Chelmsford Cathedral is more formally
named the Cathedral Church of St Mary, St Peter, and St Cedd.
It sits between Duke Street, Church Lane and New Street in
Chelmsford. The church was founded on this site about 1200, just as
the town itself gained a grant to be settled (1201). It was
dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, and was rebuilt in the fifteenth
and early sixteenth centuries. The church was elevated to cathedral
status in 1914 during an administrative review.
Its elevation made it one of the smallest
cathedrals in England, albeit with one of the largest dioceses,
which was created to meet the needs of the growing population east
of London. In 1954 its dedication was extended to include St Peter
and St Cedd (it was St Cedd who undertook a mission to the East Saxons
in 654 and built St Peter's Chapel, Bradwell). The nave ceiling was
rebuilt early in the nineteenth century after a partial collapse due
to excavations in the vault.
Duke Street Chapel stands on the south-east corner
of Duke Street and Park Road. The earliest Independent meeting was that of
Baddow Lane, formed in 1662 after the Act of Uniformity removed Puritans from
parish churches. Duke Street, or 'Ebenezer Chapel', was founded in 1803 by
dissident Independents who formed this Baptist church in the face of some
opposition. The building was exchanged for that on New London Road
in 1847 (see below).
The Central Baptist Church is on the western
side of Victoria Road South (formerly Market Road). The church was
founded in 1905 when a group of twenty-seven people met, possibly from
Ebenezer Strict Baptist Chapel (see below). In 1908 the present building
was built to seat six hundred people. At the end of the twentieth
century the church decided to radically remodel its premises with a view
to creating a mission facility fit for the next century.
Ebenezer Strict Baptist Chapel is set back
on the south-west corner of New London Road (originally London Street)
and the Parkway. It was opened on 5 July 1848 when the members of Duke
Street Chapel (see above) exchanged that building for this site on new
ground south of the River Can. It soon emerged that the land on either
side of the right of way from the church to the street were for sale
separately, so these had to be purchased to prevent them being built
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Church lies
on the western side of New London Road, almost opposite Anchor Street,
a little way south from the Baptist chapel. The church was opened in
21 October 1847 by Bishop Nicholas Wiseman and consecrated by
Archbishop Manning on 20 October 1866. Constructed in a traditional
style with stone walls and dressings, it possesses a twin bell
turret. The church also opened a school, attached to the church on
its northern side.
Christ Church United Reformed Church is on
the western side of New London Road. London Road Congregational
Church was built nearby in 1840 by James Fenton, a leading nonconformist.
By the time of its demolition in 1971, it had amalgamated with Baddow Road
Congregational Church and Christ Church was built on the site of a former
brickyard. New London Road Nonconformist Cemetery lies opposite,
formed 1846, taken over by the council in 1950.
New London Road Brethren Meeting Room is at
185 New London Road, on the eastern side of the street, opposite St Anne's
School. The building houses a meeting of the Exclusive Brethren in Chelmsford,
one of two such meetings, the other being in Hall Street. Unusually, Brethren
meetings are well-signposted in Chelmsford, each bearing clear signage that
the building is a 'place of public religious worship'. Unfortunately, there
is no history available on the meeting.
St John the Evangelist Moulsham occupies the
western corner of Moulsham Street and St John's Road. The church was built
in 1841 in stock and gault brick, with stone dressings in the Lancet style.
It has a west tower, which faces out over the street, a nave with south west
porch, chancel and transepts. The tower is in three stages with the west door
in three orders with shafts, in the early English style. There are lancets
in the second stage, as well as in the third.
The lancets in the tower sit two per face, with pinnacles
and pierced parapets at the top. The nave has lancets north and south, with
the east part in gault brick, containing connected hood moulds to the windows
and a continuous stone sill-band. Chancel and transepts date to the tower's
construction, in stock brick. The roofs are slated, while that of the nave is
low pitched. The building was listed Grade C on 14 December 1978.