Hard decisions, merger and new building!

Broomfield Road Evangelical Church (BREC) in Chelmsford began in 1935 as a church plant 85 years ago and, due to a concern over a lack of leadership, it has recently decided to merge with City Church Chelmsford (CCC), which was planted by Danbury Mission in 2020.

As Stephen Hall, an elder of BREC, says, “We are thrilled to report that there has been evident blessing since our start in October 2021, with up to 130 joining our Sunday morning services, a third group of new people starting without a background in either BREC or City Church Chelmsford, six integrated home groups meeting weekly, weekly student and new-comer Sunday lunches in place, a vision for evangelism and church growth and on Easter Sunday we saw two young adults obeying their Lord in the waters of baptism.  This is a wonderful step forward for us all and especially for BREC recognising the crisis situation we were in during the spring of 2021.”  

It has been recognised from the start that meeting in the current BREC building is a temporary measure due to the limited capacity this has for a growing church.  To this end Danbury Mission have been looking for a suitable building in a suitable location as a new home for CCC.  Planning permission was granted for change of use on the Waterfront Building, a former restaurant in the city centre, and in the last few weeks contracts have been exchanged on a long lease.   

The Waterfront building is an ideal new home for CCC.  lts city centre location aligns with their vision to serve all of Chelmsford and be a hub for church planting and revitalisation across Essex. It is a significant upgrade from the current BREC building.  As well as improved safety and accessibility, its meeting room will have 100 more seats.  lt also has additional breakout rooms, offices, a coffee shop, and outdoor space.

Church Growth Trust (CGT), who owns BREC’s current building, are working with the church to agree the best way of using the existing building to help fund the new building.  As Giles Arnold, CGT’s Chief Executive says, “We have had a long and happy relationship with Broomfield Road Evangelical Church and are delighted for them that the merger is going well and there is an amazing opportunity to use this new building in the city centre.  We are loathed to have a to sell a church property, but believe the Lord is directing us to obtain best value for the existing site, so we can invest as much as possible in the new venture.  It is great to support City Church Chelmsford with their clear vision and evidence of the Lord’s favour”. 

Watch out for more news on what happens with the church and their new building.