On May 31, Trinity Sunday, Trinity United Reformed Church in Billingshurst will be celebrating its bi-centenary.
In 1815 the first independent Congregational church was established in a wooden building which had formerly been an Officers’ Mess from the Napoleonic Wars era – it was located on land behind the present day Post Office in Jenger’s Mead and known as Jenger’s Chapel.
The present building by the mini roundabout at the junction of the High Street and West Street, often referred to as Chapel Corner, was built in 1869 and has been a place of active worship and witness in the village ever since.
Over the years the congregation has been led by 39 different ministers who are all listed in a booklet which the church has prepared to celebrate the Church’s 200 year history.
In 1972 Trinity became a United Reformed Church with the union of the Congregational and Presbyterian Churches in England; it forms part of the West Sussex Area Ministry alongside sister churches in Petworth and Pulborough.
To mark its 200th anniversary the church is holding a weekend of celebrations on May 30-31 to which all those who have been involved with its life over the years have been invited.
On Sunday, May 31 there will be a Service of Thanksgiving at 10.30am led by Revd Kenneth Lynch, the church’s recently retired minister; and at 6.30pm a Songs of Praise service led by Revd Ken Jacques, minister of Harting Congregational Church. All are welcome to attend these services which will include the anthem “Glory to God” written specially for Trinity Church’s bi-centenary.
Report and picture contributed by Don Newport.