Havering Road Methodist Church - A Very Brief History.

 

Havering Road is set on the edge of two residential areas to the north of Romford.  It was instigated by the Romford Circuit as a church plant from Trinity Methodist Church in Romford Town Centre to serve the growing estate which was then in construction.  A new residential area required a place of worship, and Methodism was keen to provide it.  The land was provided by donation from Mr Thomas England.  The original Rema building, now referred to as the hall, was erected in the summer of 1957, with a dedication and opening ceremony in December of that year. 

It's vision and purpose then, as now, is as a local neighbourhood church, witnessing to, and worshipping with and for the residential areas which surround it.  Our purpose statement reflects our conviction that spirit filled worship, witness and service is still our calling as a church family.

By 1968 discussions were taking place concerning extending the premises as the hall was too small for the numbers attending.  As is always the way with property matters these discussions developed in to a more substantial idea that a separate new worship area be built alongside the hall, increasing both community and worship opportunities.  Agreeing plans and securing funding took 6 years but in Oct 1974 the new church building was open and in use.

Twenty years later the community once again needed to adapt or extend the site due to overcrowding in the Sunday School.  The teenagers needed their own space.  This need generated a bold vision to build alongside the hall, or create a second floor within part of the property.  The church family at the time were nervous of such a scheme, and in the end went with a later suggestion that a portacabin be placed within the grounds with a fixed link corridor to the hall.  This had the advantage of being able to be achieved quickly and so answer the need swiftly, as well as being a cost the church could manage alone.  This was placed in Oct 1991

Since then the kitchen has been extended to double its size.

This history gives us a site today which has been added to in a disjointed way since it was first erected in 1957. The portacabin is now past its use, and one of the original side rooms needs attention along the outside wall due to damp penetration.  As with all other property discussions in the churches history this need led to solutions that ranged from simply sorting the need to a bold vision for future witness and worship.  We have gone for the bold vision for the future, feeling that if the site is to serve the neighbourhood for whom it was constructed then it must become both more united and more versatile.  This is a build for the next 50 years, so those who are called to this place can focus on worship, witness and service without the frustrations of a site that cannot respond to God’s prompting and calling.

Above is a summary of the physical church.  It would be impossible to summarise the life and worship of God's people over that time for every story is of value.  The current church family continue to see their place as a church set within a community; there to serve that community.  This is seen in many and varied ways, and the purpose of the current build is to secure a site from which the next generations can both move out to the community, and offer a safe place for that community to discover themselves and God.

 

 

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