The Gate Church (formerly Reading Community Church) is an extremely active, multi-generational Baptist Church on the edge of Reading. It is the merger of two churches which joined together in 2005 and has a dedicated, varied congregation with many young families and people in their 90s who were founding members of the church.
The Senior Minister, Yinka Oyekan, was President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain from 2020 to 2021 and still retains a national role within the union, focussing on church renewal and planting. As a result of the minister’s leadership and influence, the church is seen as a rock for struggling smaller churches – working alongside them to help them grow and flourish again.
The church also has a rich history of serving the practical, emotional and spiritual needs of the community, town and beyond. The Gate is the lead church for The Turning (an international evangelistic ministry); it operates Love Your Community (a charity overseeing community projects and ministries); and is the lead church for the Love Your Neighbour Covid-19 initiative in Reading.
The Gate’s many roles and responsibilities have, up until now, been driven from its single story church building which comprises of a main sanctuary, small hall and office, and facilities which are simply not adequate to support the present ministry of the church – let alone any expansion!
Following an extensive feasibility study, and with funding support from Benefact Trust, The Gate is undertaking an ambitious demolition and rebuilding project which will enable the church to grow its support for the local community; its training locally and internationally in evangelism and discipleship; and its ability to provide conferences (in person and online) for the national and international Christian community.
The three story complex will include a large auditorium, a dedicated space for children and young people, a café area with a catering kitchen, a dedicated art space, and a number of smaller multipurpose rooms.
Paul Playford, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: “This project is more than a church rebuild, it is about building communities, churches, and Christianity at a local, national and international level. The positive impact of The Gate’s new building will be felt by many people and we’re very proud to support the project.”