The Congregational Church as a place of worship in the village dates back to 1825. Before 1825 worshippers attended Chelwood Church but in 1825 a small chapel was established on Maggs Hill. The land on which the chapel was built was bought from James Hassell, a member of the congregation.
The building was altered and improved upon on more than one occasion. People came to worship from Temple Cloud, Paulton, Hallatrow and all round the district. It is thought that Aaron Neck was ordained as the first minister. The Treasurer and Deacon was James Hall and the two other Deacons were John Cooke and William James. The last named was the village blacksmith . After Aaron Neck, William James became ‘Pastor and President’ of the Church from 1848 until his death in 1857.
The earliest lists of members and baptisms shows that there then about 50 members in the Church. Apparently, William Amesbury was the oldest member, having been received in 1803, probably at Chelwood. He died in 1858. But number one on that first list is John Short who was received in 1832 and died in 1837.
John Bartlet was received in 1858 and died in 1912 aged 93. Valentine Keeling was also received in 1858 and died in 1899. He was the father of Oliver Keeling who, with his family, was for many years associated with the church at Brislington. John Beacham was received in 1874 and died in 1895.
In 1881 the premises were in such a bad condition that they had to be entirely renovated, even new flooring had to be laid.
During Sidney Herbert’s ministry the building of a new Church in North Road took place at a cost of £1763 18s. On Saturday 21st July 1828 the Stone Laying Ceremony took place. On Saturday 27th October the Church opened. The builder of the Church was W J Kew of Bishopsworth.
However, there was a debt of £1000. Collecting books were issued, circulars of appeal broadcast and sales organised. It took 10 years to complete the payment and on 30th March 1938 there was a Thanksgiving Tea to celebrate the event.
In 1978, the 50th anniversary of the present church was celebrated. Numbers have dwindled in recent years and it is almost entirely due to the efforts of church secretary and treasurer Joyce Nash who was just 3 when the present church opened that regular worship still takes place every Sunday morning.
Bristol Congregational Monthly 1941
‘The Timsbury Book’ by kind permission of Timsbury Parish Council.