The Littlegate Trust (Littlegate) is an evangelical Christian charity that was established in 2014 with the primary objective of providing premises for churches and other Christian charities that are aligned with Littlegate’s own statement of faith. Geographically, its focus is Oxford and the surrounding areas.
To date, Littlegate has invested in 4 properties, two residential, one church building and a commercial property which has been converted for ministry use.
Littlegate purchases properties with a combination of equity, which it receives as gifts from generous supporters, and debt, which is sourced from senior lenders and a number of other providers including individuals who lend into specific projects. Littlegate rents these properties to churches at modest rents which cover the majority of its operating costs.
The long term goal of Littlegate is to work alongside a number of churches to support their growth through the provision of property to support their ministry needs. It is well understood that ministry opportunities multiply when a church owns or has unrestricted use of its own meeting spaces. Littlegate exists in order to help meet this need.
It is also helpful to separate the ownership and governance of a property for ministry from the governance of the ministry using it at any point in time. Property is a multi-generational asset, whereas ministries sadly can lose their gospel focus within a generation. Littlegate also provides a safeguard against property assets over time being used for purposes that aren’t aligned with its evangelical statement of faith.
Financially, Littlegate’s goal over time is to pay down the debt on its properties in order to minimise the rental cost to churches which it needs to charge to meet its debt servicing obligations as well as its operating costs, the latter being a small proportion of the whole.
Our prayer is that in 50 years time when a future generation looks back at the work of The Littlegate Trust, they will give thanks to God for the provision of a broad set of properties which have been preserved for gospel ministry by successive generations of trustees and which have been bequeathed debt free.