The Bridgwater Drive Church
The Bridgwater Drive Church is an LEP (Local Ecumenical Partnership) between the Bridgwater Drive United Reformed Church (URC) and St Cedd’s and the Saints of Essex Anglican Church.
An LEP is created when two churches find that they have a great deal in common, and share similar values. This LEP was formed in 2007. Our two churches are in the same area road and it seemed natural to join together and at the same time to share our traditions.
St Cedd’s Church
St. Cedd’s is a daughter church of St. Peter’s. During 1953 the building of a new church at Kent Elms had been occupying the thoughts of many at St Peter’s. Many new houses were to be built in the area of Kent Elms and the need for this new Anglican Church was established.
In November 1953 the plans for the new church, to be known as St Cedd’s were finally approved. This would be a dual-purpose church. St Peters would be responsible for helping to establish the church and as soon as the new houses were occupied they would visit the residents with offers of help and assistance.
The parish church of St Cedd was built in 1954 and dedicated by the Bishop of Chelmsford on June 6, 1954.
Bridgwater Drive Congregational Church
As far as I can find out The Bridgwater Drive Congregationalist Church was formed by members of Crowstone Congregational Church.
The church became The Bridgwater Drive URC Church in 1972 when all Congregational Churches had the choice to remain as a Congregational Church or change to URC.
The Hilltop Building of the Bridgwater Drive URC Church was not built until 1968. The need for a free church in the area had been recognised some 15 years earlier, possibly after the completion of the council estate and the building of St Cedd’s Anglican church. The land on which the URC church stands along with other land in the Cockethurst close was given in trust by Mr Hugh Bentall a local farmer and landowner. In 1960 after a survey of local residents and many long discussions, it was decided to establish this new Free Church.
St Cedd’s church had been built as a dual-purpose church and they gave the Congregational church invaluable help for many years, until their own church was ready for use. Services were held there and the various youth organisations were also able to meet there.
There were many pitfalls along the way during the building of the church, but a lot of help was received from a lot of people and finally on 26 February 1968 the dedication service was held and the Bridgwater Drive URC had its own building and its own minister which was very important to many people.