How it Began

It’s 1942. Britain is at war with Germany and it is not going that well.

Many of the men of Woodbridge are away fighting. Women are taking on new roles in factories and on the land. Life is busy and life is worrying.

But that year Doris Adams and two other Christian women became concerned for the new Melton Farm Estate. It was then Warwick Avenue and Edwin Avenue. The friends decided to hold an open-air service for children of the area. It was to take place on the spare land where the church now stands. Sadly it rained on the evening they planned, so it got cancelled.

But they were not put off. They noticed that a butcher’s shop was empty. And soon this was rented and meetings were taking place regularly. 

It wasn’t long before many people were coming along on Sundays. They had to use the front shop and the back room. And sometimes the stairs had to be used as seats. Sister Doris recalled that as many as 60 adults attended Sunday evening services in that shop.

There were never any appeals for money and yet all of their expenses were always covered.

But it soon became clear that a bigger building was going to be needed. There was spare land opposite the shops. But the owner was abroad and his manager was not playing ball. In any case it was wartime. It was not possible to build because there were no spare materials. And there were very few skilled and able-bodied workers. What would they do? But God provided both the money needed and the land.

So there was a new church but it needed a bigger building. And it looked impossible. But they believed that nothing was impossible for God. They prayed to him for a fortnight.

At the end of that fortnight someone offered the church an old army hut that she owned in the centre of Woodbridge and which had previously been used in Christian work. They now had a building but it wasn't on the land!

They had to get permission from the Council to build on the land. This took a long time. But Woodbridge Council finally said, “Yes.” The trouble was that half of the land was in Melton. And it had been there that they had planned to put up the hut! So they had to agree to put the hut on the Woodbridge bit.

But now they had a new problem. How would they get the hut to the land? It was a mile away. Where would they get a truck and a driver to move it? It was wartime and both were in short supply.

So there were many people coming to the new church. But they had lots of problems in trying to get their new building.

In a time of war when so many men were off fighting where were they going to get the people they needed? As well as a lorry and driver they needed someone who knew how to rebuild the hut again when it arrived. Plus the rules said they needed 8 metal-framed windows and the hut had none. Sister Doris was told that it was next to impossible to buy such things during a war.

But God answered prayer. Some R. A. F. men stationed nearby offered to help. Then came a phone call offering a lorry and a driver. Now all they had to do was find some windows. Just when it seemed this would stop their plans; Sister Doris got a call asking if she still needed the windows. An order for 8 of the exact size needed had been cancelled and so they were available for the church. And so the hut was built. Chairs were found. And before long the new church building was in use. It stood there until the new brick building replaced it in 2006.

God has truly been good to the church here. Now 70 years on we look forward to many more years ahead.

You can hear Sister Doris' story here :