History

In 1910 a small group of Christians met informally for worship in West Road Shoeburyness. In 1928 the first Baptist Church in Shoeburyness was built on the present site in Thorpedene Gardens. A larger place of worship was needed as the fellowship grew and in 1985 the new sanctuary was opened.

The need for a Church at Friars became apparent with the growth of the housing development in North/East Shoeburyness.

On Easter Sunday 1987 the first service was held in Friars Community Centre. In September 1991, 48 members of Shoeburyness and Thorpe Bay Baptist Church were commissioned to form a separate congregation.

In September 1995, Rev. Neal Smith was inducted as the first full-time Minister at Friars and he remained with us until August 2000. During his ministry, he oversaw the building of the new church. The fellowship moved from the community centre to this building in September 1997.

Our next Minister, Rev Phil Wright was inducted to Friars on the 14th September 2002. Phil was a member of Billericay Baptist Church when he started his training at Spurgeon’s Theological College in 1990, during this time he was also student pastor at Ramsden Bellhouse Baptist Church.


Following his ordination in 1993, Phil pastored Church Crookham Baptist Church in Hampshire. He returned to Billericay Baptist Church in 1996 to pastor the South Green congregation. He joined us at Friars in September 2002 with his wife Lynnette and they have a daughter Helen.

We called our next Minister, Rev Vivienne Alexander, to Friars Church.  Vivienne was inducted on 26th September 2009 as our Minister. Vivienne was with us over 5 years and in November 2014 following a clear call, moved on to Hornchurch Baptist Church. Vivienne worked hard to get us into a place so that we can move out into the area to tell people about the love of Christ. We are moving at a pace but we are few and we need help from above.

April 2012 saw our 25th Anniversary as a Church. We held a celebration weekend in April starting on Friday night with the Brigades doing a short play. Saturday morning/afternoon was a fun day with an indoor bouncy castle, bar-b-queue and other fun items. Saturday evening we had various groups take part in Friars Ain’t Got Talent night. Sunday was an all day celebration from the morning service to the evening service with a bring and share lunch.

We have called Rev. Stuart Woodward to be our interim Minister. Stuart was inducted to the pastorate at Friars Church on 4th July 2015. Stuart comes from Kingswood Road Baptist Church in Basildon. We look forward to the future with Stuart and his wife Betty at Friars Baptist Church.