In 1662 the Act of Uniformity came into effect. It prescribed the manner in which church services were to be conducted and what was to be included. As part of this all clergy had to use the Common Book of Prayer. Those clergy who refused were evicted from their livings. This lead to a number of clergy and members of the congregations leaving the established church. These Christians became known as Dissenters (aka Non Conformists) and it lead to the creation of Baptist and Congregational Churches.
Under the 1689 Act of Toleration, a private house in Thaxted where Dissenters were meeting was licensed for worship. In 1705 a widow called Joanna Pomphret, purchased land, buildings and stables in Bolford Street. She decreed that they should be used ‘hereafter and for ever as a Meeting House for Godley and religious worship’. The present building was started in 1733 and extended in 1828, 1857 and 1876. In 1889, the organ was installed and is still in use.
The Old Independent Meeting became a Congregational Church and in 1972 when the Congregational Church of England & Wales and Presbyterian Churches joined together, it became Thaxted United Reformed Church.
Today whilst we celebrate our Non Conformists heritage, we are also actively involved in Thaxted Churches Together, sharing worship with our friends from the Baptist and Parish Churches and participating in joint activities such as Lent Bible Study Groups and Christian Aid ‘Big Brekkie’.