Christ Church (formerly the Congregational Church)

and pictures of  Coggeshall's other churches


The Congregational Church, known now as Christ Church is a good example of the architecture of its time. It has its origins in the Independent congregation, founded by, among others, John Sammes and Thomas Lowry, former vicars of Coggeshall, who had been ejected from the Church of England and who met in various locations around Coggeshall including a barn in East Street.

In April 1710 various wealthy men who were members of the Independents, Isaac Buxton among them, raised the money to buy two cottages and a piece of land called 'Old Ales' in Stoneham Street and built a church which was registered as a place of religious worship on 31st August of the same year. It was enlarged and improved  over the  years and, in 1794, a piece of land was purchased behind the church facing Church Lane (now Queen Street).

In 1834 the church was considerably enlarged and in 1865 an apse was put on to the end behind the pulpit  to accommodate the organ and choir. In 1882 the whole of the interior was reconstructed.
Bryan Dale, M.A. (London), author of "The Annals of Coggeshall", was minister here from 1854 until 1863 and his book details Coggeshall's religious history, especially that of the Independent church
The Congregationalists had given financial support to a small school since 1788 and in 1811  this was expanded into the British School. In 1839 a new school was built on the piece of land in Queen Street - the grey brick building is still there and has been converted into apartments and bears the name of Bryan Dale.
The British School was there until 1915 when the pupils moved to the new Council School on what is now Myneer Park. Some of the School log books and the Punishment Book can be seen in the museum.


A postcard from 1904


A picture from 2006 showing one of the Judas trees

The graveyard contains some interesting monuments, although some are now gainst the boundary wall and up until recently two large Judas trees (cercis siliquastrum). These have needed drastic work on them but now appear to be producing new growth.
In 1989 the Congregational community came together with the Baptists and Wesley Methodists to form Christ Church. In 2008 the Montessori school refurbished the upper area and use it for lessons to the older children.
Other Churches


The Baptist Church building in Church Street was erected in about 1825, although there had been Baptists here since about 1772 who met in various locations around Coggeshall. It is now houses a business centre.


The Catholic Church of St Bernard of Clairvaux in Stoneham Street is a quite plain-looking wooden building. It was opened in 1928. The interior was designed by the then priest-in-charge, Father Gay, the site being a free gift from the Coggeshall and Kelvedon Mission.



Wesleyan Methodist Church situated in Stoneham Street was opened in 1883 although they are referred to in 1811. The building now houses a Montesorri nursery school.


The Meeting House, in Stoneham Street, of the Society of Friends (Quakers) dates from 1878 and is now used for  Coggeshall's Library. A Place of Worship connected with Quakers has been in existence since 1692.

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