Building for the Future
Building for the Future

Building for the Future


The work has begun, please pray for us as we conintue in worship week by week and for our fundraising to meet the cost of this project.



Our hopes and dreams!


We propose to call our new hall

'The Livingstone Hall'

we are also hoping to have a small museum to display our church heritage, this will be called

'The Taylor Gallery'

If you are willing to help us with this project or fund raise in any way please get in touch.

'Good News'

The Building Work is half way through, it's all looking very good!



The Church has been serving the community of Ongar since 1662 when the Church was

established as a ‘Free Church’


When the Church halls were built in 1919 they were modern and innovative, providing an amenity for the community of Ongar


We wish to continue providing that facility with a building fit for the future.  Plans have been approved and fundraising is well under way to provide better access (lift), disabled toilets and kitchen and to make the halls more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.


We are going to rename the hall to the Livingstone Hall, we will expand our drop-in services for all the community.  We propose to have a gallery named after the famous Jane Taylor (author of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, which we will call The Taylor Gallery.  It will be available for local groups to exhibit and we will display our Church history and local history in association with the Ongar Millennium History Society.


This is a very exciting project which will attract more visitors to the town and provide a hub for many local groups and residents.


We hope this brief outline has sparked your interest.  



8th February 2019


Dear Friend,


God has a plan for everyone and everything, which includes us.

In 1919 Ongar Congregational Church (now Ongar URC) decided to ‘Build for the Future’. These people of God stepped out in faith by building the current church hall for future generations to use, enjoy and receive great blessings in this place. Now one hundred years on, in 2019 we are hoping to step out in faith and ‘Build for the Future’.  We hope to modernise the hall, creating a new entrance, new loos, a safe staircase, a new kitchen and lift, to enable future generations to use and enjoy our new building for the next hundred years and part of our Vision 2020 mission (see attached).

As you know we are hoping to start the building work very soon, but having raised almost all of the £400.000 we are still approximately £25,000 short. So guess what! We are sending out an appeal to our church and the community for just a little extra financial help so we can get the work started, therefore we’re asking you to consider contributing to this massive undertaking prayerfully. It’s something we need our entire church community’s help with.

Do you have any ideas for fund raising, do you have anything we could sell and keep the profits, or are you able to give a donation?

Even if you can’t make a large gift, know that every little helps. It’s more about coming together as a church/community united behind a common cause. We hope that you’ll consider helping towards this great step forward that we’re making together.




We (Brenda & Sandra) have had great challenges, many hours applying for grants, filling out all sorts of forms, raising funds in many ways, early morning starts to get to the boot sale, carting goods for sale up and down the stairs for Coffee Mornings, our 350th Anniversary events, including The Flower Festival, Organ recital and the yearlong events, getting ready for Quiz nights, selling things on eBay and gumtree, encouraging Jason (our previous Minister) to Skydive and dozens of extra events trying to raise the funds, for which we are very grateful to you for all your support in so many ways.

None of us can fully know God’s plan—the best we can do is pray and listen for clarity. We as a church have been doing just that, we are richly blessed by so many kindnesses by so many Friends.


We are yours sincerely,



Brenda Hall  and      Sandra Dear

Treasurer                Treasurers Assistant        


Endorsed by Rev Cecil White.





Statement 1: Spirituality and Prayer

We will grow in our practice of prayer and spirituality, nurturing strength for our witness to Jesus Christ, and developing our discernment of where God is and what God is calling us to do by reading and studying the Bible and through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

At Ongar we have a sincere spirituality. Many of our members are Biblically literate as is evidenced using pew Bibles on Sunday mornings. We have, this year (2018), had two studies of three sessions each on the seasons on Lent and Easter.

We anticipate inaugurating focussed days of prayer for our work and witness.


Statement 2: Identity

The URC will be a church where every local congregation will be able to say who they are, what they do and why they do it.

Ongar URC has a strong identity in the life of the town. The church is very mindful of its heritage, both that of early English dissent and the missionary heritage through onetime Minister, Rev. Richard Cecil who hosted students for pre-college training. One notable student was David Livingstone. This heritage coupled with exhibition space and a sincere spirituality, means that the church has a promising future.


Statement 3: Christian Ecumenical Partnerships

We will be more confident in our identity, valuing the treasures of our tradition, discerning when to seek ecumenical partnerships, and when and how to seek the further unity of the church.

We pledge to maintain our place in Churches Together in Ongar, offering our heritage, insights, and good will as participants in God’s mission.


Statement 4: Community Partnerships 

We will be a church that is more active in the life of local neighbourhoods.

Our suite of buildings will offer a renewed window onto our neighbourhood and vice versa. The potential for wider participation with the neighbourhood and town through a more inviting facility shall aid the Church in God’s mission.


Statement 5: Hospitality and diversity 

We will be a church committed to becoming even more welcoming and hospitable, and embracing all people equally.

Cultural diversity in Ongar means that as a church we ought to be exemplars in hospitality and welcome – which our new hall will help facilitate. Our inclusion in HAEBEAs Safeguarding and Safer Sacred Space training in 2018 make the Church mindful of the responsibilities of being welcoming.


Statement 6: Evangelism

We will be more confident to engage in evangelism, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God with friends, families and strangers, through story and action.

The members of Ongar URC need encouragement to articulate their faith stories with confidence. The Minister and Elders are determined to encourage active story-telling as a means of personal witness.


Statement 7: Church Growth

We will be a growing church with an increasing membership.

Growing the church by engaging with our adherents is a primary mover in determining and securing our future. We shall make every effort to enlarge church membership through profession of faith in the next 5 years.


Statement 8: Global Partnerships

We will be a church that is an active partner in God’s global mission with other churches around the world.

A missionary heritage needs to be translated into contemporary partnerships. The Minister and Elders are committed to exploring this matter further.

We will be a church committed to peacemaking and reconciliation that keeps faith with the poor and challenges injustice. 

Ongar URC is able to engage in Justice and Peace witness through ecumenical partnership in the town (with the Catholic Church and the Church of England). The Church also has a duty of care to its tenants in Livingstone Cottages, retaining sufficient monies to maintain and upgrade its estate.


Statement 9: Justice and Peace

 We will be a church committed to peace-making and reconciliation that keeps faith with the poor and challenges injustice. 

Ongar URC is able to engage in Justice and Peace witness through ecumenical partnership in the town (with the Catholic Church and the Church of England). The Church also has a duty of care to its tenants in Livingstone Cottages, retaining sufficient monies to maintain and upgrade its estate.


Statement 10: The Integrity of Creation

We will be a church that has taken significant steps to safeguard the integrity of creation, to sustain and renew the life of the earth. 

The garden to the front of the chapel offers an attractive place for reflection and contemplation, where we encourage bird life with nesting boxes. It is a well-maintained space. It is made into a welcoming ‘shop front’ for our life and witness with stalls and seated areas, especially on the occasion of the Town Festival.


Watch this space!


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