It all began with Sheep Dip!
In 1852 William Cooper set up the factory on the east side of Berkhamsted which was to become famous world wide. It required an ever-increasing workforce and by the 1880s numbers of new cottages, shops and small businesses were built on the land between the canal and the railway along what is now George Street and Ellesmere Road. This newly developed area, which we know as Sunnyside.
There was a growing need for a centre of worship and service in this area of Sunnyside. In 1881, a converted barn was leased as a Mission Room in George Street. On Good Friday 1881 the first service was taken there – the first act of worship in ‘Sunnyside’.
The building we now worship in was built in 1909 but although much of the original has remained with extensions and an interior refurbishment we’ve undergone great changes over the past few years. These changes have been echoed in the more 21st century approach to worship. Whilst retaining the 1662 Prayer book service in the chancel at 8.00am on Sundays the other services reflect a more modern approach towards worship.
Sunnyside has a great history of which we are proud but what remains today is an ongoing and genuine enthusiasm for a personal faith in a risen Christ which continues to shape and transform lives in the 21st century.
This building is not a museum piece but the spiritual home and launch pad of relevant and vibrant Christianity within the area of ‘Sunnyside’. The obvious ongoing commitment to Christ and enthusiasm for His Kingdom outshines even the beauty of this beautiful adaptable building. A brief account of our history can be found here. A fuller, detailed account of our history was produced in a book during our century celebrations in 2009.