History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Essex

by Peter Kessler & the Reverend Tim Bell, 25 July 2010. Updated 10 August 2011



Chelmsford Part 2: Churches of Chelmsford

Grove Road Evangelical Church

Grove Road Evangelical Church is on the south-east corner of Grove Road and Godfreys Mews in Chelmsford. It is a member of the Union of Evangelical Churches (UEC), a group of churches based in Essex and East London, which was started by James Banyard in 1837 in Rochford (otherwise known as the Peculiar People). On 27 April 1956 Supplemental Deed Poll Number 2 was signed, changing the name of 'The Peculiar People' to the 'Union of Evangelical Churches'.

Elim Christian Centre

Elim Christian Centre is a modern building which occupies the northern side of Hall Street, almost opposite Upper Roman Road. This is the second Elim building to have existed in Chelmsford, the first being just around the corner on Mildmay Road (see below). The membership grew to a point where a new building had to be sought, so the present site closer to the town centre was selected. By 2010 the church's members were already starting to outgrow it.

Hall Street (Primitive) Methodist Church

Hall Street (Primitive) Methodist Church occupies the south-east corner of Hall Street and Upper Roman Road. The Chelmsford Primitive Methodist Circuit became the Chelmsford and Braintree Primitive Methodist Circuit following union with the Braintree Primitive Methodist Circuit in 1926. This then became the Chelmsford and Braintree ex-Primitive Methodist Circuit in 1932-1937. The premises are also used by Chelmsford Presbyterian Church, which started in 1992.

Seventh-Day Adventist Church

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church is on the eastern side of Upper Roman Road, almost opposite Orchard Street. The building is little more than a converted Victorian brown-brick dwelling in which the members observe Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath. The denomination grew out of the Millerite movement in the United States during the middle part of the nineteenth century and was formally established in 1863.

Hall Street Brethren Meeting Room

Hall Street Brethren Meeting Room occupies a narrow site on the south-west corner of Hall Street and Mildmay Road. The Plymouth Brethren who meet here were named after the English seaside town of Plymouth, where a sizable number of Christians gathered during the early years of the movement. It was also the the town from which the Pilgrims, about two hundred years earlier, had embarked for America, naming their first settlement in Massachusetts after it.

Elim Church

Elim Church stands on the western side of Mildmay Road, with the entrance to Gladstone Court on its southern side. As the result of a visit to the Chelmsford Corn Exchange by Reverend Stephen Jeffreys in 1927, Elim Church was born, meeting at the Co-Op Hall in Barrack Square. This was quickly replaced by the Mildmay Road building, but by the end of the twentieth century, the church had moved again (see above). The old building is now the Mencap Hall.

Baddow Road Congregational Church

Baddow Road Congregational Church formerly stood on the road of the same name, approximately where the roundabout is today. The church was in existence by the early eighteenth century, and records date to 1759, at which time it was known as The Old Meeting House, Baddow Lane. By 1899 it was the Congregational Chapel, Baddow Road, and in 1911 'chapel' was replaced with 'church. In 1970 the church was closed and the members joined Christ Church.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army citadel is on Baddow Road, on the eastern side of High Bridge Road. The Army began work here in October 1886, with five bandmasters between then and 1905, in the persons of H Smith, Willie Orrin, Sol Jackson, E Brown and George Orrin. During the subsequent seventy-five years there were only three, and in March 1974 the band headed a march of all the corps sections from the old citadel in Moulsham Street to the present modernistic suite of buildings.

Church of the Holy Trinity Springfield

The Church of the Holy Trinity Springfield is on the northern side of Trinity Road, with a large churchyard on its eastern side. It was built in 1892-1893, to a design by architect J Adie Repton. It initially served as a chapel of ease for the growing community around the canal docks at Warf Road and Navigation Road, being subordinated to All Saints Church, Springfield. The first stone was laid on 24 May 1892 and the completed building was consecrated on 20 July 1893.

Church of the Holy Trinity Springfield

The church was built in gault brick in the Norman style, unusual for Victorian churches in the Eastern Counties, and gained its own parish in 1933. In 1958 new altar rails and gates were installed in memory of W E Belcher and F W Tunstill, churchwardens. The church was given a Grade II listed status on 14 December 1978. On the inside the building has been completely renovated to provide a multi-purpose site which seems de rigueur in the twenty-first century.

In Depth
In Depth


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