The History of Burnham URC

Zion Chapel, Gore Road, Burnham home of the Congregational Church from 1791 to November 1964

Historical records show that active dissent against the Established Church was present in the area from at least the middle of the 16th Century, but Burnham URC dates its beginnings from about 1790 when the Revd John Cooke, the minister of Maidenhead Congregational Church, began to preach in Burnham as well. That his early preaching in the area was not entirely welcomed is evidenced by his being pelted with rotten eggs, being burnt in effigy and having a ring of burning straw thrown at him.

Congregation at the communion table service in Gore Road Church.

But he persisted, to such good effect that a chapel was built in Gore Road - opening on May Day 1791. It is perhaps fitting that when the church celebrated its Bicentenary in 1990 members from Maidenhead walked to Burnham to join a special service there.

Worship and church life continued in Gore Road until 1964 when the congregation moved to the present buildings in Stomp Road.

The new Congregational Church in Stomp Road dedicated for continued worship on 21st November 1964.

A plaque in the vestibule reads:

"This Church was dedicated for worship on the 21st day of November 1964, continuing the witness of the Congregational Church, founded in Burnham in 1790, which worshipped in Zion Chapel, Gore Road, from 1791 to November 1964."


Summer dress for a service in the new Church

In October 1972 Burnham Congregational Church became Burnham United Reformed Church.

The new Congregational Church in Stomp Road was dedicated for continued worship on 21st November 1964.