Basildon United Reformed Church, Fryerns,
is at 6 Honeypot Lane, in the 'box' created by Ghyll Grove to the
west and Whitmore Way to the south. Pitsea Mission Chapel (see
links) opened in 1885 - the first permanent Congregational presence
in the district. This was succeeded by Rectory Park Drive Chapel
in 1927 (see below), which lasted until 1959. This present building
replaced it as Basildon Congregational Church, later United
Reformed at the union of 1972.
St Andrew's Church, Fryerns, sits on the
west side of The Fremnells, immediately north of the junction with
Broadmayne. The first service was held in 'Vernons' bungalow (the
owner bought it with the proceeds of a pools win) on the evening of
26 September 1954. The congregation also met in a community hall,
and held some communion services at Holy Cross (see below). In July
1955 building work began on this dual purpose church and hall,
completed later in the same year.
Holy Cross Church, Fryerns, is on the
eastern side of Church Road, about fifty metres south of the
truncated junction with Cranes Lane. It was first mentioned as the
chapel of the Holy Cross in 1230 - probably a Norman building. Its
precise location seems to be unknown, although it is most likely
that it was here, where its replacement was erected in its earliest
form in the fourteenth century. That initial building consisted of
the nave and the two-stage tower with three bells.
The chancel was added soon after that date but
was rebuilt in 1597, using Elizabethan hand-made red bricks. The
porch, of about 1500, was restored in 1957, while the present door
is as old as the porch and the church roof (although this underwent
full restoration at the start of the twenty-first century). A door
in the north wall, now blocked in, dates from the 1300s. The south
wall has been rebuilt above the plinth, while the three windows in
the nave are of the 1400s.
Fryerns Baptist Church sits at an angle on
the southern side of Whitmore Way, about thirty metres west of the
junction with Whitmore Court. This land was once on the southern
edge of the Fryerns property. The church belongs to the Reformed
Baptist movement and was founded in 1954 by the Metropolitan
Association of Strict Baptist Churches (later renamed the Association
of Grace Churches South East) and the National Federation of Strict
The Church of St Peter, Nevendon, is on
the southern side of Church Lane, immediately east of Nevendon Road.
The old centre of Nevendon is somewhat to the north of Basildon, on
its modern-day edge, and virtually surrounded by industrial and
retail units. This small church was built in the thirteenth century,
possibly as a chantry chapel to serve a hunting lodge of the Fitz
Lewis family. It is of the Early English period, consisting of a
simple chancel and a nave.
The west end has a small bell turret and one
bell. The walls are of hard chalk covered in Kentish ragstone which
must have been brought across the Thames Estuary. The north and
south walls are pierced with lancet windows, dating to the 1200s
and 1300s. The east window was damaged by a mine during the war.
Formerly of the Decorated period it has been replaced by some fine
stained glass. The roof of the 1400s is supported on crown posts
placed on tie beams.
St Basil the Great Catholic Church, Pitsea,
is at the north-east corner of the junction between Luncies Road and
St Teresa's Close to the east of Basildon centre. The original Basildon
town centre plans showed the town centre located where Pitsea now
stands, and so the church was built here, to be consecrated in 1956.
Due to the presence of asbestos and also electrical issues it was in
need of significant refurbishment, which was completed between
The Church of St Gabriel, Pitsea, is on
the western side of Rectory Road, midway between the junctions of
Halstow Way and Howard Crescent on the other side of the road. The
Reverend Ernest W Grevatt, former rector of Pitsea (1924-1936)
purchased the land here. A very modern church building was
constructed on the site and was opened in 1964. It replaced the
church of St Michael in Pitsea (see links), which was now redundant
and has also partially been demolished.
Rectory Park Drive Congregational Chapel
was at the north-west corner of Nicholas Drive and Rectory Park
Drive (now the eastern edge of the car park here). It replaced
Pitsea Mission Chapel at Gun Hill (see links) in 1927 after that
proved too small for a growing congregation. It could seat 500 and
it survived until 1959 when the Honeypot Lane building replaced it
(see above). The area was later completely rebuilt and the road
Five photos on this page by P L Kessler (from
2011), with three kindly contributed by Terry Joyce, Louisa
Hennessy, and Sludge G, all via the 'History Files: Churches
of the British Isles' Flickr group.