Colchester New Church
Colchester New Church is located on 175-181 Maldon Road Colchester, CO3 3BL Colchester New Church has as its theological basis the Old and New Testaments and the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Colchester New Church is part of the General Church of the New Jerusalem.

The two essentials of the New Church are: 1 That the Lord Jesus Christ is the one and only God. 2 That we shall live by the Ten Commandments. Living by the Ten Commandments is also called the life of charity.

Colchester New Church had its first beginnings in on 26 July 1816 when Rev. Robert Hindmarsh came to give a public lecture in Colchester. Shortly after this lecture a small group formed. They rented various rooms in town for their worships and discussions. In the minutes of the 46th General Conference in 1853, Colchester New Church is listed as having 11 members, and renting a chapel in St. Helen's Lane with U.W. Mattocks as the leader. After this point the history of the Colchester New Church is uncertain until 1880 when George McQueen finds the Writings of Swedenborg. In June, 1880, Mr. McQueen read Isaac Pitman's Emanuel Swedenborg, the Spiritual Columbus, a little book which quoted from the Swedenborg's Writings. On his 20th birthday, Sunday, September 12, 1880, George McQueen walked the 10 miles to Brightlingsea to attend the New Church service. With him walked "Eb" Finch. In 1881 Rev. J. Deans begins a series of lectures in Colchester, and a group is formed. Their first official worship is conducted on April 16 of the same year, and in June they rent a room, Shaftsbury Hall. Mr. William Gill joins the society shortly after its formation and becomes one of its lay preachers. Two members of the society give money to help finance a church building, but the building did not materialize for 42 years. In 1885 Rev. C. Griffiths becomes the pastor in Brightlingsea, and Colchester appoints him as their honorary pastor. At this point the Colchester New Church is still a part of the General Conference. However, in 1885 the Colchester society begins to read sermons from New Church Life for their Sunday worship. New Church Life is a periodical of the General Church of the New Jerusalem. This might very well have been the beginning of the attraction to the distinctive ideas and principle of the General Church and its Academy movement. In 1890 Rev. C. Griffiths withdraws from the Colchester society because he disagrees with the members' strong sympathies for the General Church of the New Jerusalem. On July 6, Rev. William Frederic Pendleton (of the General Church) gives a sermon that greatly pleased the members in Colchester. On the same day Mr. McQueen becomes a member of the General Church Academy. The next year in 1891, on 27 March, the Colchester New Church officially withdraws from the Conference to become part of the General Church of the New Jerusalem. In 1905 William Frederic Pendleton (by now the bishop of the General Church of the New Jerusalem) visits Colchester and discusses the possibility of opening a school, but it is decided that the time is not ripe yet. 1924 The church building is erected on 175 Maldon Road. Around the same time Rev. Gyllenhaal becomes pastor of the society. In 1926 a day school is started under Muriel Gill. In 1967 under the leadership of Rev. Frank Rose the church building is expanded. The sanctuary is extended two meters in length, a new school room, and a new entrance porch are added. The designer of the new additions was architect Geoff P. Dawson. The plan had been to dedicate the new school room on December 10, 1966. But the building work only finished in mid January 1967, and is dedicated by bishop Willard D. Pendelton on 15 April of the same year.