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Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet

 
Bures Free Church of Scotland

 


free.church

(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:-

Charles Dupont of Fysh House. He was the grandfather of Clifford Dupont the co-founder of Rhodesia.
Cornelius Hitchcock of the Mill.
Edwin Ennals, Maltster

hitchcock Cornelius Hitchcock

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

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

 

<<<<< Extract of text:-

BURES FREE CHURCH
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 safe 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 wno. 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 propertie`s down to Mr. Kipling when added further £10. y

Is interesting to recall the facts—in this case almost incredible facts —which led up to the sale.
It was last year that Mr. Manfred C. Hitchcock. The Mill House. Bures, 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