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Leadership and Governance

We aspire to be a group of churches who plant and grow healthy, vibrant churches which see many, many saved and changed for the better by combining effective church activities and the miraculous power of God. This page contains a summary of our structure and governance to that end.

Local church teams

Each local church has a team which takes overall responsibility for the vision, direction, oversight and implementation of that church's call. The name of this team varies from church to church, and it will generally delegate to other teams and individuals within the church.

Regional Team

The regional team is the gathering of community heads, assistant pastors and regional administration leads. It meets for two purposes:

  • To provide support, prayer, encouragement and insight for the local church leaders.
  • To bring leadership to the region.

Currently (January 2021) this team consists of Jeremy and Jo Bray, Roger and Di Cole, Michael Ivey, Paul and Fran Gander, Neil and D Townsend (team lead), and Nick and Naomi White.

Regional Trustee sub-committee

Legally, OpenGate churches is part of Oxfordshire Community Churches (known as OCC, see here). The Trustees of OCC carry the final legal responsibility for the charity. This work is substantially delegated for OpenGate to our Trustee subcommittee. Their responsibilities are:

  • To ensure that the regional leadership have a clear vision and strategy for the region and the churches.
  • To verify that the regional and local teams are acting in line with that vision and strategy.
  • To ensure that all actions taken by the regional and local teams are within the bounds of 'good practice' as defined by UK law and other appropriate bodies.

The regional trustee subcommittee consists of: Ken Armour and Paulette Elliott from Wantage, Duncan Graham and Michael Ivey from Abingdon, Paul Gander and Jansen Jacobs from Didcot, and Neil Townsend (chair, Wantage, Regional lead). Of those, Neil Townsend and  Jansen Jacobs are trustees of OCC, ensuring overlap between the bodies. 

Finally, it is worth noting that of the five churches which are part of OpenGate Churches, three are legally part of the organisation (Abingdon, Didcot and Wantage) and the other two (Henley and Swindon) are separate legal organisations with their own trustees.