Langdon Hills Methodist Church is at the
south-west corner of Emanuel Road and the High Road. New 'settlers'
moved into the district in 1902 to find a distinct lack of
nonconformist chapels. The early Methodists initially met as part of
the Nightingale Mission Church (see links). They continued meeting
there even after the Baptists had left, even extending the hall
between 1930-1932. They finally built their own chapel on the
present site in 1956 and the hall was abandoned.
Elim Pentecostal Church is at the
north-western corner of the junction between Vowler Road and the
High Road. The OS six-inch map of about 1946 shows other buildings
occupying this plot, on an alignment that faced onto the High Road
instead of now, with the church facing Vowler Road. The largest of
those buildings seems to have been the original Elim church, which
was registered in 1932 and demolished in 1977. The present building
was erected in 1978.
St Therese of Lisieux Catholic (New) Church
lies within the circle of land formed by Florence Way, and towards
the western edge of that circle. In 1915, in Laindon, Catholic mass
was celebrated in a family home by Billericay's parish priest. This
continued until 1926 when the original St Therese of Lisieux
Catholic Church was built on the High Road (see links). St Therese
had been canonised in 1925, so the church in Laindon was one of the
very first dedicated to her.
That little wooden church remained in use until
it was beyond repair, and funds were raised for the present church.
This building was erected in 1991-1992. It includes a presbytery and
hall, built on what once was Bristow Road and Bristow Close (the
church stands over the site of the latter). The residential
properties that used to line these streets were demolished in the
1970s, but the land largely stood as an empty stretch of wasteland
for almost two decades.
The Church of St John the Evangelist,
sits on the northern side of Forest Glade, midway between the
Holly Bank and Jasmine Close turnings. Plans for the area's
development were known in the early 1980s. The church was built
as a modern form of 'worship centre' in 1991, although lack of
finance delayed the work by several years. Initial ideas had
included adding a worship space in the basement of a planned
supermarket in the days before Sunday opening!
The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Dunton,
lies at the western end of Church Lane, which connects to the western
side of Lower Dunton Road to the west of Basildon itself. It is an
1873 rebuilt of a medieval church or priory chapel about which little
seems to be known. It was closed in 1980 after being downgraded to a
chapel-of-ease in 1978. Its condition had been a subject of concern
for many years, although it survived a 1968 recommendation that it
be pulled down.
Five photos on this page by P L Kessler (from
2011), and one kindly contributed by Terry Joyce via the 'History
Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group. The tour now
progresses into Thurrock.