A group of committed Christians started to meet regularly to pray and to worship together in people’s homes, this was to become the Core Group.
A mother and toddler group was established by workers from a local church. This group was called Piglets and met in one of the empty classrooms in the new primary school. After a year the leadership of this group changed to Christians that lived on the estate. Christian enquiry groups were formed to include some of the mothers attending Piglets and from these groups came the first new Christians on Chafford Hundred.
In September the Core Group that met every month felt that God had moved them to commence Sunday Worship on Chafford Hundred, and so stepped out in faith believing that God would provide all that was needed for this to happen. In the November of that year we held a supper at the Community Centre for all that were interested in the commencement of a new church in the community.
The church began Sunday Worship in the Warren Outdoor Pursuits Centre, an old school, on Sunday 14th January 1996. It commenced with a regular attendance of between thirty to forty people and continued to meet every week at the Warren. Until, in December 1996 we moved to the Chafford Hundred Community Centre in Drake Road. We had a regular attendance of over one hundred people worshipping with us.
Since these small beginnings the church on Chafford went from strength to strength. Small Groups an dPrayer groups met each week. Piglets also moved to the Community Centre. We started holding a regular Men’s Breakfast Clubs and held many social activities.
We established our Alpha courses to enable anyone to find out more about Christianity without any pressure.
In 1999 we introduced changes to the way the church is run by introducing groups that have special responsibilities for specific areas within the church. These have been called Focus Groups (now Ministry Teams) and meet monthly to pray and discuss their area of responsibility.
After 10 years of being an independent church we felt God saying that we needed to be in relationship with a group of churches called Newfrontiers. So after many months of prayerful discussions we were adopted into the family of Newfrontiers and started to receive Apostolic oversight. We benefited greatly by building relationships with other Newfrontiers leaders and churches which was a great encouragement to us.
After 13 years of having our regular worship meetings at Chafford Hundred Community Centre, the decision to move was made. Years of fantastic growth of Community Church meant we had become too big for the Community Centre we called home for those years. We continued to use the Community Centre for activities like Saints and Impact (Youth Clubs), but on Sunday 15th November 2009, Community Church Chafford Hundred began to use The Harris Academy, Chafford Hundred as the main venue of worship.
We were approached by the leaders at Chadwell Evangelical Church and asked if we would consider taking on the congregation there as the leaders were retiring and there was no-one there who could take on the position. After much prayer & consideration, we agreed and in March 2014 we launched Community Church Chadwell St Mary.
In previous years we had had a group of people join us from a Relational Mission church in Basildon. They had joined us initially for a time of rest but it was always evident that their desire was to plant back into their local community. So in September 2015 Community Church Basildon was launched, which is now meeting in a local community centre.
As Community Church Chafford Hundred was growing, along with the other 2 sites, it was becoming more of a desire to plant into our local communities and we are always looking for what God has to say to us about this.
After some time in prayer, looking for a core team of people and a suitable site, we planted Community Church South Ockendon in September 2017.
So, at present we are 1 church, 4 sites but watch this space!
We give the glory to God for all that has happened in this time and look forward to all that He has in store for us in the future.