Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses is on
the eastern side of Willingale Road, opposite Jessel Drive in the
Debden area. A relatively new red-brick building (of perhaps the
1990s), the hall is well known in Loughton thanks to one of its more
colourful members. The member, heavily pregnant, staged a
bikini-clad protest against a neighbouring independent school in
2009 after it cut down the hedge that separated their properties.
Fellow members were dismayed at the publicity.
St Thomas More Catholic Church occupies a
plot on the western side of Willingale Road, with Collard Avenue, not
much over three hundred metres (yards) north of the Jehovah's Witnesses
in Debden. The church was opened in 1953, probably as an offshoot of St
Edmund of Canterbury in Loughton. It has a long nave, built in
yellow-brown brick, and is dedicated in honour of Thomas More, Lord
Chancellor of England, who was executed at Tower Hill on 6 July
Epping Forest Community Church meets at
Grosvenor Hall, on the eastern side of Grosvenor Drive in the very
north of Loughton. This evangelical church was established in 1982
to serve members from all over Loughton, but it seems the building
was erected by the Church of England in 1953 as St Gabriel
Mission Church, which served as a chapel of ease to St John
the Baptist Church (see below). The date at which the mission was
abandoned is not known.
Goldings Evangelical Church fills the
south-east corner of England's Lane where it meets Lower Road.
There was an early Loughton Congregational Church in an
iron chapel on the same street, although this was possibly before
they gave it up to share the premises of Loughton Baptist Church. It
seems likely that the present evangelical church occupies the same
site as that earlier church, although not the same buildings. The
one on the left is new, perhaps of the 1990s.
St John the Baptist, Debden, is on the
northern side of Church Lane (formerly Blind Lane), close to the
junction with Church Hill. The church was consecrated in November
1846, after being built on land which had for the most part been held
by Baptist minister Samuel Brawn. The new church was much nearer the
village of Loughton than the old St Nicholas' Church, and was of
yellow brick in 'Norman' style, consisting of nave, chancel, transepts,
north porch, and central tower.
The architect was Sydney Smirke (1798-1877), brother
of Sir Robert Smirke (1781-1867). There are eight bells of 1866-1874.
The fifth bell was recast from two of the bells of St Nicholas', dating
to 1621 and 1655. Between 1875 and 1878 the chancel was enlarged, but the
church was slightly damaged by bombing during the Second World War. In 1947
the timber St Francis Mission Church was built as a chapel of
ease at Oakwood Hill on the Debden estate (now gone).