A Brief History of Dunton Green Free Church
Out of the mists of History
The Free Church that now worships in the building on Station Road, Dunton Green has its origins in the mists of of the Congregationalists of the 16th century. It was in this century that in 1798 an Association of Baptist and Congregational Churches in North Kent was formed. Silence followed for almost 150 years and then in 1863 a proposal was made for both Baptists and Congregationalists to worship together in a disused Chapel in Cedar Terrace Road, Hartsland on the outskirts of Sevenoaks. It was also in that year that an appeal was launched for a United Congregational Chapel in Hartsland, Sevenoaks.
In 1865 the foundation stone was laid for the building and the new church was born. Today that building still stands as the now named United Reformed Church, St John's Hill.
By 1873 the church had grown sufficiently to enable it to look outwards and Dunton Green Free Church was established in a small chapel built by a Mr Joynson of Swanley "as an offering to the Lord". This building remains to this day but now used for worship by the fellowship of Bethel Free Church.
This small building served its purposes well until size limited the growing congregation and in 1937 the foundation stone was laid for a bigger chapel on a parcel of donated land east of the main London to Hastings road on the north side of Station Road. The building opened its doors to worship on Thursday 30th September 1937 and was completely free of debt.
Further changes occurred in the 1960's when Sevenoaks Congregational Church handed the keys to the building over to the fellowship at Dunton Green and it became free from its 'Mother Church'.
The 1970's saw another change when in 1972 the United Reformed Church was established from various different 'Free Churches' throughout England. Dunton Green Free Church preferring to retain its independence and its local form of church government chose not to join the URC federating with other like-minded churches into the Congregational Federation.
The 1980's saw a decline in both the Church of England and the Free Church fellowships of the village culminating in the closure of the St John the Divine Church of England church to the north of the village. In the mid-80's a sharing agreement was reached between the Anglicans and the Free Church such that the Station Road building was renamed The Christian Worship Centre.
In the summer of 2004 the Anglican church of St. John's closed and the worshippers transferred to the Parish church.
Dunton Green Free Church once again looks to change and growth as an Independent church, yet part of the national body of free church's called the Congregational Federation.