The History of Greenstead Evangelical Free Church
(A much more extensive history of the first 30 years of the church can be found here.)
Greenstead Evangelical Free Church is situated in the middle of Greenstead - a very large housing estate on the edge of Colchester, within walking distance of the campus of the University of Essex. Its existence is a living proof of the power of God, working through the lives of ordinary people, to bring about his purposes.
The projected layout of the original part of the estate can be seen here, but it has expanded considerably since then and now (with Longridge) occupies almost the entire area bounded by Harwich Road, Bromley Road, Salary Brook and St. Andrew's Avenue, with around 15,000 residents.
Click here for early photos of the estate.
Beginnings of the church
When, in 1965, a small group of Christians first covenanted together to form a free church on the estate, they had no pastor, no money and no prospect of being allocated a building site. However, they could and did pray to Almighty God, and in time, through many trials and setbacks, they saw their dreams become reality.
Meeting at first in the hut used by builders erecting a new comprehensive school on the estate, the church saw their numbers grow, always fed from a flourishing children's work. The starting point for the whole work had been a Sunday School, and the church to this day has emphasised the importance of children's work. When the new school was completed, the builders' hut was knocked down, as it was no longer needed. From this time on, the church began to meet in the pastor's own house, filling all the downstairs rooms and the stairs, while children's work continued in the homes of church members who lived nearby. Finally, permission was given to buy some land on the estate and build a church.
Click here for photos of the beginnings.