Planting Bury St Edmunds Evangelical Church
Westgate Chapel began life in February 1975 as a church plant from the village of Barrow, five miles outside Bury St Edmunds.
The small Congregational Chapel had been written off by the denomination as a lost cause. But in the late 1960s, Bob Cotton was called to pastor the church, and as the gospel was faithfully preached, and the people prayed, the church saw significant growth. Many people were attracted to the village chapel from Bury St Edmunds because of the evangelical Bible Ministry taking place there.
Responding to the need for a Bible-centred church in Bury St Edmunds, a monthly Bible rally was started by the Barrow church at Westley Middle School in 1972. The monthly meetings soon became weekly Bible studies, and then three years after the first Bible rally, the church formally began in February 1975 as Bury St Edmunds Evangelical Church.
Becoming Westgate Chapel
During their first twelve months the congregation doubled in number. They started off meeting in Westley Estate Community Centre, and as the Lord was growing the church spiritually and numerically, it was felt that the church needed a permanent building within the town.
Eventually the church settled on purchasing its current building on Hospital Road near the town centre. Believing that the Lord was directing them in this way, the building was purchased in May 1976 and the church became known as Westgate Chapel. Originally a stable block for a pub, the building has gone through several incarnations, and has been extended three times since its original purchase.
Experiencing God’s Blessing
The church has known God’s continued blessing throughout its forty-year history, from an extraordinary response to the gospel in 1980 at a church mission in which significant numbers came to faith in Jesus; to the faithful Bible teaching; support for world mission, and an outward looking focus.
Westgate Chapel today shares the same convictions upon which it was founded: that our greatest need is to hear the good news of Jesus, and that good news is heard through God’s Word as found in the Bible. We’re committed to faithfully preaching and teaching God’s Word, in a relevant, contemporary manner, so that as many as possible might come to find salvation in Jesus.
We look forward to seeing what God will do amongst us in the next forty years for His glory!,