In the 1980s Peter & Suzanne Doherty moved down to Essex from Scotland, in response to a call from God to work in Christian ministry. Peter took up the position of minster at a Congregational Chapel in Matching Tye. After some initial challenging years, one day the Holy Spirit fell on their small group in a dramatic way. This was a fulfilment of a very specific promise God had given Peter some time in advance.

The group of believers grew, and eventually they renamed themselves Gateway Christian Fellowship (our previous name) and moved into Harlow. There followed a period of many years when we rented a variety of schools and other buildings for our Sunday services. For a long time we had wanted a place of our own, and at around the time of the millennium, we purchased a site at Perry Road, Staple Tye from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brentwood.

Then, in 2004 we were able to open the Gateway Centre. Our first use of the building was a neighbourhood nursery that we started, and then a little later we actually were able to start meeting as a Church at the Gateway Centre.

Knowing that the building at Perry Road had a limited lifespan, we sold the land in 2020 as we began looking for a more permanent home – a building to accommodate all our dreams and visions for this new chapter. Although we don’t yet know where it is, we are excited about everything God has in store for us.

Our full name is Gateway Freedom Church, Harlow. We are constituted as a Company Limited By Guarantee, registered at Companies House with Number 4859696, registered office 3 Home Close, Harlow CM20 3PB. We are a Registered Charity, Number 1099828.


Everything we do has to be based on the basis of what we believe to be true about who God is, what he is like and how the world around us works. Our Church is a member of the Evangelical Alliance and we fully support the Alliance’s Statement Of Faith. Here it is:

1.  The one true God who lives eternally in three persons — the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
2.  The love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, ruling, redeeming and judging the world.
3.  The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God—fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.
4.  The dignity of all people, made male and female in God’s image to love, be holy and care for creation, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs divine wrath and judgement.
5.  The incarnation of God’s eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ — born of the virgin Mary; truly divine and truly human, yet without sin.
6.  The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross: dying in our place, paying the price of sin and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God.
7.  The bodily resurrection of Christ, the first fruits of our resurrection; his ascension to the Father, and his reign and mediation as the only Saviour of the world.
8.  The justification of sinners solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ.
9.  The ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who leads us to repentance, unites us with Christ through new birth, empowers our discipleship and enables our witness.
10.  The Church, the body of Christ both local and universal, the priesthood of all believers — given life by the Spirit and endowed with the Spirit’s gifts to worship God and proclaim the gospel, promoting justice and love.
11.  The personal and visible return of Jesus Christ to fulfil the purposes of God, who will raise all people to judgement, bring eternal life to the redeemed and eternal condemnation to the lost, and establish a new heaven and new earth.