Our church is still fairly young, it was established back in the 1950’s when the end of the war led to a boom in new houses being built and new communities being established.  What is now known as North Bushey, once fields, became the Pine Ridge estate.  A nearby church, Bushey Congregational Church, sent one of it’s members, Reg Blockley to start something that would mean there was a Christian witness on this new estate.

The roots of what is now North Bushey Church were Sunday School groups in Highwood School Hall and by 1954 the Sunday School moved to ‘Pine Ridge Hall’, not a grand building, but the builders hut left behind after Park Avenue had been completed.

In August 1954 a letter was sent to the residents of the ‘Pine Ridge’ and ‘Mill Way’ areas inviting them to attend Sunday Services in the Hall and by June 1955 a small committee held the first formal meetings of the new church. The committee comprised of Mr Reg Blockley, Mr Bill Betts, Mr Ronald Allsworth, Mr Wilf Vickers and Mr Bill Rutland naming this new church ‘The North Bushey Free Church (Undenominational)’.

They set up community groups in addition to the Sunday schools, but were restricted as they did not own the hall. But in 1956 the housing association offered to sell them the hall and lease the land to them for 999 years. The Baptist Union were supporting the building of new churches at the time, so with the offer of help and the encouragement of Rev. Lewis Misselbrook of Leavesden Road BC, the new church affiliated itself with the Baptists, and changed its name to North Bushey Free Church (Baptist). After securing loans, they demolished Pine Ridge Hall and a new church was built on the same site by Vic Hallam – a specialist in prefab buildings.

The foundation stone, visible today on the front step, was laid in January 1961 by Douglas Hicks, the area superintendent, Rev. Lawrence Jones (whom we shared with West Watford Baptist Church) and Rev Lewis Misselbrook of Leavesden Road Baptist Church. The new church opened on 17th June 1961.

Since then the church has continued to express God’s love for the community of North Bushey.  Never large of size nor financially well off but with a big heart the church has reached out to old and young with the love of Jesus.

In 2011, on the church building’s 50th Anniversary we held a great celebration. This included a big display of the churches history.  Alison and Owen Harvey created an amazing written and pictorial history of the church, drawing together old documents, photos, and personal recollections of the church over the years.

 

Much has changed in the last sixty odd years, people have come and gone, ways of doing things and furnishings have changed and been updated.  But today the church is as committed as it ever was to sharing Jesus’ good news of new life in word and deed.