Emmanuel Church, Greenfield Road, Eastbourne, BN21 1JJ
"Expecting great things from God
...attempting great things for God"

Our History.

Pre-2018 – A Legacy Of Faith and Service

Emmanuel Church Eastbourne was formed by the merging of four Eastbourne churches, namely: 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 more recent church building in 1897.

For well over a century, they all 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.

2018 to 2023 – Emmanuel Church Constituted and The Building Project Commences

On 7th January 2018, a constitution was signed and Emmanuel Church was created as a legal, charitable church entity. The merger of the four churches formed a Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP), which honours the traditions and beliefs of both the Methodist and United Reformed denominations. We also became affiliated with The Inclusive Church network – a church which celebrates and affirms every person without discrimination.
Emmanuel Church Eastbourne on former site of Greenfield Methodist Church

Over the next five years, Emmanuel Church met at the former Greenfield Methodist Church building at the corner of Green Street and Greenfield Road, in Eastbourne Old Town. During this time a major project was underway for a new premises on the Upperton United Reformed Church site. We envisaged a modern and flexible space, suitable for both worship and community use, enabling the church to fulfil its mission long into the 21st century.

The new building was paid for by the sale of the previous church sites – and a major effort was made to raise a funding shortfall of over £900,000, this was achieved through a variety of local fund-raising initiatives – direct giving by the members, fund-raising events, financial support from both the Methodist and United Reformed Churches and applications to various grant-making bodies.

2019-08 Thanksgiving Prior to the Enabling Works

On 05 August 2019 preparations began on the Upperton site, with its demolition and with the laying of the foundations. Delays were then ensued by the global pandemic and the main build works didn’t commence until January 2021. Over the following two and a half years we saw the building grow into what you see today.

2023 onward – A New Church & Community Space For All Ages

2023-09 Building Opens
The keys were finally handed over on 14 August 2023, and shortly after, we gathered, with all those that supported us both prayerfully and financially to give thanks and worship God for providing and bringing us this far.

The new premises provides a community facility for a wide variety of groups, including our own Jenny Wren Nursery (rated Outstanding by OFSTED) and Little Wrens toddler group, it’s a place of fellowship for everyone. And there are new opportunities to serve too. The facilities include a modern, welcoming café area for the local community; the provision of showers and space so that we can support the night shelter in town, and rooms for community groups to use.

To this day and beyond, Emmanuel Church will continue to worship God and serve the people of Eastbourne for many more generations to come.

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