In 1813 a house in Moreton was licensed for worship by nonconformists. (fn. 70) In
1829 the Revd. J. Corbishley
of Abbess Roding (q.v.)
reported that he sometimes preached at Moreton. (fn. 71)
Some of his hearers may have formed the nucleus of the
later Congregational society. This appears to have been
started about 1850, when Mr. Vale, the evangelist
from North Weald (q.v.), began preaching at Moreton. (fn. 72) Vale's work at Moreton, which was assisted by
a small annual grant from the Essex Congregational
Union, was so successful that by 1856 his Sunday evening congregation numbered 80-100, and there were
also a Sunday school attended by 30 children and an
adult evening school. (fn. 73) About this time Vale moved
to Moreton, where he continued to minister until
about 1873. (fn. 74) In 1857 it was reported that the Sunday
school had been given up owing to opposition from
neighbouring clergy 'who used promises and threats
to deter attendance', but in spite of this the work
flourished. In 1862 a church was built at a cost of
£150. In 1875 A. M. Kemsley, an evangelist, had
charge of the church under the superintendence of the
Revd. J. R. Clarkson of Chipping Ongar. In the following year the Revd. W. Passmore, formerly of Welling
(Kent), started to work at Moreton. Since that time
the church has continued with fluctuating fortunes.
It has frequently been under the pastoral charge of the
minister from Chipping Ongar. In 1904 there were
7 church members, 34 pupils in the Sunday school,
and 3 teachers. (fn. 75) From 1939 to 1948 there was a lay
evangelist, Mr. W. J. Frost. (fn. 76) In 1950 there were 18
members, 15 pupils, and 3 teachers. (fn. 77) Since 1911 the
church has been vested in the Essex Congregational
Union. (fn. 78) The building is of gault brick with red
brick dressings and is dated 1862.
||E.R.O., Q/RRw 1.
||E.R.O., Q/CR 3/2. The Revd. Isaac
Taylor of Chipping Ongar also preached
at Moreton at this time.
Essex Congr. Union Reps. 1850.
||Ibid. 1857 f. Unless otherwise stated
subsequent information in this section is
from these reports.
Cong. Year Bk. 1904.
||Essex Congr. Union Trust Deeds.