• Our Story

Our Vision

To raise the next generation to know their God.

Our Values

Great Open Door’s assemblies aim to be Effective by being Exceptional.  This it hopes to achieve by combining:

  • Passion and Conviction – which communicates
  • Creativity and Originality – which is memorable
  • Continuous Improvement – which increases our skills and develops the team’s spirituality
  • Prayerfulness – which continually acknowledges that this is the Lord’s work
  • Diligence – which demonstrates professionalism and the desire to serve

Our story starts

Following a mission trip to Uganda in 2002 with ‘Christians in Business’ (CIB) Phil Gray contacted a children’s charity called ‘An Open Door Into Your Heart’ (AOD) based in South Wales to explore setting up joint micro finance initiatives in Uganda.  He was amazed to discover that their roots were in schools ministry – the very thing God had placed on Phil’s heart for Harlow.

A ministry team from AOD South Wales subsequently visited Harlow in February 2003, following which a team from Harlow then visited South Wales for a training weekend with AOD in May 2003.  The GOD team delivered its first assembly programme in September 2003 and remains indebted to AOD for providing the initial training, confidence and encouragement to undertake schools ministry.

The ministry’s calling verse ‘A great door for effective work has opened to me’
1 Corinthians 16 v 9, received in June 2003, provided the basis for our name  ‘Great Open Door’.

Great Open Door was established by Commonside Christian Fellowship as a non-denominational para church organisation, believing that schools ministry was of strategic importance to the town.  Great Open Door has consistently ‘sown seed’ and ministered in schools over the past 13 years.

Great Open Door is presently staffed by volunteers from local churches.

Our strategy

To teach the Christian faith and Christian moral values to school children in relevant ways so that they can make an informed choice whether to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.  Great Open Door is currently delivering two flagship programmes.


These aim to capture each child’s imagination through a combination of entertainment and education, excitement and reflection, great fun and proclaiming great Truth.  The scripts cater for different learning styles and the use of bold props, puppets, drama and music aims to ‘bind the strong man’ so that children experience the team’s joyful, living faith and encounter Jesus.

Other Activities

Over the years Great Open Door has undertaken a number of activities in school to fulfil its vision and strategy.  These have included delivering:

  • Workshops to Yr1 & Yr2 pupils, which tell Bible stories through drama and related craft activities;
  • Lessons to Yr 3 and Yr4 pupils, which combine RE (telling Bible stories) with literacy learning.  These lessons are called Bible in Literacy;
  • Bible Explorer to Yr5 & Yr6 pupils;
  • It’s Your Move to Yr6 pupils to prepare them for the move to secondary school;
  • A lunch time club in a primary school;
  • Christian praise party at the end of term in a primary school;
  • RE lessons in a secondary school (Stewards Academy).

Schools in Harlow

There are currently around 13,000 school children in Harlow (8,000 primary and 5,000 secondary students).  It could be said that we are only scratching the surface of this largely unreached but immensely important and receptive mission field.  More workers are needed to meet the needs and to fulfil the potential for schools ministry.

The aim remains to extend the influence and the reach of the charity’s work to enable as many school children as possible to encounter Jesus.