Terms and Conditions

This page together with our Privacy Policy sets out all the terms and conditions upon which we provide ticketed visitor entry to the tower of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin to you and to those accompanying you. Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully before buying a ticket. By buying a ticket, you agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.


  1. DefinitionsUniversity Church refers to the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, High Street, Oxford, OX1 4BJ. The terms ‘We’, ‘Us’, and ‘Our’ refer to the Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin Oxford (Registered Charity No. 1130491), and to all and any staff and duly authorised agents and contractors acting on its behalf, including St Mary's (PCC) Limited, a company registered in England (Company Number: 3298067), whose trading address is the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, High Street, Oxford, OX1 4BJ and whose Registered Office is 30 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LE (VAT registration number: 195 3752 31). The terms ‘You’, ‘Your’ and ‘Yourself’ refer to You and to any person or organisation who in Our reasonable opinion is acting with Your authority or permission. Your ‘Ticket’ is an email communication containing Your Order Confirmation. You must bring with you to the University Church either a printed copy of your Ticket or a mobile device on which your Ticket can be displayed, for it to be verified at the entrance to the Tower. ‘Order Confirmation’ is an email containing your Order Number. Your ‘Order Number’ is your proof of purchase and is needed at the entrance to the Tower, where it will be verified. ‘Promotional Offer Tickets’ are Tickets that we offer from time to time at a discounted price, which are subject to certain conditions and are accessed using a given promotional code. “Ticket” / “Tickets” permit visitors to enter the Tower, subject to these Terms and Conditions. “Tower” refers to the staircases, ringing chamber, and viewing platforms of the tower of the University Church. The ‘timeslot’ refers to the designated times on the ticket which define the beginning and the end of the time allocated for a tour of the Tower.
  2. Purchasing Tickets Online Tower tickets have a set entry timeslot and the visit will last for a maximum of 15 minutes to ensure the safety of all visitors to the Tower. You must ensure that you have selected the correct visit date, entry timeslot and number of tickets as mistakes cannot be rectified after completion of your booking. You can pay by Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, and JCB secured by Worldpay. You undertake that all details that you provide for the purpose of purchasing tickets are correct and that the credit or debit card you are using is your own. If there are any changes to the details supplied by you it is your responsibility to inform us as soon as possible. Upon purchase of a Ticket from Our website: You will receive an Order Confirmation email containing Your Ticket and Your Order Number as Your proof of purchase. Please check that You have received an email containing Your Ticket and Your Order Number. We take no responsibility should You not receive this email due to reasons outside Our control e.g. junk mail settings or spam filtering. When you arrive at the Tower entrance, either a printed copy of Your Ticket or a mobile device on which it can be displayed must be presented at the entrance to the Tower for it to be verified. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy of all details on your email confirmation as soon as you receive it, as it is not always possible to rectify mistakes later. When you receive your email confirmation, please keep your Ticket in a safe place as we cannot be held responsible for your failure to present your Ticket, or for any misappropriation of it by a third party who makes use of it at the University Church prior to your arrival. Only Tickets purchased directly from Us are valid for entry to the Tower at the University Church. Tickets purchased from any unauthorised third party, including online auction sites, are not valid for entry.
  3. Ticket Price Our prices are as stated on Our website but are liable to change at any time. When buying a Ticket the total price will be confirmed. We reserve the right to correct any pricing errors even after we have sent You the email confirmation, although We will endeavour to do so as soon as we become aware of the error. All Ticket prices are in UK Pounds Sterling. From time to time, we may decide at our absolute discretion to issue Tickets under special promotions (“Promotional Offer Tickets”). All such promotions will be offered subject to availability and subject to any terms and conditions that affect the particular promotion.
  4. Using your Ticket Tickets are valid for the booked event date and time only. Your date and entry time selections are shown against the items in your basket. If You miss your entry timeslot you will not be guaranteed entry to the Tower. Staff will advise the next available entry timeslot but at busy times, or at the end of the day, it may not be possible to offer you an alternative timeslot. No refunds are available. Entry to the Tower area is usually via the High Street entrance, but when the church is in use for acts of worship and other events, entry may be gained via the Radcliffe Square entrance. Visitors must ensure that they arrive at least five minutes before the advertised start of the timeslot. Tickets are non-refundable, non-transferable and void if altered. If You have booked online, You will be able to alter Your timeslot up to 24 hours before the start of Your original timeslot. Tickets that We reasonably suspect have been transferred or altered will not be honoured unless We, in Our absolute discretion, choose to do so. Tickets must not be re-sold. Re-sale shall render the ticket(s) in question void. Tickets are non-refundable in the event that admission is refused or We require the ticketholder to leave the University Church for any reason referred to in these Terms and Conditions. If You purchase Tickets on behalf of a group, You agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions on behalf of every member of the group, and You agree that You will ensure that these Terms and Conditions are complied with by each person in the group. If You have purchased tickets on behalf of a group, all members of the group should arrive together for each allocated timeslot. Please note that a maximum of six people are permitted in any one timeslot. You should ensure that you know the name and contact details of each person for whom You have bought tickets. If You are purchasing tickets on behalf of others, You must provide the name and contact details of the lead participant.
  5. Children and Young People Children under the age of 8 are not permitted to climb the tower. All children aged 8-15 must be accompanied and supervised by an adult (anyone aged 18 or over) when accessing the Tower. All such children must remain under the control and supervision of a person aged 18 or over at all times. Shop staff may ask for proof of age before permitting admission to the Tower.
  6. Health and Safety Access to the tower is via a 127-step medieval turret staircase. Some of the steps are steep and worn. Persons with heart conditions or pre-existing medical conditions, mobility difficulties or any condition where the effort of climbing is considered hazardous should refrain from attempting this climb. You are required to exercise due care and attention during Your visit and to move around the University Church at all times with proper regard for Your safety. We accept no liability for any personal injury or any damage to property caused by any fall, trip or by any other means except where this is proven to be the direct and foreseeable result of negligence by Us or by Our staff.
  7. Your Conduct Whilst You are visiting the tower, You must comply with all directions of our staff, and with all health and safety notices, policies and announcements that are made available to You. Please respect the University Church as a place of Christian worship by switching your mobile phone and all personal messaging devices to silent mode and by not making or receiving any calls. We reserve the right, acting reasonably at all times, to refuse admission to the tower or to remove from the tower without any right to any refund any person whose observed or reported behaviour may adversely affect the safety or well-being of others, or the quiet use or enjoyment of the University Church and its precincts by others as a prayerful place of public worship, private devotion or Christian pilgrimage, or which may damage the structure or any contents of the University Church. If any visitor in breach of any of these Terms and Conditions is a member of a Group, then all individuals in such Group may also, at Our sole discretion, be denied entry to or be escorted from the University Church without any right to any refund. No pets or animals may be brought into the tower. No food or drink may be consumed inside the tower. No smoking (including the use of e-cigarettes) is permitted inside the tower or the University Church. No access is permitted to any area of the University Church except those designated for public access.
  8. COVID-19 You must wear a mask or appropriate face covering inside the building and during the climb to and from the top of the tower. Hand sanitizer is available at the church entrance and at the tower entrance and all visitors are requested to use it before entering the tower area. Customers should keep at least 1 metre distance from staff and other visitors. Only a limited number of visitors is allowed in the shop and tower at any one time. If You or others in your household are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms, are asked to self-isolate, or are subject to local or national restrictions on travel and therefore cannot visit on Your booked visit date and/or entry timeslot, You will be able to reschedule Your visit for an alternative date and entry timeslot free of charge.
  9. Security We have no facilities for the storage of Your personal property. You are responsible for the security of Your personal property and You must keep it with You at all times. Unattended items will be removed. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage howsoever caused to any item of property belonging to any visitor to the University Church. You must not bring into the University Church any weapon, firework, smoke bomb, glass bottle or other glass item or any other article which may cause personal injury or damage to property. Any person found to be in possession of any article deemed to be offensive or dangerous, and any person who appears to be under the influence of drink and/or drugs and/or is acting aggressively will be escorted forthwith from the University Church without any right to any refund. We reserve the right to make reports of such incidents to such authorities as appear to Us to be appropriate.
  10. Photography and Recordings for Commercial Purposes Commercial photography is not permitted inside the University Church without the prior written permission of the Vicar of the University Church. This includes the recording of any images and/or sound for commercial purposes and the uploading onto the internet or any other online publishing of any material created or recorded inside the University Church. All commercial image-use rights that are created inside the University Church remain the property of the University Church. From time to time We or third parties authorised by Us may carry out photography and/or other recording in the University Church and such images and/or recordings may feature visitors. You consent to the use of such images and/or recordings by Us in connection with advertising and/or promoting the University Church (such as on the University Church website, social media sites and pages, partner sites, outdoor advertising and other University Church publications and publicity materials) and for Our internal purposes and, in doing so, You agree that We may edit, modify, publish and make available such images and/or recordings. You acknowledge and agree that You will not receive any compensation if We use such images and/or recordings for the purposes set out above. No image will be used of a person under 18 years of age without the prior permission of the parent or legal guardian of that person. No photographs or recordings may be taken at services or any act of public worship without the prior written permission of the Vicar of the University Church.
  11. Photography and Recordings for Personal Use  We permit You to take personal photographs and recordings within the University Church provided that these are solely for Your private use and are not sold or used for any commercial or public purpose. The use of tripods in public areas during normal opening hours is only permitted under the direct supervision of University Church staff, and the arrangements to ensure this will happen safely must be agreed by Us in advance of Your visit. By accepting these Terms and Conditions, You agree not to intentionally photograph or create video footage of any individual without that person’s prior permission and that You will adhere to all photography and filming restrictions in place from time to time whilst in the University Church. This includes the requirement that no photographs or recordings may be taken at services or any act of public worship without the prior written permission of the Vicar of the University Church
  12. Our Liabilities Our liability for any losses that You may suffer as a result of Us breaching these Terms and Conditions is strictly limited to the purchase price of the Ticket(s) that You purchased from Us. We do not exclude or limit in any way Our liability for death or personal injury caused by Our negligence or that of Our employees (if acting within the course of their employment), Our agents or suppliers (if carrying out the work which they were contracted to do for Us), or any matter for which it would be illegal for Us to exclude, or attempt to exclude, our liability. We will not be responsible in any circumstances for any losses in the following categories (which list is not exclusive and is cited here for illustration purposes only): loss of income or revenue, loss of business, loss of business opportunity, loss of profits or contracts, loss of data, waste of management or office time, loss of goodwill, disappointment or emotional distress. All personal arrangements including travel, accommodation or hospitality relating to Your visit to the University Church and all costs associated with the same are arranged entirely at Your own risk.
  13. Events outside our control Subject to applicable law, we shall have no liability to You if We are prevented from or delayed in performing Our obligations under these Terms and Conditions or under any other contract by acts, events, omissions or accidents beyond our control, including (but not limited to) strikes, lock-outs or other industrial disputes (whether involving Our employees or those of any other party), failure of a utility service or transport network, act of God, severe adverse weather, war, riot, civil commotion, acts of terrorism, malicious damage, theft of essential equipment, third party injunction, compliance with any law or government order, regulation or security directive or instruction issued by the emergency or security services, breakdown of plant or machinery, fire, explosion, flood, storm or default of suppliers or subcontractors. Should the University Church have to close for any unadvertised reason after tickets have been booked for a particular date and timeslot, You will be given the opportunity to reschedule Your visit for an alternative date and entry timeslot free of charge.
  14. How we use your personal information We only use Your personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Please take the time to read Our Privacy Policy, as it contains important terms which apply to You. When You purchase a Ticket online, We may use the data that You give Us about Yourself to send You other information and updates in addition to Your Ticket. We may use Your contact details to send You details of promotions that We think may interest You or to invite You to participate in market research. We may also use Your contact details and data about purchases or orders made by You to ensure that You are contacted about any risk of COVID-19 to which You may have been exposed on Your visit to the University Church.
  15. Variation We reserve the right to revise and amend these Terms and Conditions from time to time by notifying You or placing updated Terms and Conditions on the website. You will be subject to the Terms and Conditions in force at the time(s) you purchased your Ticket(s). You may wish to print a copy of these Terms and Conditions with a date-stamp for future reference.
  16. Assignment We shall be entitled to assign any of Our rights and obligations under these Terms and Conditions without notice to You provided that Your rights are not adversely affected.
  17. No Partnership, Joint Venture or Agency Nothing in these Terms and Conditions and no action taken by You or by Us under these Terms and Conditions shall create, or shall be deemed to create, any partnership, joint venture or to establish any relationship of principal and agent or any other relationship between You and Us beyond the relationship created under these Terms and Conditions.
  18. Waiver If We fail, at any time, to insist upon the strict performance of any of your obligations under any of these Terms and Conditions, or if We fail to exercise any of the rights or remedies to which We are entitled, this shall not constitute a waiver in whole or in part of any such rights or remedies and this shall not relieve You from compliance with such obligations.
  19. Severability If any of these Terms and Conditions is determined by any competent authority to be invalid, unlawful or unenforceable to any extent, such term, condition or provision will to that extent be severed from the remaining Terms and Conditions which will continue to be valid to the fullest extent permitted by law.
  20. Third Party Rights A person or organisation who is not a party to these Terms and Conditions shall not have any rights under or in connection with them under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.
  21. Entire Agreement These Terms and Conditions, our Privacy Policy and any other document referred to in them constitutes the whole agreement between Us and supersedes all previous discussions, correspondence, negotiations, arrangements, understandings and agreements between Us relating to the subject matter of these Terms and Conditions. You acknowledge that, in agreeing to these Terms and Conditions, You do not rely on any representation or warranty (whether made innocently or negligently) that is not set out in these Terms and Conditions. Nothing in this clause excludes liability for any fraudulent act.
  22. Law and Jurisdiction These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in all respects in accordance with English law. Any dispute arising from or related to these Terms and Conditions shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.