Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet

Bures Free Church of Scotland



(photograph taken 2005)

Another tradition which ante-dates the Reformation was that of religious dissension. In 1890, a group broke away from the rigorous discipline of the members who controlled the local Baptist Church and built their own Free Church in the Croft.

Three men were responsible for setting up of this Church:-

(1) Charles Dupont (1844 -1920) of Fysh House. He was the Grandfather to Clifford Dupont (1905 -1978)>
was a Rhodesian politician who served in the internationally unrecognised positions of Officer Administrating the Government (from 1965 until 1970) and President of Rhodesia from 1970 to 1976.

Family Line:-

John Dupont, (Ironmonger in Bures) married Sarah Hardy 1819 -1873
Charles Dupont 1844-1920 Married Joanna Isabella Edwards 1841-1931
Child:- Winifred Mary DUPONT 1876-1959 - Alfred Walter DUPONT 1867-1950
Child:- Clifford Walter DUPONT 1905-1978

View Full Dupont Family tree

(2)Cornelius Hitchcock of the Mill.

(3)Edwin Ennals, Maltster

hitchcock Cornelius Hitchcock

It was erected in the Croft and designed at the outset, with a possible conversion to a dwelling house.

Bury Free Press, dated February 28th 1931


It had been used for its original purpose by the Free Church of Scotland until the 1939 war.

Records indicate the Rev Sherwin (or Sherwood) was the minister during 1939.
He lived at "Apsley House" along the High Street

For Sale advertisment
Suffolk and Essex Free Press, dated January 1946


<<<<< OCR Extract of text:-

Sold To Silk Manufacturer!
Future Use Undecided

Bures Free Church, built in and until early last year used for public worship, has been sold to Mr. E. W. G. Kipling, of Highbank, Sudbury, for £1,460.

Considerable local interest was taken in the sale of this well built detached freehold property, which was conducted bv Mr. F. S. Daniel, of Colchester, in a packed room at the Eight Bells Hotel, Bures, on Monday night.
Among the principal bidders were those who for some time, had visualised it as a centre for social and recreational activities, particularly for the younger generation of the village.
Mr. Gordon Drake, for instance. was deputed to try and obtain it for the Boys’ Club. He in fact, started the sale at a figure of €3OO, and with the bidding brisk he went up far as £950.

The Women’s Institute, too, had had their eye on it and at a recent secret ballot agreed to go to £8OO in an effort to obtain it.
As the figure increased the bidding became very keen between Mr. W. Brand, of Bures, Mr. W. J. Warren. of Sudbury, and Mr. Kipling.
Mr. Warren’s last bid was £1.450 and the propertty was knocked down to Mr. Kipling when he added a further £10.

Is interesting to recall the facts—which led up to the sale.
It was last year that Mr. Manfred C. Hitchcock whose family had been interested in the Free Church ever since its erection; came into possession of the property, which had ceased to used for religious services owing the difficulty of obtaining ministers.

So, it had a continuous use as a Church for 49 years.
After the war it was taken over by the Womens Institute for their meeting place until it was converted into a private residence in 1960.

At that time it was renamed to `Pettits Hall`, but it has always been known as "Spite Hall" after the acrimony surrounding its breakaway from the local Baptist Church.
The Vicar of St Mary`s back in the early 1900`s, placed a note in the parish magazine stating "Dont let your children go to the Free Church or the Baptist"

During the mid thirties, Sunday afternoons would be taken up with small concert recitals with:-
Ethel Hume organist and conductor
Fred Reddit on double bass
Nora Reddit on Violin
also a young boy from Assington on the violin

Credit - Notes by Dr Brown (dec) Mrs Janet Frost (dec)

B&W Photo by Peter Richards
Newspaper research by Alan Beales
Updated 21/01/2017
updated 31/01/2017
updated 18/04/2021