City Gates Church began over 25 years ago in August 1985: it was a joint project of Ichthus Christian Fellowship and Youth with a Mission. Its first meeting place was Long's Court behind Leicester Square. It went on to meet in a cinema on Rupert Street, a dance school, the Comedy Store, the Strand Palace Hotel and finally, Westminster University where it is today.
When culture changed so rapidly in the 60s the church was not unaffected. The charismatic movement birthed a new concern for the Holy Spirit. Another movement that emerged around the same time had a concern for the restoration of the New Testament church. Ichthus Christian Fellowship, and other movements like Pioneer and New Frontiers arose at this time, both charismatic and restorationist in character. Ichthus presented a contrasting view on a number of theological issues: honouring the role of women in ministry, believing in free will and attempting to do mission where others wouldn't: hence a church in Soho.
Russell Grubb led City Gates for the first ten years; the leadership then passed to Matt Frost, current pastor of Cirencester Baptist Church. In 2008 Barney Skrentny became pastor. He was part of the church in the late 80s when it was reasonably new, and when he married Shirley, it was the first City Gates wedding!
For over ten year City Gates has had a venue in Green's Court, at the heart of Soho. Many of our midweek activities are still based here, and its the base for our mission in the West End.
In 2004 City Gates Church moved into a different relationship with Ichthus Christian Fellowship, independent, but still grateful for its heritage. in 2008, City Gates became a founding member of Trinity, a network of churches and mission leaders.