History Files


Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Essex

by Peter Kessler, 22 May 2020

Basildon Part 12: Churches of Langdon Hills, Little Burstead & Dunton

Langdon Hills Methodist Church, Laindon, Basildon, Essex

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, Laindon, Basildon, Essex

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, Laindon, Basildon, Essex

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.

St Therese of Lisieux Catholic (New) Church, Laindon, Basildon, Essex

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.

Church of St John the Evangelist, Great Berry, Basildon, Essex

The Church of St John the Evangelist, Great Berry, 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!

Church of St Mary the Virgin, Dunton, Basildon, Essex

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.



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