The Free Church

The church hall for The Free church was built by the congregation in 1905. Before this they met in members homes or vacant workmens huts.

The Hitchin Free Church Council encouraged the new residents of Letchworth to raise money for a hall and a site was found and secured. Many of the new arrivals being in the building trade volunteered their spare time to construct the first Church Hall of The Free Church , with very little funding. Starting with the stone laying ceremony by Rev F B Meyer and Ebenezer Howard August 5th 1905 it held its opening service on October 17th 1905.

When it was opened , as one of the first public buildings in Letchworth it was used for nearly all the public meetings held , Mrs Howards Hall was only finished and available the following spring.

At the time of its opening its view was an open area of upland, some haystacks and the foundations of Mrs Howards Hall just visible.

The original hall which cost £300 and seated 220 was extended in 1907 and 1909 but its congregation outgrew the building.

A new church was commissioned in 1923 from Barry Parker. It has a more formal classical style than his earlier Arts and Crafts designs and is considered by many to be one of his most important post-war buildings.

John Openshaw moved to Letchworth Christmas 1904 and was a founder member of the Letchworth Free Church. His firm built the new church, his wife laying the foundation stone 23rd June 1923.

In 1962 the old church hall succumbed to damp and being to small and was demolished .

The present complex includes a new hall built in 1968 incorporating the foundation stone from the original hall , a house for a verger/caretaker and a large car park.

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