Lighthouse Community Church is a church new in name and in vision, but with history going back over 80 years to the first meetings at Hardley Green in 1940.

Lighthouse Community Church formed after New Hope Community Church ended, but uses the same building as the old church.

New Hope Community Church was, for a short transitional period known as Hardley Green Christian Centre, but prior to this was for many years known as Hardley Pentecostal Church. The new name ‘Lighthouse’ reflects our desire to bring the light (good news of the gospel) and the hope that we have in Jesus Christ to our local community through the relationships we build and to bring God's light to those who are hurting, persecuted and alone.


Early Church History

Hardley Pentecostal Church came into being around 1936, meeting at first in local homes and hired or borrowed buildings. Then in 1940 we purchased our own building (not the land) on what was the original Hardley village green, and which is now the ESSO bulk fuel loading site (where all those fuel tankers come from).


Crossing the Road

In the late 1950's ESSO bought Cadland Estate, thus becoming our landlords, and we agreed to move to our present site in February 1958, having been provided with a wooden building of approximately the same size as the original.

Early church team all ready to deliver tracts by bicycle.
Left to Right: Bertha Smith, Frank Dyer,
Florence Mann, Fred Smith,
Harry Holes, Olive Smith, Jack Dyer,
Gwen Dyer, Pastor W.W.Rogers.

An old photograph of the opening of
that "new" building in 1958

The original founders were a group of people who believed that the experiences of the early church (as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles) were relevant to our times, and who sought the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Amongst other influences, the work of George Jefferys who went on to found the the Elim group of Pentecostal Churches in this country, was particularly important and a number of the early members attended the crusades and healing services which took place in Southampton in the early 1930's.

It is interesting to note that at the time Hardley Pentecostal Church was formed, none of the early members had received the baptism in the Spirit. However, they were sure that these "signs and wonders" were a gift from God for the present day - which was by no means the generally held view in the English Church at that time! In 1940, during the darkest days of the war, Frank Dyer (brother of long-time pastor, Jack Dyer) suggested that the members emulate the early disciples who had met together over a period of 10 days after Jesus ascended to heaven, praying and waiting in the upper room for the promised Holy Spirit.

This they did, and after a number of days of prayer, the fire fell on them too. Soon after the war Frank and his wife, Ivy, responded to Jesus' words in Acts 1:8 " will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses... to the ends of the earth”. They became missionaries in one of the more needy parts of Brazil - the North East. That work is still growing and is now led by Frank and Ivy’s daughter and son-in-law, John and Elizabeth Medcraft.

Frank and Ivy's departure from Tilbury Docks

Since crossing over to our present site, we have changed things considerably, constructing a brick building and adding a pre-fabricated structure about 6 times the size of the original building. These contain offices, two church halls plus Sunday school facilities, kitchen and toilets. Here are some pictures of the major modifications that took place in 1988 when the old building was taken down, and a new one put up in its place.


Laying foundations for new church:
L to R: Jack, Robert, Keith, John Dyer

Lighthouse Community Church as it looks today

  • The Bible is the world’s best-selling book of all time. We believe it is the Word of God. It is total truth and provides us with principles for every area of life.

  • We believe in One True God. We believe He is alive and wants to have a personal relationship with us. He co-exists in three Persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

  • We believe that Jesus is the Son of God. He was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life. While He lived on earth He performed supernatural miracles. He died to take away the sins of the world. He was crucified on a cross, buried in a tomb, was resurrected from the dead and He ascended into heaven. We believe He will return to earth a second time in the future.

  • We believe man has sinned against God. Adam and Eve were the first humans and were created pure but wilfully broke God's laws. As a result all of us have sinned and need forgiveness.

  • We believe there is salvation only through faith in Jesus Christ. He died on the cross that our sins may be forgiven. He was buried and after three days He was raised from the dead. Sin and death could not defeat Him.

  • We believe you must be born again to go to heaven. When you put your trust in Jesus and believe in what He did for you, the Holy Spirit changes you on the inside.

  • We believe in water baptism, not by sprinkling water on your head but by being fully immersed in water. In this way we follow Jesus' example.

  • We believe in the Holy Spirit baptism. The evidence of the Holy Spirit baptism is the supernatural ability to speak in tongues - a language we have not learned or have known.

  • We believe the Holy Spirit gives us special gifts. He empowers us and gives us the ability to do what Jesus did here on earth.

  • We believe we should live holy lives. Through obedience to the principles and teachings in the Bible we can live lives that please God.

  • We believe in supernatural healing. We pray for the sick because we believe God still works miracles today.

  • We believe that everyone who has become a Christian should remember Him by regularly participating in communion.

  • We believe in eternal life and judgement. Those who have committed their lives to following Jesus will spend eternity with Him in heaven. However those who have not will be punished for their sins.

(Taken from the Assemblies of God website of which we are associated)

Pastors old and new

Over the years the church has had a number of leaders, these being:
  • Pastor Rogers
  • Pastor Peake
  • Pastor Harper
  • Pastor Jack Dyer - 1950 to 1980
  • Pastor Keith Dyer - 1980 to 1992
  • Pastor Mark Chafe - 1992 to 2000
  • Pastor Jim Palmer - 2001 to 2004
  • Pastor Tim Lockwood - 2004 to 2011
  • 2011 Support Group - a group of people dedicated to looking after the church with various Pastoral and Teaching ministries.