The 1922 Christian Messenger tells of the origins of Grays Primitive Methodist chapel.
“The history of our church is very varied, but is one of great success. About 1850, services were held regularly at the house of Mr. Thos. Hills, who lived in a small cottage in the London Road. Soon afterwards there migrated into Grays a Mr. and Mrs. Snell, who a few years previously were attracted to the “Ranter Services” at Orsett, and were converted. Owing, however, to severe persecution, they were compelled to leave their native village, and at last settled at Grays. Their house in Argent Street was next to a public-house called the “Castle.” Here they began religious services, and being more in the centre of the town, Mr. and Mrs. Hills closed their services and joined them. It was here, in 1851, our first society was formed, consisting of four members only, Mr. and Mrs. Snell and Mr. and Mrs. Hills. This little society a little later moved to Bond Street, and the wonders of saving grace manifested there are remembered by some living among us to-day. The Bible then used is in the hands of our oldest member who cherishes the precious heirloom of these early exploits for God.
So in 1870, the foundation stones of our present fine chapel were laid. Under the able and successful ministries of such heroic and spiritual leaders like Revs. Joseph Peck, John Davidson, Henry Carden, John Hemshall, W. Dunham and William Jones, the Grays Church grew in numbers, spiritual life, and religious power in the town.”
South Essex College is on the site in 2019.
Christian Messenger 1922/266