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The Parish Church of St John the Devine
Romford stands inside the corner of Mawney Road and Pretoria
Road at the northern end of Romford. The brick church originated
in 1897, when an iron mission, in Romford parish, was opened in
Willow Street. In 1928, after long delays, the first stage of a
permanent church was opened on the present site in Mawney Road.
A separate parish, taken out of St Edward the Confessor and St
Andrew, both in Romford, was assigned to it.
Designed by W D Caröe in Byzantine style, the first
stage comprised sanctuary, part of the chancel, and temporary nave.
In the second stage (1932), the chancel was completed and a five bay
aisled nave added. A side chapel was added (in memory of the vicar's
late mother), in 1948, and a choir vestry in 1966-1967. Parts of the
plan, including the upper tower and three western bays of the nave,
were never finished. The church closed in early 2009, following the
death of the vicar.
Romford Christian Centre (Apostolic Church)
is on the northern side of Ingrave Road, midway between Dunton and Aveley
roads. Founded as Romford Town Mission about 1886, meetings were
held first in a Mawneys estate cottage, then in Laurie Hall (by 1895),
and Regent Hall on Market Place (1913-1929) before the present site was
taken. It ceased about 1933. The Brethren took it over as Ingrave Hall
and by 2011 it was Romford Community Church (Apostolic).
Coverdale Independent Chapel is on the western
side of Collier Row Lane (now North Street), sandwiched between Cosmo Street
and Brooklands Lane. It originated in 1846, in a secession from the Union
Chapel (below). The small chapel was opened in 1847 almost opposite the Union
Chapel. The split was healed in 1853, and the two churches reunited. The
Coverdale building was sold in 1887 and converted into a dwelling. By 2010
it was a branch of The Samaritans.
Union Chapel stood on the eastern side of North
Street, roughly at the south-east corner of Ingrave Road. Collier Row
Lane Church originally stood here. It united in 1819 with Bethel Chapel
and the Union Chapel was erected on the same site in 1823. The Congregational
Church replaced it in 1877 and the old building served as a Salvation Army
hall, an Anglican mission, a printing works (about 1900-1920), and a Peculiar
People's chapel. It was demolished about 1934.
Romford Christian Spiritualist Church lies in
a narrow, enclosed plot on the northern side of Church Lane (now St Edward's
Way), opposite Market Link. Originally, meetings were held in a hall in
Brooklands Road (1923-1928), before the present church was erected in 1929,
paid for by voluntary subscriptions. The congregation increased, and in 1937
a larger church was built behind the previous one, which became a hall. The
hall (the old church) is shown here.
St Edward the Confessor Catholic Church lies
between Church Lane, Park End Road, and St Edward's Way at the northern
edge of the town centre. In 1852 a cottage in Church Lane was registered
for Roman Catholic worship. The church, of Kentish ragstone, was built in
1856 by William Petre, Lord Petre, apparently on the site of an ancient
chapel. The Sisters of Mercy Convent was founded on nearby Western
Road in 1908 but has long since been lost to development.
Romford Baptist Church is on the southern side
of Main Road, midway between Mercury Gardens and Junction Road. It was the
first Baptist church to open in the town, in 1836, and was then called
Main Road Baptist Church. It was renamed at a later date, and by
1971, with 594 members, it was one of the largest Baptist churches in
England. It has founded two other churches, Chase Cross and Dagenham Baptist
churches, and helped to form a third, at Harold Park.
Romford United Reformed Church is on the southern
side of Western Road, at the very middle of the street. The church was built
in 1965 to serve as a replacement for Romford Congregational Church on South
Street, which was demolished in that year. Following the 1972 union with the
Presbyterians it was also known as Western Road United Reformed Church.
The polygonal building is of red brick with central spirelet and has halls
Romford & District Synagogue is on the northern
side of Eastern Road with Grimshaw Way behind it. A congregation was formed in
1933, gaining temporary burial rights in 1934. A synagogue hall in Palm Road was
registered in 1938 but activities were suspended during the war, to be resumed
at a house on Eastern Road. A permanent synagogue was built in the garden there
in 1954. In 1970 the house was demolished and the present, larger synagogue was
built on the site.