Staines Congregational Church was founded as an independent chapel in 1789 and was for many years a member of the Congregational Union of England and Wales. In the early 1960s, there was a change in constitution of that body, which eventually led to the amalgamation of the Congregational Union and the Presbyterian Church of England to form the United Reform Church in 1972. Staines Congregational Church was one of a number of churches that chose, on doctrinal issues, not to join in this process and became an Independent Congregational Church in 1966. The Church became one of the founder members of the Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches in 1967.
The present church was built in 1956. It was previously located in the centre of Staines, but that site was required for redevelopment of the town centre.
Staines Congregational Church has had only four Ministers since 1952: Rev Colin Garwood (1952-1962), Rev Brian Dupont (1962-1988), Rev Stan Short (1988-2008) and Rev Nick Gray (2010-present).
1690 A Meeting House was first registered.
1769 It is recorded that this congregation was much reduced and regular meetings had stopped.
1785 From this time on people regularly congregated to worship and hear from the Scripture. These gatherings were held behind the Bakehouse owned by Mr Tilley in Staines High Street. (Later Tilley’s Lane was opened up, revealing the premises that are still in existence).
1787 The Staines Meeting was visited by the Rev Robert Winter, who was able to give advice on how the Meeting could be established as a church.
1789 The Founders’ Covenant was signed by 28 members, who appointed three Deacons, and John Yockney, who had received Ministerial training, as Pastor.
1802 The church opened a new chapel on Shooting Off Road (now Thames Street).
1820 The Rev John Yockney died, having ministered to the church for 30 years, and seen 146 members admitted.
1812 The passing of the ‘Little Toleration Act’ and the repeal of the ‘Test and Corporation Acts’, & 1828 which removed many limitations on the worship and ministry of Dissenters.
1823 The Rev Rippon Porter ordained as Pastor.
1837 The chapel was demolished and rebuilt, with larger accommodation. In this year the church was also registered to conduct marriages, baptisms and burials, under the Registration Act then passed.
1848 Death of the last surviving founder member.
1849 Retirement of Rev Porter after 38 years. He died seven years later.
1861 The Rev GP Jarvis.
1866 The Rev William Gooby.
1867 More adjacent land was purchased and a schoolroom built.
1869 The Rev TEM Edwards.
1878 The Rev H de Vere Gookey commenced an active ministry that was to last for 36 years.
1880 The church formed the Egham Causeway Mission in New Road, off The Causeway.
1891 The church assisted in the founding of what was to become Ashford Congregational Church.
1914 The Rev HT Donaldson was ordained and inducted. In this year the first approach was received from the Local Authorities about their possible purchase of the Church’s site for a road widening scheme – a project which was finally completed in 1956.
1918 The Rev Glanant Davies.
1922 The Rev Edward Skilton, HCF. The formation of the Young People’s Society.
1923 Formation of the Boys’ Brigade Company. The church ceased to be known as the Independent Chapel, and was referred to as the Congregational Church.
1929 The Rev GP Rayner.
1930 Formation of the Women’s Own.
1938 The Rev WJ Roderick.
1939 The church assisted in the founding of what became Stanwell Congregational Church.
1949 Middlesex County Council re-opened negotiations for the purchase of the Thames Street site.
1952 The Rev Colin R Garwood, from New College, London, was ordained and inducted as Pastor.
1956 Opening on Saturday, 26th May, of the new church building in Kingston Road. The fellowship experienced a period of rapid numerical growth.
1960 An annual Week of Prayer at the commencement of the autumn session was instituted.
1962 The Rev Brian Dupont was inducted as Minister.
1982 The Rev Stanley Short was ordained and inducted as Assistant Minister – later to be Associate Pastor.
1988 The Rev Stanley Short was appointed Minister. The Rev Brian Dupont continued to serve the church as Consultant Minister. There were some 240 in church membership.
2010 The Rev Nick Grey was appointed Minister and continues to this day.