As it was in the Beginning
The earliest inhabitants of Hampstead Garden Suburb worshipped together. Services were held in what was known as, 'the Workmen's hut'. The form of worship alternated between Anglican and Non-Conformist, but all worshipped together. This was in 1908. At the same time a Sunday School was established to serve all the children of the Suburb. In 1909, the residents decided that, "The meetings of the Church of England and Free Church should be arranged by separate committees". The first service of the Free Church was held on May 16th 1909. The Church covenant was drawn up on November 14th 1909 by its first 15 members. The Church was formally inaugurated on February 18th 1910 when a further 44 names were added to the membership roll. The first Church members' meeting took place on March 3rd 1910. Rev. James Henry Rushbrooke, then minister of Archway Baptist Church, Highgate was invited to be the first minister of the Church and he was inducted on December 15th 1910. Work on the Church building began on January 16th 1911. It was designed by Edwin Lutyens. It was opened on October 25th 1911.
Hampstead Garden Suburb Free Church has a unique place within the history of Christian witness in this country. The Manchester Guardian, when reporting the opening the Church, noted that, "The latest experiment to be tried in the enterprising air of the Hampstead Garden Suburb is that of a Free Church which is really free to all denominations. The Suburb has obtained the most original church in or near London. The foundation is not less original for the fact that there is no other interdenominational Free Church in the country"
The congregation of today is proud of its history. We value our freedom, under God, to worship, to study, to share and to serve. We draw heavily on the rich heritage bequeathed to us, yet we are grateful for the opportunity to be ourselves in our generation. We offer worship that is relevant, stimulating and uplifting. We provide activities that enable the active participation of all age groups in the life of the Church. We support organisations, religious and secular, local and global, working to alleviate poverty, suffering and distress. We are a family church, recognising that each and every one of us is a child of God.
And ever shall be
We are an open Church. Everybody is welcome. We recognise that everyone is an individual and each of us is on our own particular journey of faith. At the same time we recognise that it is better to travel together than to travel alone.
We believe that in some small way we are co-operating with sisters and brothers throughout the world in establishing God's kingly rule. This we do by the way we live out what we believe. We seek to affirm that which is good and confront that which is evil.
Hampstead Garden Suburb Free Church was founded in 1910 and is affiliated to the Baptist Union and a member of the United Reformed Church.