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Gallery: Churches of East London
by Peter Kessler, 6 June 2010
Barking & Dagenham Part 2: Churches of Chadwell
Heath & Becontree
St Chad's Anglican Church sits between the
terraced houses on the eastern side of St Chad's Road, just off the
High Street in Chadwell Heath. Dagenham, a large and scattered parish,
had only the original parish church until about 1880, when the vicar
of St Peter & St Paul, Dagenham, J S Moore, began to hold services
at Chadwell Heath. At this point, Becontree was still countryside, so
there was a considerable gap between the two ends of the parish.
In 1886 the church of St Chad was opened at its
northern end as a chapel of ease to the parish church. The building
is red brick with stone dressings, and consists of an aisled nave, chancel,
and embattled north-west tower. The church gained its own parish in 1895.
This included part of Goodmayes which was formerly in the parish of St Mary,
Ilford. However, South Goodmayes was lost to All Saints Church in 1914, and
North Goodmayes to St Paul Goodmayes in 1917.
Chadwell Heath Methodist Church formerly
stood on the southern side of the High Road. In 1821 a house at Chadwell
Heath was licensed for Wesleyans, but there are no later references to this.
Chadwell Heath church was built for Wesleyans at Chadwell Heath in 1907. It
was closed and sold in 1939. The exact location of the church is uncertain,
but one of these two candidates, built about 1900 and lying opposite
Ashton Gardens, would seem to fit the bill.
Albany Road Full Gospel Church was erected on
the western side of Albany Road, close to the High Road which lies to its
south. The easternmost place of worship in Chadwell Heath, this Full Gospel
church was one of two opened in the parish of Dagenham in the 1930s, the
other being Vicarage Road (in about 1931). Albany Road opened its doors in
1935, in a plain red brick building with cement facade. In 2010 it was being
run by the Assemblies of God movement.
Hartley Brook Church is in the parish of St
Mary Becontree. The simple brown brick building was constructed in 1955
to serve as a chapel of ease for St Mary Becontree. The building is tucked
in behind terraced houses on the eastern edge of Rosslyn Avenue, and is
linked to the main road by a short concrete trackway between the gardens.
Perhaps coincidentally, there was a vicar in Braintree named Hartley Brook
who held his post during the Second World War years.
Dagenham Road Hall, Becontree is on the
eastern side of Dagenham Road, opposite Fourth Avenue. In 1942 the
London City Mission took it over as their third hall (after one each
in Dagenham and Becontree). The hall had been built by W N Williamson
in 1937, although its use is unclear. The Mission carried on their work
there until 1960. The hall was then sold and the money used to buy a site
on the Harold Hill Estate at Romford. By 2010 the hall was in use as a
Eastbrookend Cemetery Chapel lies a short way
into the grounds, facing east. The cemetery is at the far eastern end of
a lane which leads off Dagenham Road. Opened in 1914 by a private company
as Becontree Park Cemetery, the first burial took place in 1916. It
was later renamed Ilford Park Cemetery and was purchased in 1958/60
by Dagenham Borough Council, gaining its current name. The cemetery is now
surrounded by the beautiful Eastbrookend Country Park.
Oxlow Lane Baptist Church is on the northern side
of Oxlow Lane, close to the Rainham Road North junction, leading westwards
from Eastbrookend Cemetery. Mainly through the initiative of their Essex
Extension Committee, the Baptists built four churches: Dagenham Baptist Church,
Becontree Avenue Baptist Church, Wood Lane Baptist Church, and this one on Oxlow
Lane. In 1961 all but Wood Lane joined in a federation under the leadership of a
Becontree Heath Methodist Church is on the
north-eastern inset at the junction between Whalebone Lane South and
the north side of Wood Lane. Presbyterian worship began at nearby
Havering Well Chapel about 1710, and Wesleyan Methodists were
organised by 1800. In 1829 there were two Methodist societies in the
parish. The larger met in a chapel on the southern side of Wood Lane,
but in 1875 its members apparently joined the new church on the present site.
Green Lane Christian Fellowship lies on the
northern side of Green Lane, almost opposite Stockdale Road. Originally
known as the Christian Temple, Green Lane, the building was opened
in 1932 by the Four Square Gospellers after they carried out a tent campaign
in the area, a method familiar to nonconformists in order to secure new
members and raise funds for new churches. The present fellowship is an Elim
Pentecostal Church congregation.