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Gallery: Churches of East London
by Peter Kessler & Dominic Heaney, 20 June 2010.
Updated 1 August 2011
Dagenham Baptist Church is on the
eastern side of Chaplin Road, opposite Sheldon Road. The Baptists,
mainly through the initiative of their Essex Extension Committee,
built four churches: this one in 1928, Becontree Avenue Baptist
Church (1929), Wood Lane Baptist Church (1933), and Oxlow Lane
Baptist Church (1939). In 1961 those in Chaplin Road, Becontree
Avenue, and Oxlow Lane joined in a federation under the leadership
of a senior minister.
St Peter's Catholic Church, which is
served by missionaries of Our Lady of Salette, lies on the northern
side of Goresbrook Road, at the corner with Combes Road. In 1926 the
Reverend J Petit, later bishop of Menevia, established a mission here
for south Dagenham. This was taken over in 1928 by the missionaries of
La Salette. The present church hall was in use for worship by 1929 and
a permanent brick church, built on a basilican plan, was opened in 1937.
St Martin's Church Dagenham lies opposite
St Peter's Catholic Church, on the southern side of Goresbrook Road,
at the junction with Ripple Road. Even in 2010 the area was relatively
peaceful, with the shops of this High Street section of the Becontree
Estate sitting at the end of a cul-de-sac. The first church built for
the estate was that of St Thomas's Church, Becontree West. The parish
assigned to it in 1922 comprised the whole of the estate, in Dagenham,
Ilford, and Barking.
This expansive parish, which encompassed most of
the modern London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, was subsequently
sub-divided as other new parishes were formed. The church of St Martin
was opened in 1925. The present building dates to 1931-1932 and was
constructed in red brick in a modern 'Perpendicular' style. It consists
of an aisled nave, chancel, Lady chapel, porches and vestries. The advowson
of the vicarage is held by the bishop of Chelmsford.
Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses lies
in enclosed land behind the shop fronts on Goresbrook Road, very close
to the Heathway junction. The hall is not visible from the entrance,
being sited behind the building on the left of this photo, but is
partially visible from Heathway, on the corner of Goresbrook Road.
It is a very standard square-shaped hall of the type built in many
other locations around the country, in yellow brick with a low-rising
Cherubim & Seraphim Church is on the eastern
side of Heathway, midway between Ford and Arnold roads. An iron church
was erected here as Heathway Methodist Church in 1925. This was
replaced by the multi-use Dagenham Central Hall in 1930. In the late
1980s the current building was erected, but the Methodists later moved out
to worship in a private home. The present Salvation of God Ministry C&S
Church purchased it on 20 December 2002.