Church History

It is generally agreed that Congregationalism in Buntingford started in September 1776 when the Braughing dissenting minister, Samuel
Copperwheat, began holding meetings at a private house in the town.

A 'commodious' place of worship, capable of accommodating 200 people, was built in 1785 on the site of the present church. This Meeting House was eventually destroyed by fire on 18th January 1819. Within two months the foundation of the present church in Baldock Road was laid and the new building completed and opened on 16th September of the same year.

In January 1881 Christ Church joined the Congregational Union of England and Wales which had been established sixty years before.

At the end of the First World War in 1918 a United Service of Thanksgiving was held at Christ Church when Anglicans joined the Congregationalists in worship for the first time. In 1919 the centenary of the present Church building was celebrated.

The union of Buntingford and Great Hormead began in 1936 and twelve years later Christ Church was grouped with Hormead, Sandon and Redhill for ministerial purposes.

Christ Church became part of the United Reformed Church following the unification of the Presbyterian and Congregational Churches in England and Wales on 5th October 1972. The Church became part of the Royston and District Group of Churches in 1974.

In 1976 Christ Church celebrated its bicentenary by holding a Flower Festival and special commemorative services over the weekend of 17th and 18th July.

In 1986 Christ Church became a part time pastorate with the appointment of Rev George Hewitt as Minister. He was followed in 1990 by the first of two ministers from New Zealand, Rev Alan Savill, who was succeeded by Rev Bill Francis in 1992. He returned to New Zealand in 1998.

In September 2000, after two years of successful fund raising by members of the congregation, the repair of the Church and Hall roof was completed at a cost of over £40,000.

Later in 2000 Christ Church's the then Minister, Rev Julia Stone, retired and the Church was looked after by an Interim Moderator, Rev Paul Quilter of Cambridge for some 18 months.

In Spring 2002 Buntingford URC joined the Linked Pastorate, formerly comprising the URC's of Bassingbourn, Fowlmere, Great Chishill and Melbourn under the auspices of the Rev David Yule. Following David's move to Derby the Rev Duncan Goldie was inducted as minister of the Linked Pastorate with the Rev Carole Pearl continuing as a non stipendiary minister.

In 2009 the Rev Carole Pearl transferred to Fowlmere & Thriplow URC and the Link Pastorate was reformed to comprise the URC churches of Bassingbourn, Buntingford, Great Chishill & Barley and Melbourn.

In April 2018 Christ Church along with the other churches in the Linked Pastorate entered a period of vacancy as Rev Duncan Goldie was called to a new pastorate based in Sherborne.

2019 was the Bicentenary for our Church Building, with activities throughout the year arranged by the users of our hall, culminating with a celebratory service on the 15th Sept led by Rev. Prof. David Thompson and attended by many of our friends from the town and the URC local area.

In May 2021 the vacancy ended when the Rev Sue Fender was called to be the minister of the five church Linked Pastorate, with Fowlmere re-joining the other four churches following their period of vacancy after the retirement of Rev Carol Pearl.