Mission Hall

 

Mission HutChrist Church Mission Hall

1933 – 1982

On  October 3, 1932, the St. Albans and Chelmsford Church Trust purchased a piece of land on Perry Street, Billericay, for the sum of £300, to build a Church of England Mission Hall serving the parish of Ingatestone and Buttsbury.

The hall, called ‘Christ Church’ was built in 1933, and was dedicated to God’s service by the Bishop of Chelmsford.

The new Mission Hall seated 200, had a sanctuary containing an altar table - lent by Ingatestone church - and a 16th century Silver Chalice Pattern belonging to St. Mary’s, Buttsbury (our ‘parent’ church), which was used for communion.

An evening service was taken by the Rev Robert Pemberton once a month, while the other Sundays were taken by Mr. Moon, who sometimes invited a visiting speaker.

Christ Church during World War 2

Here is a memory from someone who was at Christ Church during the Second World War. The original author is unknown.

Speech Marks Start..Buttsbury Church - our 'parent' church.then came the war and the children moved out and the army moved in. That’s when the “tin hut” became a canteen in the week and a church on Sunday, by permission of Rev. Thomas. It was open every night for any soldier to drop in for a social hour. We acquired a billiard table and provided two card tables with pens and paper so that the men could write home and I used to go round most evenings to play the piano. The ladies of the church provided the “kitchen” staff and the “kitchen” comprised (of) a sink, and a shelf with a gas-ring on it, so all that could be provided in the way of refreshments was a cup of tea and a spam sandwich, which became known as a “wad”. Cup of tea and a wad cost 4d. This facility was much appreciated by the men who were away from their homes and found Billericay a dull country place. However, there was one section that never used the canteen, that was the section on the ‘searchlight’, stationed at one of the farms (based in field, opposite St. Giles, Mountnessing) – they were not allowed out, but my mother felt so sorry for these lads, that when she had the fruit (and how she managed to save it, and the sugar I’ll never know) and made them a bread-pudding which she cut into chunks and left in the baking tin. If, in the morning, Rev. Thomas found this tin on the shelf in the kitchen, he hopped on his bike, and took it to the boys on the searchlight. We always got back the empty tin!!

The phoney war continued, and one by one the children drifted back from evacuation, till in the end I rounded up the girls and restarted the guide company, and we were given permission to dig up part of the ground by the church to grow vegetables, which we did with varying degrees of success.

Then I was transferred to a department at Humberside, which fragmented my association with Billericay and the “tin hut” to the occasional week-end.Speech Marks Finish

Land Deeds
A photostat of the original land deeds

Inside Mission Hut
Inside the mission hut pre-1965

 

 

Last Service in Hall
The last service in the mission hut held on June 6, 1982 after which it was demolished

Dismantling Mission Hall
Dismantling the mission hall

 

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