Wiltshire Community History
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Ladyfield Evangelical Church, Chippenham
Ladyfield Evangelical Church began as church services held in the home of two brothers, Gilbert and Roland Hopwood, who moved to Chippenham from London during World War II. By 1944 it had grown and moved to a room above a baker's shop at the bottom of Station Hill. After outgrowing a further move to the Neeld Hall, the church met at Frogwell Primary School. From about 1944, the church held children's meetings on village green in the Ladyfield area. Originally a part of the Kelly Brethren Assembly, the church was struck off the list for welcoming people from differing Christian persuasions. The Fellowship then became more 'open'.
Due to a growing population, in 1954 a patch of land at the junction of Hungerdown Lane and Ladyfield Road, first declined by the Baptists, was taken by the church. A green hut, previously used for weeknight meetings, was the first building on the site. After this came a larger wooden hut. Building work began in 1957 to erect a REEMA prefab building to be the new chapel. Ladyfield Chapel officially opened on the 26th October 1957. It later changed its name to Ladyfield Evangelical Church. In the early days there was no full time worker and visiting preachers were used. Mr Alfred Sutton became the first pastor on the 1st May 1971.
In 1973 a flat roofed extension was added to the rear of the original REEMA building. Again due to growth in the Fellowship, in the early 1990s a decision was taken to build a new red brick church alongside and with a connecting foyer to the original REEMA building. The new church was opened on the 12th October 1996. The seating capacity increased from 120 to 300 seats. By 2008 the original REEMA building was showing signs of age and was replaced by extensive new facilities which were opened on 5th December 2009.
|Ladyfield Evangelical Church, Chippenham|
Image Date: 1982
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham