The Mustard Tree Community Church (MTCC) first opened its doors to the public on 28th September 1991, but to find out how MTCC came into existence you must go back another 18 months (or further 10 years if you want the full story).

In the early 1980s, Longwell Green was expanding rapidly. At that time, Rob Scott-Cook and a number of local Christians were exploring the possibility of planting a church to serve this growing population. Having prayed about the matter, there were no immediate open doors and so they decided to wait. However, Rob did become a trustee for the Longwell Green Mission Hall, Watsons Road (now the Mustard Tree).

In 1990, the church that met in the Mission Hall had declined in numbers to the point that they ceased to meet on Sundays. At the same time, a group of Christians were meeting as a house church in Oldland Common. Although these two groups were not linked, they did have a common acquaintance – Rob Scott-Cook. Rob’s involvement led to the idea of planting a new church in the Mission Hall. Members of the old fellowship were keen to see the continued use of the Mission Hall as a church building and supported this idea. As a result, the Mustard Tree Community Church (originally known as Longwell Green Christian Fellowship) was born.

Nobody in the group had planted a church before, so the search for a leader began. During this time the Mustard Tree building was renovated by the group meeting in Oldland Common who were now committed to seeing a church planted in the locality. Through links with the Community Evangelism Team, David Lawrence, an experienced leader with Christ the Rock Christian Fellowship (Yate), agreed to help the group for two days a week. David worked with MTCC on this basis for a period of two years, getting things going and establishing many of the values for which the church still stands. At the end of the two years, David returned to Christ the Rock as a full-time leader but continued to act as a consultant leader and regular speaker at MTCC.


Since 1991 MTCC has grown steadily, in terms of both membership and impact on the local community. The first community activity, Coffee Tots, started in November 1991. Then in January 1993, Branching Out went to press for the first time. The same year saw the appointment of a Church Community Worker, the first (ever!) wedding at the Mustard Tree and the inaugural coffee morning for the over 50s, Golden Blend. Interest from the local community increased so that in 1994 the Carol Service was moved to Longwell Green Primary School, in order to accommodate the numbers. This was the start of a growing relationship with the school, which led to the development of a Schools Team in 1999. The occasional work with young people in the area during the summer and through the Hallelujah Parties, led to the creation of 911 in October 1997, followed in September 2000 by X2, a group for teenagers.

The first Alpha Course held at MTCC took place over the summer of 1998 and there have been regular courses ever since. More than 40 people have now completed one of the courses put on by the church to enable people to find out more about Christianity. Direct involvement in overseas mission was strengthened by visits to activities supported by MTCC in March 1998 (to Gibraltar to see the radio work of Warwick Danks) and in July 2000 (to Albania to carry out DIY on the New Beginnings Children’s Home).

In 1999, the Leadership Team was expanded to spread some of the responsibilities and a part time administrator was appointed to tackle the ever-growing mountain of paperwork. In September 2000, Branching Out was re-launched as a community newsletter and in the same month the church name was changed from LGCF to the Mustard Tree Community Church.

In January 2001, the involvement of MTCC with the Bristol Soup Run began.