The church that disappeared
Once a symbol of working class aspiration and one
of the the most prominent buildings in Charminster, the old Congregationalist
Church is now no more than a memory.
Soon after construction - 1910
Final days - 1982
At a time when huge efforts were being made to give
a good education to ordinary people, local Congregationalists
decided to build a church and "lecture hall" in Charminster.
They secured a plot of land on the corner of Charminster,
Capstone, and Richmond Park Roads and the lecture hall was opened
in 1901. Several additional class rooms were attached to it a
The church itself followed in 1905, together with
more class rooms.
By 1910, when the first pastor had moved on, a commentator
was able to say "He found Charminster Road Church nine years
ago a mere handful of Christian people, but leaves it a large
strong and progressive community with all its departments in a
healthy and growing condition".
Like many buildings in the 1940's it played a role
in the war effort - in this case by serving as a canteen for allied
A major change came in 1972 with the merger of the
Congregationalist and Presbyterian churches to form the United
Reform Church. In 1979 the church was merged with the one in Sutton
Road and a couple of years later it was decided to sell of the
Charminster Road building.
The last service was held in May 1982 and a year
later the United Reform Church building was demolished to make
way for the Richmond Court Business Centre.
Some said that one god had been pushed aside to
make way for another.