Branch Expansion: Britain Branch Office Relocation (New IBSA/Watch Tower Bethel at Temple Farm, Chelmsford, UK)

Jehovah's Witnesses in Britain: IBSA/Watchtower Branch Office Relocation from London to Temple Farm, Chelmsford, Essex (UK)

The International Bible Students Association (IBSA) – the charity which manages Jehovah's Witnesses' printing, literature distribution and related administrative functions (such as translation) – is relocating the Britain Branch Office from Mill Hill, London, to Temple Farm, Chelmsford (Essex, UK). The preparation works on the site have begun in 2015 and the construction works already started by spring 2016. According to the Official Phasing Plan, Condition 8 (PDF) it is planned that these new facilities will be completed and operational by 2019/2020.

This is the second largest construction project that the organization is currently undertaking. The currently largest construction project is the relocation of the World Headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States from Brooklyn, New York, to Warwick, New York.

Britain Photo Gallery 1 (January Through August 2015) (JW.ORG)
Preparation for construction: latest photo gallery of the branch construction site (4 Feb. 2016)


The Reasons For This Project

Printing the world's most widely circulated magazines (The Watchtower, No. 1 2018, printing each issue: 69,804,000 in 327 languages – Awake!, No. 1 2018, printing each issue: 64,905,000 in 182 languages), publishing Bible literature in more than 900 languages, and producing Bible-based audio and video material takes a lot of effort. To keep up the branch offices of Jehovah’s Witnesses must run efficiently.

The branch office in Britain has a large part to play in this growing work*, but faces challenges. Its properties are fragmented, spread out over a ten mile radius. So the decision was made to relocate.

In 2014 an 85-acre property was purchased in Temple Farm, Chelmsford (Essex) to accommodate the new Britain Branch Office.

Satellite image (10 September 2006) of the construction site of the new Britain Branch Office in Temple Farm, Chelmsford, Essex, UK. In 2015 the old buildings of the former car breaking business have been demolished and the site was prepared for construction in 2016.

The Construction Project

At the heart of the site will be the printery. Office buildings and support facilities will be situated nearby. Modest accommodation will house the Bethel family. These buildings will complement the beautiful country site at Temple Farm.

The construction of the new Britain Branch Office includes:

Proposal of the new Britain Branch (further images)

The Works Have Already Begun... And Will Continue!

Skilled volunteers – structural engineers, architects, interior designers, landscapers, solicitors, and so many more – are hard at work designing the new branch. Hundreds of brothers and sisters have worked for well over a year to get the project to its current stage. The first construction volunteers are now living on location. Hundreds more will be needed to transform this site into the new Britain Branch Office.

Right now the site is being prepared for construction. This includes demolishing the derelict buildings of the former car breakers business, carrying out a land drainage, archaeological investigation, setting up a residential support site, and a main support site. According to an article of 1st October 2015 at, the old buildings and car breakers garages have been already demolished. Furthermore, the personnel support manager of the branch relocation department denies rumors that the relocation and construction project could collapse.

It is aspected that these new facilities will be completed and operational by 2020.

Preparation works – The residential support site (16 June 2015). View from the east, showing the newly installed temporary homes. In the foreground, foundation bases are being prepared for additional residential units. At the left are the outbuildings of the residential support site, including a dining room for construction workers. The branch will be built on the site in the center background (see more at JW.ORG: Britain Photo Gallery 1 (January Through August 2015)).

Satellite image as of 9 April 2017. The support sites (construction base, construction residential areas) are installed and the construction works have already begun.

Visiting the Temple Farm Construction Site

The Branch Relocation Department (BRD) has created a Visitor Centre at Temple Farm. There are models, videos, infographics, as well as several exciting activities, many with young children in mind. Another part of the tour is the opportunity to go to one of the highest points of the site, where a viewing deck will allow you to see the scale of this tremendous project. If you are interested in visiting the construction site, you may book a tour (further informations).

Britain Branch Office and Construction Project in Google Maps/Google Earth

Photo Galleries

News of the Construction Project

The Local Press About the Britain Branch Relocation Project

Construction area (7 July 2015): View of the British countryside from the south of the 34-hectare (85 ac) site. A nearby main road (not shown) provides good access to seaports, airports, and the city of London (see more at JW.ORG: Britain Photo Gallery 1 (January Through August 2015)).

→ Further branch construction projects of Jehovah's Witnesses...

Official Media Resources

Different articles, photo galleries, and videos of the construction projects of Jehovah's Witnesses are available at JW.ORG – the official website – in many languages: → About Us → Activities → Construction Projects

Video reports are provided by JW BROADCASTING – the official broadcasting channel of Jehovah's Witnesses – in many languages: → Video on Demand → Our Activities & Our Organization