About Our Church

Get to know us

We aim to be community with God, community in the church, and the church in the community

Who are we?

Saffron Walden Community Church is an independent Christian congregation located in the heart of Saffron Walden. Our aim is to make Jesus central to our lives and our relationships and to provide an open and welcoming community where anyone can explore what it means to be a Christian.

About Us

A Christian is simply one who follows Jesus of Nazareth, who through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is seeking to develop their relationship with God and is being transformed to be more like Jesus.

We believe that in his love for us, Jesus died in our place, was resurrected, and ascended back to heaven. Through this we have forgiveness, a new start and are reconciled to God. We receive a new and eternal life in relationship with God, starting now and continuing forever.  Being reconciled to God, we can come to know him in this life, together with our fellow believers.

As Saffron Walden Community Church, we describe ourselves like this:

  • We are an independent church, members locally of Churches Together in Saffron Walden, and nationally of the Evangelical Alliance.
  • As Christians our faith is centred on the person of our Lord Jesus Christ; God incarnate who lived amongst us identifying himself with us, who died for our sins and rose from the dead to give us new life. Through this, he brings us back to God.
  • We believe in 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.
  • Within this, our own particular emphasis is on church as Community:- Community with God, Community with one another, and reaching out to the Community around us in Saffron Walden and further afield sharing Jesus in word and action.



1. The God who is three-in-one – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – our Creator, Redeemer and Empowerer.

Matthew 28:19 & 2 Corinthians 13:14

2. The Man who is God, our Lord Jesus Christ – His virgin birth, His real humanity, His authoritative teaching, His atonement for the sins of the whole human race by dying in our place, His physical resurrection, His ascension into heaven, His exaltation to the right hand of the Father and His glorious second coming.

Luke 1:34-35, Philippians 2:6-11, 2 Corinthians 5:19-21, 1 Corinthians 15:20 & Acts 1:11

3. The Holy Spirit, without whom we could have no understanding of spiritual truth and whose work in us is essential for our transformation into the likeness of Jesus. He continues to equip the Church with gifts that are necessary for it’s upbuilding and its witness to the world.

John 16:13, 2 Corinthians 3:18 & 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

4. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as God-breathed – inspired by the Holy Spirit and, therefore, the infallible Word of God in their original state.

2 Timothy 3:16, 1 Peter 1:10-11

5. The utter helplessness and guilt, due to universal sinfulness, of human beings in their natural state without God.

Ephesians 2:1, 12 & Romans 7:14-20

6. Justification by grace through faith in Jesus Christ as the only way by which human beings can be saved.

Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 4:12 & John 14:6

7. The Church as the Body of Christ throughout the world encompassing all those who have been born again by His Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13, 27 & Galatians 3:27-28

8. Communion and baptising believers as two acts of prime importance in the Church because they were expressly commanded by Jesus.

Luke 22:19-20 & Matthew 28:19-20

9. The unmistakable personal return of Jesus.

Mark 13:26 & Matthew 24:26-27

10. The resurrection of the dead followed by the judgment of all human beings by the Lord Jesus Christ dividing them into those who have rejected Him and those He has justified. The latter will enjoy eternal life with God in heaven, while the former will suffer eternal separation from God in hell.

1 Corinthians 15:42 & Revelation 20:11-15

Core Values

1. Clear and relevant teaching and application of the word of God
2. Submitting to Christ and following Him
3. Worshipping God in our church, in our community and our personal lives
4. In love, valuing each other above ourselves and not insisting on our own interest
5. Discipling people of every age and ability, equipping them for service, identifying their gifts, and giving the opportunity to use them for the glory of God

6. Extending God’s kingdom by serving the community and intentionally sharing the word of God

Supporting Scriptures

2 Tim. 3:16-17,

Matt. 16:24

Ps. 100
Rom. 12:1-2
Rom. 12:10,
Matt. 28:18-20

Lk. 9:1-2

Find out more about Communion, Baptism and Infant Dedication at Saffron Walden Community Church

Who’s Who

Jonathan Burton

Pastor (full time/employed)

Jonathan has been pastor of this church since 2006. He worked as a senior IT manager before hearing God’s call to the pastorate, and trained for the ministry at Spurgeon’s college.

“Pastoring a church, listening to God and following his lead, seeing God at work in us and through us, is an exciting, fulfilling and rewarding role. It is fundamental that this is done together with others, not as an isolated individual. I feel very supported by my colleagues in leadership and the wider congregation. They are my friends working alongside me and building one another up.”

See below for the other members of the Leadership Team.

Rachel Sabates

Pastor (part-time/employed)

Rachel is employed in a part-time role at the church, working alongside Jonathan in all areas of ministry. Rachel is also employed by the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. In this capacity, she works as a senior Research Fellow and leads large humanitarian and development projects across a number of countries.

“God’s calling on my life is to work for and alongside people, particularly the most poor and marginalised, addressing both their physical and spiritual needs. My two jobs enable me to work in both these areas of need. I am passionate about small group and one-on-one discipling of Christians and I am committed to learning how better to hear and follow God’s direction for my life and for the Church.”

Katie Boyce

Church Administrator (part-time / employed)


Katie fulfils many of the administrative tasks in support of the pastor, ministry leader, leadership team and trustees. She also proactively looks for opportunities to improve the church processes.  Katie is the youth work coordinator and incorporates some of the work within her employed role too.

“I worked in Church Administration and Children’s Work in Nottingham for a number of years prior to returning to Saffron Walden nearly 6 years ago.  My role at SWCC is a new one for our church and so I am excited to see how this develops in the months to come”.


Jonathan and Rachel are just part of the wider spiritual Leadership Team of the church. This team share equally the decision making and discernment in leading the church. Those currently on the leadership team alongside Jonathan and Rachel are – Richard Boyce, Matt Pargeter, Siobhan Rouse.

Matt Pargeter

Richard Boyce

Siobhan Rouse

PastorAL Support

Everyone in the church is encouraged to join a Home Group and/or a Growth Group, as they are our primary point of pastoral care. If you are not in a Home Group and are in need of Pastoral Support then please get in touch with Joy Burton, the Pastoral Team Leader, or one of the Leadership Team. 

If you are new to the church and would like to find out a bit more and chat over a coffee, please get in touch and we can arrange for you to meet with one of the Pastoral Team.
The Leadership Team are also available to visit those new to our Church community.

Joy Burton, Pastoral Team Leader


The story of Saffron Walden Community Church is very short! The congregation of Gold Street Chapel had been looking for larger and more appropriate premises for quite a few years when the Methodist chapel in Castle Street became available. As a result of dwindling numbers, the Methodist congregation had decided to merge with the United Reformed Church in Abbey Lane, selling their own building which had been the home of the Methodist church in Saffron Walden since the 19th century. This was a God-send for us, as it offered more room for a range of activities which was beginning to stretch what we could accommodate at Gold Street.

As we move to new premises, we are also seeking new direction from God as to how he would have us work out his kingdom in Saffron Walden. To learn about our move and our new story so far, follow this link (PDF).

The Chapel’s History

Gold Street Chapel Saffron Walden

The story of Gold Street Chapel, however, extends over more than 140 years! In its centenary year of 1970, one of our outstanding members, Ray Mitson, compiled a history of the chapel from its beginnings in 1870.

Below is an excerpt from this history. It uses many quaint and antiquated terms, but is an interesting dip into Gold Street Chapel’s history.

Chapter Two

1888 to 1900

In 1888 a move was made to Gold Street where the assembly has met ever since. The site taken over was formerly Freestones’ Engineering Shop. Part of the old building was retained in the new structure but it was extensively enlarged to make it suitable as a place of worship. The new building included a baptistry, which has occasionally been used by neighbouring assemblies. The Hall was built by Messrs. William Bell & Sons, for whom Mr. George Newton worked. To view a pdf of the full document See Here.

Our Partners

Across the World

We have personal links with two couples who are working in different parts of the world. Louis and Maribel Woodley in Bolivia, and David and Sari Gardner in Romania.

Louis grew up in Saffron Walden and is now working with Latin Link in Bolivia. While there he met and married his wife Maribel, who shares the work with him. During the past few years, they have established a church in Alpacoma, a poor neighbourhood just outside La Paz, where previously there had been no church. They have now moved on to work in Potosi where Maribel runs a project among widows called CONQUERORS.

Due to the large number of husbands who have lost their lives working in the copper mines, Maribel is able to give them help and support. Louis is going to concentrate on getting the Timothy Bible Institute registered. This process has been going on for a long time. Please pray for this important issue as this will give recognition to the institute as a Bolivian activity. They continue to be heavily involved in the new church, preaching and teaching in all departments.

David and Sari are working with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Romania. Their village is in a Hungarian-speaking part of Romania, and they are working initially on a study booklet in Romani. This is the language of the Romany people, who for the most part are no longer nomadic but remain a distinct ethnic group.

Tear Fund

Tear Fund is a Christian organisation working with local people worldwide to bring sustainable, lasting change to the poorest of the poor. Many charities have similar aims, but Tear Fund works with local churches to identify the poorest people, who often escape the notice of other aid organisations.

“The Bible asks Christians to ‘act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God,’ (Micah 6:8). So part of being Christian is standing up against the injustice of poverty – the grinding reality for so many people around the world today.”

Affiliate Partners and Missionary Organisations

As a church, we are members locally of Churches Together in Saffron Walden, and nationally of the Evangelical Alliance. We are members of Partnership, a charitable organisation providing support to independent local churches. We also support Saffron Walden Street Pastors who are a national group who are there to listen, care and help their local community on the streets, on Friday evenings.

Stort Valley Trust  Organisations

The Stort Valley Schools Trust is a local organisation working to bring the truth about God into primary and secondary schools up and down the Stort valley (and a little beyond!). SVST workers lead assemblies and run clubs at those schools to which they are invited.
Covid-19 has changed the way that the Trust is working – see below where Katie (Team Leader) explains how they have adapted to a new way of working. She also speaks about how they plan to explore the relationship between faith and science.

Service Times

Sundays at 10.30am

Regular monthly Prayer and Praise Services at 6pm.

Drop us a line

We'd love to hear from you!

Find Us

Saffron Walden Community Church
Castle Street
Saffron Walden
CB10 1BD