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Findon Valley Free Church

The history of the Findon Valley Free Church

Findon Valley Free Church

Meetings were first held in a cottage in York Terrace, Nepcote, led by Mr T G Graham, who built the chapel at Nepcote between 1875 – 1880.

After Mr Graham’s death in 1905, an approach was made to Worthing Baptist Church and Nepcote Chapel came under the care of the Home Missions Committee at Christchurch Road, Worthing. A Sunday School and Youth work was established in 1922, and a Women’s Fellowship in 1931. The chapel had a building fund of £40.

By 1937 numbers had slowly declined, some cottages were becoming derelict and people were moving from the neighbourhood. An approach was made to the Home Missions Committee suggesting a site be found in Findon Valley to cater for the growing community there.

An inaugural meeting was held in a marquee in Vale Drive, Findon Valley on 12th July 1939. The first few services were held in a smaller tent, but were then transferred to a flat over a shop in King’s Parade. The first service held in the flat coincided with the sirens announcing the outbreak of the Second World War.

Plans to build a brick chapel on a site in Hillview Road were unable to go ahead because of the restrictions imposed by the war, but a sectional timber building was erected, decorated and furnished. This building was opened in November 1939.

The work began to grow and it became apparent that a minister should be called and that a larger building would be needed.

On 25th July 1949, the church invited The Rev Henry Bonser to be the first minister at Findon Valley Free Church. His induction service was on 11th October 1949.

The site, on which our church stands today, was purchased in 1955, designed by R W Brough and opened in 1958. The hall was opened in 1964 and twenty years later, the extension was built.

Findon Valley Free Church

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