Steve Chalke, Founder

Known around the world today as a leading Christian thinker, prominent broadcaster and social-activist, Rev Steve Chalke laid the first foundations of Oasis in 1985 and remains at the heart of the movement today.

At the age of 14, Steve decided to commit his life to confronting social injustice.  He was determined to open a school that was inclusive and provided opportunity for everyone, a hospital for those unable to access good healthcare and a hostel for the homeless. It was out of this vision that Oasis was born and is today pioneering education, housing, health care and countless other initiatives to combat social-injustice across the world.

Ordained as a Baptist minister in 1981, Steve has continually grown in his passion to encourage and challenge the Church to serve the needs of their local communities and adopt an agenda of radical inclusion. These themes of engagement, equality, inclusion, opportunity and compassion flow through his countless books, broadcasts and publications.

Steve is married to Cornelia and they have four grown-up children and are now proud grandparents. They live in Waterloo in central London, where Steve acts as Senior Leader of Oasis Church Waterloo, combined with his global role in Oasis and STOP THE TRAFFIK.

A potted history of Rev Steve Chalke

1981

Ordained as a Baptist Minister.

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1981 - 1985

Assistant Minister at Tonbridge Baptist Church.

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1985 to date

Founder of Oasis Trust, a Christian charity, initially to set up a hostel for homeless young people in Peckham, South London.

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1994

The second Oasis country base was established in India. There are now ten international bases across five continents.

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1993 - 2000

Appointed by GMTV (ITV’s Breakfast station) as their regular contributor on social affairs.

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1995 - 2000

Steve held several television and radio presenting roles with both ITV and BBC, all exploring issues around social development themes.

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1997 - 2008

Founder of Parentalk, an organisation dedicated to inspiring and equipping parents to make the most of every stage of their child's growing up. This on-going work has now been absorbed into Oasis’ wider approach.

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2001 to date

Founder of the Faithworks Movement.

Faithworks exists to empower, inspire and equip individual Christians and every local church to develop their role at the centre of their community. It also seeks to challenge and change the public perception of the Church by engaging with both media and the government.

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2003 to date

Became the leader of a then-dying, central London church, known as Christ Church & Upton Chapel.

Under its new name, Oasis Church Waterloo it is now thriving and at the centre of ground-breaking, integrated models of community regeneration and development in an area of great poverty. OCW is central to the development of a network of new Oasis churches which are all committed to the same values and task in disadvantaged communities around the country.

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2004 to date

Founder and Executive Chairman of Oasis Community Learning (OCL). OCL is now one of the country’s largest multi-academy sponsors. OCL was initially created to provide secondary education.

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2004 to date

Awarded MBE for ‘Services to Inclusion’ in the New Year’s Honours List.

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2005

Became the official holder of the Guinness World Record for the largest amount of sponsorship money ever raised by an individual through a single event, by raising £1.25 million for Oasis academies through running the London Marathon.  In 2006 the record was lost to Sir Steve Redgrave.

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2006 to date

Founder and Chair of Stop The Traffik. This is a global coalition, which now has over 1,600 member organisations and operates in 97 countries, campaigning to end people trafficking, through - preventing the sale of people, prosecuting the traffickers and protecting the victims.

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2007

Reclaimed the Guinness World Record for sponsorship after raising a further £1.84 million through running the London Marathon.

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2008 to date

Appointed as the UN.GIFT Special Advisor on Community Action against Human Trafficking by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

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2008

Established the ‘Oasis People’s Parliament’ – facilitating debate, discussion, interaction and partnership between the voluntary sector, the church and government. 

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2009

Launched ‘Charities Hub’ at The Oasis Centre Westminster Bridge Road, with the aim of facilitating greater engagement and debate between the third sector agencies and government seeking to transform communities.

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2010

Led the ‘Stop The Traffik Chocolate Campaign’, to stop major chocolate manufacturers using trafficked children as a labour force on their cocoa farms. To date products in three major chocolate manufacturers have been designated ‘Fair Trade’ i.e. ‘Traffic Free’ as a direct result of the campaign.

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2011

Reclaimed the Guinness World Record for sponsorship again, after raising a further £2.33 million through running the London Marathon.

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2013

Led Oasis in the continuing development of schools around the UK. Oasis is now responsible for 15 secondary schools, two all-through schools and 26 primary schools all of which sit within a total of 35 Community Hubs.