A CHURCH is preparing to mark more than 100 years of services.

The Forest Hall Church in High Beech Road, Loughton, hosted its first service in 1899.

The congregation originally met in 1897 in the Victoria Tavern tea pavilion in nearby Smart’s Lane, but a small chalet-style building was erected at the chapel’s current spot in 1899, when it was the centre of Loughton.

Church leader Roland Brown said: “This year, our anniversary falls on a Sunday, which it doesn’t normally, so we decided to make a bit more of it this year.”

Members plan to meet for a reunion service, where past members of the church will be welcomed, next Sunday (December 2) from 6.30pm.