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Our History

















Gathering of members at the laying of the foundation Stone.

Neighbours, chauffeurs and gardeners are looking over the hedge.


In the beginning there was an Idea, then an Inspiration, then a Commitment and so Hutton and Shenfield Union Church was founded. The momentous decision to establish a multidenominational church was taken on October 28th 1912 and, after further discussions, it was agreed that the Fellowship should be open to “all who desire to aid one another in the endeavour to live a life inspired by the Spirit and Teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ” and so the Union Church, unique at that time, began.

Imagine the excitement amongst the 56 people who attended the first service of the new church which took place at Brentwood Congregational Church (now Brentwood URC) on June 5th 1913. Just over a month later the foundation stones of the building on Hutton Mount, that we know today, were laid.


1914    Opening Ceremony and Services to dedicate the new church buildings.

    The Rev Thompson called as our first permanent minister.


1919    Young People’s Christian Circle was formed, with the membership                       quickly rising to 40. This group initially catered for 15-30 year olds with             the Youth Fellowship starting soon after to cater for the 15-18 year olds.             The Sunday School was also thriving with approx. 60 children                             attending each Sunday afternoon.



1926    Rev Burgoyne appointed on the sudden death of the Rev Thompson.











1936    The Rev Andrew James, formerly of Bradford, called.


1938    Silver Jubilee Celebrations.


1939    The Junior Church started with 30 children regularly attending.

     The war years saw many troops billeted in the Shenfield area, with the        church opening its premises to run a services canteen catering for up to      200 people at a time. Evacuee children from London were also                    welcomed on Sundays and a school was set up for 250 children                  evacuated from Leyton.


1946    Former Forces Chaplain the Rev George Hill appointed.


1952    Sunday School Room added to house the ever expanding number of                  children attending on a Sunday








1960    Dr John Gregory took over as our minister.


1962    Small Hall opened.


1963    50th Anniversary Celebrations with church members writing and                        performing “Venture of Faith”.






1966    The Rev Edward Smalley became our minister and oversaw the rest of                the “swinging sixties”.


1971     The amalgamation of the Congregational and Presbyterian Churches                  as the United Reformed Church. The Union Church then affiliating to                the URC as well as our continuing membership of the Baptist Union.


1972     Rev Smalley appointed as the General Superintendent of the Eastern    

             Area of the Baptist Union.


1973     The Rev Edmund Banyard became our minister and we celebrated our                60th Anniversary. Rev Banyard is a well known  Christian  writer and                  broadcaster and we enacted some of his Christian  musicals. “The                        Alien” (the story of Ruth), with music by our Musical  Director Graham                Bishop, also being performed in Canterbury  Cathedral.


1977     Three of our Sunday services televised by the BBC, two of them going                out live!


1985    Church member, Michael Powell, having felt the call to ministry, became             our first Associate Minister before moving onto a ministry of his own                   two years later.







1987    The Rev Graham Corderoy became our minister, and following prayer               and discussion, an exciting period of re-development began. Level                       access was created, small rooms were demolished to provide a                             flexible open  space and a new entrance leading in from the car park                   was constructed. A coffee bar and church office were also built so that               we could  better serve the local community. A small  room at the base of             the Tower was adapted to become a Chapel for private meditation and               prayer, which is still in use today from 8:30am to dusk each day.


1994    Colin Hunt, a member of the Union Church, became our second                          Associate Minister after he too felt the call to ministry. Colin held this                  post until his retirement in 2007.









1997    Rev Tony Coates became our minister.


           As the new millennium approached a concerted attempt was made to                  more clearly define the church’s role and mission. To this end a Pastoral            Care Team was formed and a Youth Worker employed.








2003    90th Anniversary celebrations and the appointment of the Rev David                 Lewis as our Minister.


2011     Ambitious plans for major refurbishments of the Sanctuary started, for              which significant contributions were the legacies from Edna and Evelyn              Turff who had faithfully served this church for over 80 years.


2012    The refurbishment of the Sanctuary completed. We now  have a                          magnificent, light and welcoming area in which to worship.


2009   Steve Tinning became our Minister in Training. As an additional                          placement Steve was working with Harold Hill Urban Expression                          Church whilst studying at Spurgeon's College.








2012    Lisa Kerry became our Minister in Training, before moving into full time              ministry in 2013.












Events took place throughout the year including concerts, a visual and performing arts festival, a revival of Edmund Banyard’s “The Maker of Things”, a family fun day, a garden party, an anniversary dinner and celebratory services.


Each month during 2013 a visiting preacher came to our pulpit with the first six months reflecting our history and the latter part of the year focussing on looking forward.


2015    Alex Newens, formerly our Youth Worker, became our Minister in                        Training.

2017    Alex ordained and takes on a ministry of his own.






2016 The Rev Paul Ellis becomes our minister.

2022 Paul moves to Leicester to look after a group of 5 churches

The church premises continue to be well used, both by church groups and the wider community. We are members of Hutton and Shenfield Churches Together and The Red Balloon Foundation assists us with our work with children and young people.


Over the last few years we have begun to see a period of growth, we have welcomed several new members, young families have joined us and we have had teenagers and adults committing themselves to Christ through believer’s baptism.


As our founders had planned we continue to be an ecumenical church with people from many different Christian backgrounds worshipping with us.


Throughout our history church members, and members of their families have been involved in missionary work overseas, and this continues today.


And so we come full circle, with our continued commitment to our founders original statement, that we welcome “all who desire to aid one another in the endeavour to live a life inspired by the Spirit and Teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ” The ecumenical spirit of the church community is as strong today as it was then and we welcome members of all denominations into our fellowship.



















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