. I had never focused on it as a historic city. I started to understand the fascination with Oxford. I did a quick google search to find the most fascinating facts about Oxford. Here are the ones that I found most interesting:
• The first ever cups of coffee in England were served in The Grand Café in Oxford.
• Oxford’s Botanical Garden, founded in 1621, is not only the oldest botanical garden in the world but it also where the
old Jewish cemetery is too.
• Blackwells Bookshop, built in 1879, is the largest bookshop in the entire world!
• The University of Oxford is roughly 922 years old, making it the second oldest University in the world. It is beaten in age by the University of Bologna which is around 930 years old.
• Close to the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, if you look hard enough, you will find the door to Narnia.
• As recently as 200 years ago, the only subject you could study at the University of Oxford was religion until the curriculum finally expanded to all subjects.
• Oxford was not bombed during WWII. Oxford was very busy during the war building bombers, but historians believe Oxford wasn’t touched because Hitler wanted Oxford to be the new capital of England after defeating it.
• Alice (Alice in Wonderland) was a real child called Alice Liddell, whose Father was the leader of Christ Church college. The writer, Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), was a professor of Mathematics and Logic, who spent time entertaining Alice whilst he taught at the University of Oxford.
• It wasn’t until 1878 that women were allowed to come and study at the University of Oxford! They were finally allowed to be awarded degrees in 1920 and it was only in 1974 that all colleges let women enter and stay.
Notable Figures
I love to read. I also love to write. I am so excited by the thought of old bookstores and first edition novels. In my research I discovered that Oxford has more published authors per square mile than anywhere else. Some of the most notable include, JRR Tolkien Lord of the Rings, Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland, and CS Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia. My plan is to walk the streets of Oxford and pray that some of the literary magic rubs off on me.
Excitement Brewing
I have a growing excitement about exploring the food (only some of it), the Streets, and taking in the rich history that Oxford holds. I have a better understanding of why it is held in such great regard to people in Academia and my friends that are historians. I am keeping an open mind and preparing to join my friends across the pond. Oxford…Here I Come! Get Ready!

1.25 Fascinating Facts About Oxford You Need To Know | SBC (summerboardingcourses.com)

About the Author


Jonita Fair-Payton

6 responses to “OXFORD…Ready OR NOT!”

  1. mm David Beavis says:

    Jonita! Looking forward to seeing you soon! And yes, I’ll also pray that the literary magic rubs off on me!

    See you in a few days!

  2. Jenny Dooley says:

    Jonita, I enjoyed reading your post. The creative discoveries you uncovered and the openness you exhibit to embrace a new experience build my excitement too. I am looking forward to exploring Oxford with you. I’m planing a walk in the Botanic Gardens. Please join us. A trip to Blackwells Bookshop, yes please! See you soon.

  3. mm Jonita Fair-Payton says:


    I would love to explore the Gardens and Bookshop with you and where else our exploration leads us. I am looking forward to embracing Oxford and experiencing all that it has to offer. See you very soon, my sweet friend!

  4. Hey Jonita! Fascinating facts! I had no idea you were a Foodie! 😊 I eat anything except octopus lung! And I love books. I had no idea Oxford had the largest bookshop in the entire world! I hope to visit it soon. And thanks for the Alice in Wonderland detail. Looking forward to seeing you, young lady!

  5. mm Russell Chun says:

    Food tragedy strikes. The Hawaiian Restaurant Ekahi (One love) is closed to November. Yikes. I am forced to try a FULL English breakfast etc…

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