The Christian Science church in High Wycombe is a branch of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. The religion of Christian Science was founded in and around Boston, by the healing work, based on Christian spiritual means alone, of Mary Baker Eddy, and in 1879 she established a church, with twenty-six members, whose purpose was:
” to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.”
The Christian Science movement spread rapidly throughout North America, and in the early 1900’s, the Christian Science healing work of Admiral Dunlop of Gerrards Cross, led to interest in the Buckinghamshire area, and ultimately to the founding in 1908, of a Christian Science Society in High Wycombe, with some seventeen members.
In 1924, the Society moved from a house in Oxford Road, to rooms at 28 High Street, High Wycombe, and in 1934, the Society was recognised by The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, as a Christian Science church in High Wycombe.
A custom designed new church building was built in Corporation Street in 1937, with room for about 70 people. During the war years from 1940 to 1944, the upper part of the building was requisitioned as a Government Office, issuing war time food Ration Books, but church services continued normally using the lower floor only.
In June 1976, the church members decided to expand the facilities to accommodate 100 people, and in 1978 a contract was let and a new larger auditorium was opened in May 1979, and dedicated, free of any debt on 3 May 1981. A report of the event published in the local newspaper indicated the purpose of our church as “healing the ills and disorders of individuals and society through spiritual means alone”.
In November 1999 the members agreed to pursue the sale of the town centre Corporation Street site and after considerable work with town planners and developers, moved from the site in October 2002. After a brief period of renting accommodation in Bassetsbury Manor, the church purchased the Tythe Barn in February 2003, and after planning approval and building work, the first Sunday services were held in July 2003.
Dedication services for the church in the new building were held on Sunday 29 February 2004, with all the building and restoration work completed. The church cannot envisage a more appropriate use of such a finely restored building than for religious worship, and considers itself privileged to be custodians of such a sanctuary dedicated to the spiritual welfare of all.
1908 Origins as a Christian Science Society
1934 Became First Church of Christ, Scientist in High Wycombe
1981 Dedicated at past premises on extension
2004 Dedicated at new, present premises, in the Tythe Barn.