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The title Mission is not familiar as a title today but the naming of the church owes much to the times and circumstances in which it was founded. Mission is often thought of in terms of the propagation of the Christian Faith to the non Christian world and many such missionary societies were set up throughout the 19th and early 20th century for this purpose. This culminated in the World Missionary Conference in 1910 in Edinburgh, the year our church was being founded and so the word mission would have been familiar at that time.


This popular term though was also applied to Christian outreach at home particularly to people outside the Church or in unconventional situations. Two such Missions had been set up  a few miles away in Laindon in 1902 and 1903 to serve the new ‘Settlers’ moving into the area to develop plots of land for self-build projects. The same situation may have been anticipated in Bulphan and a chapel prior to Zion Hall had already been set up by 1902 (see history). Many of these folk were Nonconformists finding themselves in the countryside with the only places of worship being the Parish Churches, and in an age where there was less appreciation ofothers traditions and beliefs, the setting up of Inter or Non denominational Mission churches would have been very appropriate.


The title Zion reflects a relatively uncommon tradition in Essex of naming churches after significant places in the Bible, although elsewhere in the UK, especially in Wales, such names are plentiful. It is not know why Zion was chosen but it reflects the faith of the founders to base the purpose of the church firmly on the Bible.




An earlier simply constructed place of worship the Bulphan Gospel Hall had been set up in the village by 1902 but due to a disagreement a breakaway fellowship was set up. After initially meeting in a barn, the site was bought in 1910, a chapel erected on the land, and services started in the building by 1911.


 The original building suffered major bomb damage in the Second World War in 1940 and was subsequently demolished. The Mission continued to meet in the old Bulphan Village Hall (sited where the A128 now passes Bulphan) whilst funds were being raised for a new building and permissions sought. In post War Britain the serious building materials shortage meant that work could not start until 1950 and the new chapel was opened at the end of that year.


Electricity came to the village  and the church in 1952 and with the increasing ownership of motor cars the car park was laid out in 1956.

During the 1950s and 60s a growing Sunday School led to the building of a dedicated extension for this purpose in 1969 although the church currently doesn’t have a Sunday school.


Although it had always been the tradition to hold two services on a Sunday, over the last twenty years we have increasingly joined with other churches in their services. In 2013 it was decided that we would meet on Sunday evenings only and hope that we can can provide a time and place for those who attend church elsewhere in the morning or who for whatever reason prefer or can only get along to an evening service.

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