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London Street URC History

Over 200 years of history



  • 1994 saw the start of major renovation and re-building of London Street's premises. For at least ten years previously, the walls supporting the rooms at the back of the Sanctuary were known to be unsafe and had been shored up. After months of discussion it was decided to completely demolish all these rooms, to renovate the Sanctuary by making the floor all one level, to dispose of the pews on the ground floor, to incorporate the garden area into the premises, to install new heating and lighting, and to replace the roof. The last service to be held in the Church before building work commenced was the Harvest Festival Service on 24 September 1994. All the Church's activities were carried on in May Place House, our "temporary home" for the duration of the re-building.


  • Sunday 3 March 1996 was the date of the first Service back in the new premises. Chairs have replaced the pews on the Ground floor and the foyer has been enlarged. The Memorial Window, removed to make way for the new foyer, has been very tastefully installed on the first floor into what is known as the Memorial Room. The pews in the Gallery have been retained and with the removal of the old Organ pipes the back of the gallery has been opened up again. A new Copeman Hart Organ has been custom-designed and built using the latest digital technology. New lighting has been installed together with under-floor heating. The new Concourse area situated where there was once the Church Garden has proved to be an ideal area for the serving of coffee, etc., for people to meet each other and to browse on the Book and Greetings Cards stalls. The newly-decorated Sanctuary gives a feeling of light and airiness.



  • The newly-built meeting rooms behind the Sanctuary, together with kitchens and toilets, complete the premises. The room names retained from the previous building carry on associations going back over many years.



  • On the 6th and 7th May 2000 we began a year of celebration and thankfulness for 200 years of Christian witness on our present London Street site with a weekend of events. These included a Flower Festival ingeniously and very attractively depicting some of the historic moments in the life of the church, the town and the world over that time. A Special Service  held on the Saturday afternoon was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Basingstoke, and representatives of many churches and organisations in the area - the preacher was the Revd Anthony Burnham, General Secretary of the URC.  The archive records and examples of the church's life both past and present were on display and demonstrations were given by the banner making group and members of the scout group for visitors to enjoy - there was, of course, food!  Sunday was more a church family occasion when we welcomed back former occupants of the Manse,


View from the Balcony after the most recent
renovations



The Concourse at night


  • There is a Church archive from 1800 to the present day.  Our archivist would happy to try and answer any questions, she may be contacted through the church secretary.



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