Emmanuel Church Eastbourne was formed by the merging of four Eastbourne churches, viz: Central Methodist Church, Greenfield Methodist Church, St Andrews United Reformed Church and Upperton United Reformed Church. Each had its own groups, traditions, and building.
Central’s origin was amongst troops during the Napoleonic war and went on to build a church on the present site in 1864. The present “Nonconformist Gothic” building was opened in 1909.
Greenfield was built as an extension of the work into the Old Town in 1898.
St Andrew’s had its beginnings in the requests of Scottish soldiers stationed at the Redoubt, initially met quite informally, but in 1877 the Eastbourne Presbyterian congregation was declared a Preaching Station, and the current church building opened in 1878.
Upperton originated at the “Chapel in the Marsh” registered in 1788, went on to become a Congregational Church and laid the foundation stone for the present church building in 1897.
For well over a century, these four churches have occupied a significant place in the history of Eastbourne. Few will be unaware of the service they have provided over the years in weddings, funerals, church parades, civic events, nursery care, concerts as well as services of worship for all ages. Many visitors to the town have shared in those activities over the years.
However, the impact of age on these once fine buildings created a situation where the congregations were not able to meet the considerable cost of repair and restoration, and the shape of the buildings became unfit for present day use. After some years of careful planning, we believe we had a plan worthy of taking our churches forward. The plans name – Emmanuel Church Eastbourne.