Local History


Browse below to see a snapshot of the history of our church both in it's early years and more recent developments. 

Early Years
Elim as a movement was established in 1915 by Pastor George Jeffreys and the Elim Evangelistic Band. The earliest established church was not far away in Leigh-on-Sea. They will celebrate their centenary this year (2021). 
For Ingatestone, it was in the summer of 1932 that two young pastors from the Chelmsford Elim Church were taking a ride through Ingatestone and felt that it was a good place for a church. A mission started in the Drill Hall in October 1933 and it saw a nucleus of believers come together in the village to form a church. A building project began and was completed in 1934 when the Elim Tabernacle was opened in Ingatestone.
The church was led by a number of different pastors over the early years. One notable and long stay of ministry was in the form of Miss Garton who led the work of the church from 1942-1959. For much of that time she lived in a caravan at the rear of the church. Taking on the church during the major event that was World War II she led the church through difficult and joyful times. 
Ingatestone Elim has had a long history of overseas missions involvement. Miss Edith Mynard had been a missionary sent out from the fellowship to work in Bihar, India. She returned from India and subsequently married the founding Pastor Henry Jeffrey in late 1951.
The church expanded in the 50s both numerically and literally. Beginning with just the sanctuary, a new rear hall was added to the back. While footings for the first hall were shallow and probably unstable, the new addition is likely the reason the sanctuary remained standing!
An additional prefab building was erected at the rear of the plot in 1982. 
This is just the briefest of glimpses into our past. For a fuller version of the first 60 years you can take a look at the Jubilee report put together in 1993 by Deacon Emeritus John Day here
Recent History
As a fellowship the church enjoyed a period of growth and it was felt that the growth could continue by using larger spaces away from the original building. Various venues were used from the junior school to Trueloves, a large manor house estate on which was a meeting space alongside accomodation for adults with learning needs. At the same time the church building was utilised as a pre-school nursery which many local children, now in their 20's and 30's went to.
Eventually the church would find its permanent Sunday home back in the building. Unfortunately the building itself was beginning to deteriorate in ways that, despite dedicated work to keep it maintained, meant it needed serious investment and work doing to it and unfortunately the closure of the nursery was necessary. 
In 2016 conversations began about the need to renew the building and an imaginary budget of £250,000 was set to go as far as knocking down and rebuilding the front entrance, the rear prefab hall and rebuild them with level access and proper disabled toilet facilties. With no spare income for a mortgage the church held a pledge Sunday where the building vision was set out and people would pledge what they could give over the next 12 months toward the project. Miraculously God provided through his people the entire amount! 
Our main builders were members of our church Lee and Joseph Ellis. They were instrumental in managing the build through to the point of interior refurbishment. The first phase of building work began in December 2017 by demolishing the rear hall and rebuilding. The second phase began a few months later in the spring when the church moved temporarily to worship in Margaretting village hall.
What started out as a budget of £250,000 became a £342,000 project. We were firstly blessed with GiftAid on many of the donations for the project which raised our intial budget to over £290,000. As well as normal expected costs over budget, we decided to make more improvements than planned. As we saw these costs coming the church was approached and again the generosity of the fellowship was astonishing. The project has been completed without debt and we praise God for that! 
The work was completed in September 2018 and the building was offically opened Saturday 29th September.
We don't worship our building, rather it is a tool used for the mission of the church as we are able to facilitate community projects such as Hope Cafe and Hope Foodbank, Christmas Day community meals and all the rest of our church discipleship and fellowship activities from a fully accessible space. 
In more recent times, the building has been a place for broadcasting our church services, running a foodbank and providing pastoral support owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the middle of March 2020 we have not been able to hold a 'normal' Sunday service and won't expect that to resume till at least April 2021. However, the church is still the church, be it online or in-person. 
If you are interested in knowing more about our church or coming along to our activities then take a look around our other pages in both the 'About Us' section and the 'Explore' section. If you want to know more about the Christian faith and what it means to become a Christian, then click here.