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St Cedd's Church Becontree is on the eastern side
of Lodge Avenue, a few metres south of the Neasham Road junction. Cedd was
born in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria and brought up on the isle of
Lindisfarne by Saint Aidan. In 653, Cedd was sent by King Oswiu with three
other priests, to evangelise the Middle Angles, who were one of the core ethnic
groups of eastern Mercia, based on the mid-Trent valley. He later became bishop
of the East Saxons.
St Cedd in Becontree was erected for a Peel district in
1936. The present building on an adjoining site was consecrated in 1964. It
was designed by Thompson and Whitehead in a mid-twentieth century style and
is an octagonal brick structure with a copper roof and small flèche. A west
vestibule is divided from the main church by folding doors. The Crown and
the bishop of Chelmsford have alternate presentation to the vicarage, but in
2010 the church was in interregnum.
Upney Baptist Church is set well back from Cavendish
Gardens on the north-western edge of the street's bend into Melford Avenue. The
church was erected in 1935 on land donated by J R Leftley, who was then building
a housing estate in the neighbourhood. The church was at first a branch of Barking
Baptist Tabernacle on Linton Road (see below), but in 1937 became independent.
The original building was extended in 1937 and again in 1954.
St Erkenwald's Church is on the southern side of
Levett Road, opposite Ventnor Gardens. Erkenwald, also known as Erconwald,
belonged to a noble East Anglian family. He founded a monastery in Chertsey
and a convent in Barking, was abbot of the Chertsey monastery and his sister,
Ethelburga, was abbess of the convent at Barking. He became bishop of London
in 675, and eventually retired to the convent in Barking, where he died on
30 April 690. He was buried in St Paul's.
In 1934 a Peel district was constituted for the area north
of the Southend Railway, and a temporary church was built in the same year. A
permanent church was erected in 1954, partly with funds from a War Damage payment
in respect of the destroyed Holy Trinity, Canning Town. St Erkenwald's is built
of dark red brick in a traditional style and consists of aisled nave, chancel,
south transept, north porch, and north-east tower. Several windows contain notable
Barking United Reformed Church is on the north-west
corner of Upney Lane and Salisbury Avenue. In 1782 George Gold, minister of
the Brickfields Congregational Church in West Ham, began holding services in
a hired house at Barking, and Barking Congregational Church was formed. After
the First World War many residents in the older part of Barking moved into
Becontree, so the church sold its building and in 1929 erected the present
church in Upney Lane.
Friends Meeting House (Quakers) in Barking
still stands at the south-west corner of North Street and Queen's Road
(which is now mostly part of the Northern Relief Road). The Quaker
meeting house for Barking was originally erected in 1673. The present
building was erected in 1908 on the same site in the Queen Anne style
but it closed by the 1960s. In April 1971 the building was inaugurated
as the Gurdwara Singh Sabha London East Sikh Temple.
The Society of Friends (Quakers) Burial Ground
lies opposite the meeting house. One of the most famous Quakers was
Elizabeth Fry. She died after a stroke on 12 October 1845 at Ramsgate,
aged sixty-five, while visiting the Quakers there. She was laid to rest
at this Quaker burial ground in Barking (the entrance is shown here),
and her funeral was attended by over a thousand people. Only the
gravestone was later moved to Wanstead Burial Ground.
The Catholic Church of St Mary & St Ethelburga
Barking occupies the western side of Linton Road, just north of the
junction with George Street. A church dedicated to St Ethelburga was opened
in 1858 in temporary premises at the back of the Red Lion public house in
Station (now Linton) Road. In 1863 services were being held in the Roman
Catholic school. The permanent church was built in 1869 in the Early English
style, later replaced by the present modern building.
Barking Baptist Tabernacle is on the eastern
side of Linton Road, opposite St James Street. The Baptists attempted to
establish themselves in the 1790s, and again in 1821. They were at last
successful about 1848, when open-air services led to meetings in Fisher
Street (now Abbey Road), and later in Bull (now East) Street. Queen's
Road Baptist Church was erected in 1851-1852. In 1893 the present
building was opened. It was repaired in 1905 due to poor workmanship.