Building for the Future
Building for the Future

Building for the Future


.Our hopes and dreams!


We have called our new hall

'The Livingstone Hall'

which will be used for Church activities and also by the local community.

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.

We had our first taste of our new gallery during the Ongar Festival, looking forward toexpanding this in the near future.


'Good News'

New Church Hall
Saturday 16th November 2019 was truly a memorable occasion when a Full Church
attended the Service held to celebrate the completion of the work of up-grading
our downstairs Church Hall, and the building of a new kitchen/entrance/toilet and
office – now known as “The Livingstone Hall” where a portrait of this world famous
Christian missionary/explorer, and short-time resident in one of our cottages, is
As with all such major contracts, there have been unexpected difficulties/delays,
which required new decisions being negotiated.
It is impossible to name every-one who has contributed to achieving this result, but
special thanks and appreciation must be extended to our tireless Church Treasurer
Brenda Hall-and her right hand woman, Sandra Dear. Also, sincere and heartfelt
gratitude to their husbands – Ken and Patrick. We are all so thankful to them for their
expertise, practical knowledge and experience. We must also mention our new
Elder – Steve Smith – for all the hours he has toiled – shifting large loads, decorating
walls, ceilings, etc. Thank you, Steve.
We haven’t entirely completed yet. The upstairs “Taylor” and “Ongar History” Rooms
are now in progress. Our prayers are being answered, and after a project envisaged
ten years ago, we are nearly there.
Our Special Guests included Mr. R. Bassett (Chairman of Epping Forest District
Council) and his wife. We very much appreciated his words of encouragement and
congratulation on what has been achieved so far.
Also present were three young men from Epping who, after receiving tuition from
Brenda Hall and some gruelling adventures along the way, have achieved their
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards, and will shortly attend St. James Palace to receive
their medals.
Well done everyone!




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. We now have better access including a lift, disabled toilets a beautiful new catering kitchen, the halls are more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.


We have renamed the hall, the 'Livingstone Hall', we will expand our drop-in services for all the community (watch this space).  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.  





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 for more news!


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