How we began!
Oakwood Chapel began life in 1957, as a Sunday School class in the Colt Hatch common room, just over the road from the current church building. Five years later, in 1962 the church itself was founded, with the intention of bringing the gospel to the newly-developing area of Little Parndon. Our church building was built almost entirely by the members of the congregation back in the early 1960s, and there are many stories to be told of how God faithfully provided just what was needed, whether people with just the right skills, or financially, as the work progressed.
Who we are
Oakwood is an independent Evangelical church. That means that we don't belong to any formal denomination, although we are affiliated with the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, and are happy to work with other Bible-centred churches, whether in Harlow or further afield, to promote God's work, wherever it is being done.
We are Christians from all over the town and nearby villages, although many live in the streets immediately around the church. We meet at regularly each Sunday and during the week. There's a good spread of ages, backgrounds and cultures represented.
We hope you'll find us to be friendly and welcoming. You probably won't notice any special "dress-code" – we think it's more important that you come to share fellowship and listen to God's word than it is to dress up in clothes you'd otherwise hardly ever wear! We're delighted if families want to join with us and we do our best to make sure that young and old alike feel welcome.
What we believe
Most importantly, we believe the Bible is the Word of God and that it should determine all that we believe and do. We believe that everyone has fallen short – and continues to fall short – of God's perfect standards and that by ourselves there's nothing we can do about it. The only way for us to be saved from the judgement we deserve is by God's grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, and in particularhis death and resurrection.
Oakwood Chapel is currently led by two elders, Martin Biddiscombe and Sam Pakala .
Martin Biddiscombe, Elder
Sam Pakala, Elder
Martin and Sam are supported by a leadership team who share the responsibility for prayer, outreach, youth work, finance, maintenance, pactical support for those in need, and social events.
Our friends and partners
Here's a selection of links to sites belonging to other organisations with which we are in some way associated...
Oakwood supports a number of missionaries in different places round the world who are working in different ways to both help the communities they're living among in practical ways and bring the Gospel to them.
- The Fellowship Afloat Charitable Trust provides exciting outdoor adventure activities for young people at Tollesbury, on the UK Essex coast.
- Gavin & Elaine Charlton: Gavin & Elaine run an orphanage in South Africa, providing for the needs of children who have been left without parents because of HIV.
- Kirs & Lois Mediconda: Kris & Lois are working in India, training local church leaders, particularly those who work in rural areas.
- Trevor Charlton: Trevor works in Peru, and is also involved in translating Christian literature into Spanish for publication and affordable distribution to local church leaders.
- Other missionaries working around the world and here in the UK.
- All Nations Christian College, based just outside Ware, providing training for those considering both short-term and long-term mission.