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The United Reformed Church of Halstead

Kings Road




Email: secretary@urcofhalstead.org.uk

A brief history of the United Reformed Church of Halstead

Our origins go back to 1662 when our predecessors separated from the Church of England as they did not wish to conform to the rigid ways of the new prayer book which was being forced upon the Anglican Church. A group of like minded people met in the barn behind the White Hart public house in the High Street, until, in 1679, land was purchased in Parsonage Street for the first Congregational meeting house.

In 1833 there was a division in the church and a group left to form a new church that was built halfway down the High Street where the old Post Office is now (next to Sainsbury's). At the Parsonage Street site a bigger and more imposing building was erected in 1865 and this can still be seen today, although without the spire.

The High Street Church closed after the Second World War and in 1948 the two Churches again became one. In the 1980s and 1990s a considerable sum was spent repairing the Parsonage Street building but when further works proved beyond the resources of the congregation the members took the brave decision in 1997 to leave the building and form a new Church within the URC denomination. At first this was known as 'The New Community Church' a name that had to be different from the old name as members still wanted to continue within the URC denomination. For the first two years we worshipped with our friends from the Methodist Church and formed a strong link which continues to this day. We later worshipped in the hall at St. Andrew's Primary School.

Many buildings were looked at as possible places of worship but were either too expensive or in the wrong place. When the old Doctor's Surgery became available it was the right size, exactly where we wanted to be, in the centre of town and just about affordable. The members pulled together and with God's guidance sufficient money was raised from grants and from members' pockets to alter and equip the premises leaving no debt.

Our church building is probably one of the most modern and comfortable in the town, but its history is a long one. It was originally constructed in 1968 as a purpose built surgery and was extended fifteen years later. We purchased it in the year 2000 and had it altered to what exists today.

The new Church met for the first time in its new home just before Christmas in the year 2000. The Church had already been accepted into the United Reformed Church as a new Church and now the members wanted to be called The United Reformed Church of Halstead which was accepted by the church governing body. We believe we have carried on the tradition of the old Church in the town by moving on when the Spirit leads us and continually being open to God's will.

In times past the town was bisected not only by the river Colne but also by the Colne Valley Railway. The building that has now become our church was previously a doctor's surgery, coincidentally built on the site of the old Halstead Railway Station! It is situated in the middle of the town close to the library and shops and within easy walking distance of most homes in Halstead.

The United Reformed Church of Halstead is grouped with Bocking URC sharing the same Minister. We belong to the Eastern Synod of the United Reformed Church. We have strong links with our friends from Halstead Methodist Church and a friendship with the Protestant Churches of Broich-Saarn in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany. This was started in 1948 between the then Minister of the Parsonage Street Church and the Pastor of the Church in Mülheim-Saarn while he was a prisoner of war in a camp just outside Halstead.

We have regular activities as follows:

Come and Pray

Every Monday

9.30 to 10.00am

Bible Study and Prayer Group

First & third Thursday each month except August, but see special arrangements

During Lent and Advent


Women's Fellowship

Tuesdays with Summer, Christmas and New Year exceptions     


Mid-week Service and Community Tea

First Tuesday of each month except January and August       


Mothers and Toddlers

Wednesdays except those before and after Christmas            


Messy Church

Five Saturdays each year

3.00 to 5.00pm

Emmaus Walk (usually meet at the church)

Fourth Saturday of every month except August and December      


Other Activities

As announced on the website and Notice Board in the church including:

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