HAEBEA is a joint Methodist, United Reformed Church and Anglican Ecumenical Area.
In 1989, the West Essex United Area was established made up of four Methodist Churches, four United Reformed Churches, plus the joint Anglican/Methodist work that had begun at churches in Great Parndon. The Area included churches in Harlow, Roydon, Epping and North Weald.
In September 2006, a new and larger Ecumenical Area was formed from the merger of the West Essex United Area with the Lee Valley North Methodist Circuit to form the Herts And Essex Border Ecumenical Area (HAEBEA), adding churches in Waltham Cross, Hoddesdon, Hertford, Ware and Watton-on-Stone. United Reformed Churches in Ongar and Hatfield Heath also joined the new Area, bringing the total number of member churches to 16.
Over the years, partnerships have been dissolved seeing the loss of three LEP's (Local Ecumenical Partnerships) in Great Parndon, Staple Tye and Waltham Cross.
The corona virus lockdowns coupled with aging and diminishing congregation has seen the closure of several churches – David Livingstone URC, Trinity URC, Epping Methodist Church and North Weald Methodist Church have all closed. Sadly, Watton-at-Stone Methodist Church has just announced its closure in November 2023.
Against this backdrop of church closures, new growth emerged as in September 2023 the Bishop's Stortford Circuit joined HAEBEA and we welcomed Bishop's Stortford Methodist Church and Stansted Free Church to our family of churches.
We confess our Faith in One God,
The Father, Creator,
The Son, Jesus the Christ, our Lord and Saviour,
The Holy Spirit, at work in our lives and the world.