a small mustard seed
Doris Hill welcoming the children at the back door of her home (c.1964).

Meadgate Church began in a very small way - a Sunday School with two children and four teachers meeting in a home on the Meadgate estate. This was like a “grain of mustard seed” as it was to be the birth of the Meadgate Church we know today. That was on 8th September 1963.

It is interesting to see how our Church developed as it was just over a year later on 19th December, 1964 that some 20 people attended the first Family Service. Later, on 23rd April, 1967 the Church reached another milestone, regular Services were held in Meadgate School. This opened new doors as soon after this a Wives Group and Senior Citizens Group was formed. However, this made the members realise that they really needed their own building, and the search for a suitable site began. Eventually the present site was located and felt to be ideal as it was in the centre of the Meadgate community. There was great excitement planning the new Church and it was to cost about £18,000 and take 30 weeks to build. The Church had been designated one of ecumenical experiment by the then Bishop of Chelmsford, where members of all denominations would be welcome to join in the Services.The new Church building opened for Christian Worship and service in June 1972.

The then Vicar of St. Mary’s Church, the Revd. Jack Kingham sent a letter to the Church which said:

“Your building will be a great landmark in Baddow history and even more so in Church history as new relationships are forged between Christians of different Churches, and new steps in Church unity are taken which may prove to be a new way forward for the country as a whole.”

Our Church has seen many changes since these early days welcoming several different Curates each making their mark on the future of the Church. However on 1st March, 1988 there was to be a big change for the Churches in Great Baddow as the Parish became a “Team Ministry” combining the three Church, St. Mary’s and St. Pauls and Meadgate. At this time Meadgate became a District Church with its own legally constituted District Church Council and Church Wardens. Most importantly it was designated its own Team Vicar. Curates only stay in a Church for a maximum of three years before they move on to take on a Parish of their own, but once we were able to have a Team Vicar, the duration of their work would be a minimum of seven years with a mutual option of them extending this for a further duration.

Meadgate Church has gone from strength to strength and although in 1995 we had to say goodbye to the Revd. Peter Nicholson who had been Vicar for 16 years, in 1997 we welcomed the Revd. Mones Farah and his wife Sally and three daughters.

We had been wanting to extend the building for many years as it just wouldn’t accommodate the growing congregation and in 2001 a huge building project was undertaken. To extend our building we needed more land, and we were able to include some of the Council owned property between our building and the Co-op Stores, which gave us space not only to enlarge the Church, but also have a large kitchen and an integral hall which was much needed for our children’s and youth work. As a matter of interest the cost of this project was some ten times the amount of the original building!

Our church continues to grow and has many thriving ministries. In particular the Youth sector has its own Youth Minister for many years now and a Youth Intern. Check out our links to see the activities run by our church.