A short history of Broomfield Church
Originally there was not a church building in Broomfield. However there was a House Church, which met in a house rented by George and Charlotte Brice. A Meeting House Certificate dated 24th July 1840 confirmed that a group could meet as a church in Broomfield – the government’s Act of Toleration (1689) allowed those who dissented against the Church of England to form their own churches, but they had to register them. The first meetings were held in Bogshole Lane, Broomfield. Then meetings were held in Chapel Lane (situated just beyond the borders of Broomfield), and then in 1863 meetings were held in a house in Hunters Forstal, Broomfield.
1869 – Our first church building opened
The church building in Bogshole Lane, Broomfield, officially opened on 20th July 1869. The church was a Congregational Mission Chapel and was known as Broomfield Mission Chapel; Congregational Churches are independent churches in the Protestant tradition.
1926-27 – A plot of land was purchased
A larger church was needed. In 1926 the Strode Park Estate had begun selling plots of land around Broomfield and Herne.
Mr. Henry Bayliss Worrell purchased a plot of land in Margate Road for the purpose of building a new church sanctuary. The deeds were transferred to Mr Bayliss on 6 January 1927.
1931 – A new building
On 7 November 1931 the deeds of the land were formally transferred from Mr Bayliss Worrell to The Trustees of the Broomfield Congregational Church.
A small portion of the Conveyance and Trust state:
“It is hereby covenanted and declared that for the purpose of effectualing the intention hereinbefore expressed
and in consideration of the premises upon trust:
to permit the premises to be used, occupied and enjoyed
as a place for the public worship of God
and for preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ
according to the principles and usages for the time being
of the Congregational (sometimes called the Independent) Denomination
practicing infant baptism under the direction of the Church
and for the instruction of children and adults
and for the promotion of such other religious or charitable purposes as the church shall from time to time direct.”
Miss Robinson had purchased the old church property so that funds were available for building the new church, and also the local community did fundraising. So in November 1931 two foundation stones were laid for the new building; one by Mr & Mrs Bayliss Worrell and one by Miss B Robinson.
1932 – The current church building opened
The current church building was formally opened on 13 June 1932. The previous building in Bogshole Lane has now been converted into a home.
1972 – A change of name
Until 1972 our church had been a member of The Congregational Church in England and Wales.
In 1972 that organisation formed a partnership with The Presbyterian Church of England to form The United Reformed Church.
Our church was renamed as Broomfield United Reformed Church.
1974 – The church hall
In March 1974 part of the church’s land at the rear of the property was sold to fund building the church hall (this land now contains houses).
Also land was given away by the side of the Church to form a road (The Meadows).
By July 1974 construction had already begun on the Church Hall, which is situated behind the main church building.
The hall was a timber building which was quoted as costing £7,442 to construct.
The church saved £174 by installing single glazing instead of double glazing.
2010 – Re-dedication of church hall
Major refurbishment of the church hall has been done with new exterior plastic cladding to replace the wood and new double-glazed windows.
A ceremony was held to re-dedicate the hall to God and a plaque is now affixed to the Church hall which reads:
Broomfield Church Hall
This church hall is consecrated to the glory of God
This plaque is dedicated in loving memory of Arthur Beckett 1909 – 2008 church elder and treasurer
“We will not neglect the house of our God” Nehemiah 10:39
20 November 2010
Furthermore the large and small halls were formally named as “The Jerusalem Room” and “The Bethlehem Room.”
2012 – 80 years celebrations
To celebrate 80 years since the current church building was opened, the church held 80 days worth of daily readings. This began on a Sunday with a Parade Service, followed by thirteen weeks of daily readings Monday to Saturday, and then concluded with another Sunday Parade Service. Throughout this time the entire bible was read publicly.