Needham Market Evangelical Church

  • Ipswich Road
  • Needham Market
  • Suffolk
  • IP6 8EH

01394 271645
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About Us

A Potted History by a Former Pastor, Brian Langston


The seeds of our chapel appear to have been sown, when on Sunday 21st October 1888, a group of thirty-four Salvation Army members held an open-air meeting in the town of Needham Market. A policeman told them to move on, as they were causing an obstruction, but the group refused to be broken up until the meeting had finished. Subsequently, four of the group, three men and one lady, received a summons for obstruction.


They were each fined ten shillings (about a week's pay), but refused to pay the fine. So the four were arrested, handcuffed and marched off to an Ipswich jail. There, we are told, they wore “broad arrow uniforms”.


Although they were sentenced to one week in jail, they were released after just two days, and upon their return to Needham Market they received a public celebration in the streets. The matter caused such a stir at the time that it was raised in Parliament. One of the four who were arrested, a Mr. Daniel Thorpe, later became the leader of the “Needham Town Mission” and began to hold meetings in a converted house. Later in August 1925 they built and opened a small chapel in the main Ipswich Road, and that is where we still meet today.


In 1958 the name was changed to Needham Market Evangelical Church and the deeds given in trust to the F.I.E.C. (Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches). In 1988 a baptistry pool was built and in 1990 the church held its centenary anniversary and celebrated God's continual mercy and faithfulness to His people.