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Colchester 175th anniversary

September 2014 | by Peter Millist

Artillery Street Evangelical Church, in Colchester, Essex, is set to celebrate 175 years of gospel witness in the town on 20 September. The guest speaker for the occasion is Stuart Olyott, board member of ET, former lecturer at the Evangelical Theological College of Wales and author.

The chapel was originally the Central Primitive Methodist Chapel for the Tendering area, until the Primitive Methodists merged with the general Methodists in the 1930s. It was here, in 1850, that the famous Victorian preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, was converted. In that context, we can boast of being the only ‘blue plaque’ building in New Town.

Since the last war the church has had a roller-coaster history, but by God’s grace continues to proclaim the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ to this day.

Much has changed in New Town since 1850. The church was originally erected on derelict barrack grounds and was reached by country pathway. Over the years, it has become buried by house and development and New Town has become buried by desperate spiritual and social needs.

So, although tucked away in an inconspicuous part of Colchester, we continue to unobtrusively serve the community, unheralded or trumpeted, by preaching and teaching the Bible — carefully and clearly, while also holding out the hand of friendship and love in many practical ways.

If you are arriving by car for this anniversary, then please note that there is ample parking in nearby Challenge Way.

Peter Millist