1914-24

Unfortunately by 1914, the congregation was already outgrowing the building so, late that year, plans were submitted for an extension to seat 150 people and two large classrooms with room for 100 children in the Sunday School. Despite the war, the work was finished in July 1915.

Money troubles were still dogging the church and, in March 1915, a Trust Deed was adopted and 12 trustees appointed. It was decided that new hymn books (Worship Song) were needed to replace Sankey's and, such were the financial straits, that everyone was asked to buy their own copy. Despite the financial problems, the Church regularly supported Chesham Cottage Hospital and several missionary societies.

During the 1st World War the schoolroom was used by women and children from London to give them some relief from air raids. Shelter was also given to some Portugese woodsmen working nearby. Christian Endeavour and the Young Worshippers' League started at about this time. The Free Church joined with St Leonard's in Chesham Bois for regular open-air services, which continued for many years, and the two churches also prepared and sent parcels to soldiers at the Front.

At the end of the war a committee was appointed to welcome home returning soldiers. There was a special supper for them and then regular Wednesday Socials.

In the middle of 1920 it was proposed that a small piece of land adjacent to the church should be bought and a two-storey extension built. This was rejected in favour of buying six acres of land on the corner of Sycamore Road and Woodside Road with the idea that part of the land could be resold at a future date. The congregation loaned the money (£2,000) and the land was bought in 1921. A corrugated iron hut, together with furniture, was purchased and opened in October of that year named the Sycamore Hall and Free Church Institute. Later that year the excess land was sold for £1,900 leaving the area where the present church and car park stand.

In its early years, the Institute flourished as a sign of 'practical Christianity'. Such diverse activities as Gymnastics, Billiards, Political Discussion, Sisterhood, Brotherhood, Music, Tennis, Catering, Chess, French Classes and a Literary Society were all very popular.

The congregation were also in touch with the wider world. Donations were sent to help children in central Europe and the local unemployed and they took part in meetings in support of the League of Nations.

Internal issues also took up time. Two Church meetings were dominated by the matter of when the Notices should be announced during worship ... after which it was decided to leave them where they were. There was also discussion on the behaviour of the young people during the evening service and disapproval of late-comers arriving during prayers or Bible reading.

In 1923 Alfred Ellis resigned his position of president and leader of the fellowship which he had held almost from the beginning and it was decided to search for a full time 'man of God'.

In July 1924, the Rev Adam Waugh, who was a Baptist minister in Wallasey, was invited to be the minister. He accepted and began his ministry on 5th October.