on Sunday 27 October, the congregation at St Andrew's Methodist Church in Harlow will celebrated the 65th Anniversary of the opening of the Church 1954 . Morning Worship was led by Revd Thurairajah Samuel, affectionately known as 'Rev Sam', who ministered at St Andrew's from 2014 to 2017.
The service was followed by celebratory meal for 90 or so folk in the Church Hall.
A big vote of thanks to everyone who helped to make our Anniversary so special, in particular, Jean Gill and her team of helpers who provided a wonderful meal and Revd John Buxton for the display of photographs and information timeline since our church was built 65 years ago.
Our Beginnings in 1952
The Methodist congregation that now calls itself 'St Andrew's' started in 1952 with the arrival of its first minister, Rev Eryl Hughes.
The church hadn't been built, so the services took place in the Moot House at The Stow. Harlow New Town had a growing population, soon the congregation had grown to over thirty full members. It was then that the building of the present buildings was started.
Foundation Stone Laid in 1953
The foundation stone was laid by Revd L J Barmby, former superintendent minister of the Bishop's Stortford Methodist Circuit, in the afternoon of Saturday 27 June 1953 with a congregation of over 200 in attendance.
After the service, tea was provided at Moot House. An exhibition of dancing and a pageant by children tracing the history of the church were given in Moot Hall.
Church Opened in 1954
St Andrew's was the Harlow New Town's first new church when it was officially opened on Saturday 30 October 1954 by Sir Richard Costain, CBE, chairman of Harlow Development Corporation, and the building was dedicated by the Revd George H Simpson, chairman of the London North Methodist District.
The great hall was packed for the dedication service which was followed by a bazaar and public tea and later that evening by a concert.
Project completion in 2009
The buildings opened in 1954 were Phase 1 of the project, with what is now used as the church sanctuary originally intended to be the main hall. Phase 2 which was to have been a much larger sanctuary was never implemented and a block of flats (St Andrews House) now stands on the land on which Phase II might have stood.
Finding the facilities too small to meet the demands of the 21st century, building works began in 2008 with the demolition of the small original hall. In 2009 a new entrance lobby, large purpose built hall and enlarged kitchen facilities were opened and dedicated on 31 May 2009 by Revd Anne Brown, District Chair of the Beds, Herts and Essex District.
Ministers at St Andrew's
- Revd Eryl Hughes (1952-1959)
- Revd Cyril Blount (1959-1962)
- Revd Alan Horner (1962-1968)
- Revd Michael Gilyead (1968-1973)
- Revd Derek Broxholme (1973-1979)
- Revd John Buxton (1979-1990)
- Revd John Wheaton (1990-2000)
- Revd Guy Goodall (2000-2004)
- Revd John Buxton (2004)
- Revd Jim Gill (2004-2009)
- Revd Sarah Lowe (2009)
- Revd Terry Keen (2009-2014)
- Revd Thurairajah Samuel (2014-2017)
- Revd Blair Kirkby (2017 — present )