History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of East London

by Peter Kessler, 22 May 2011



Havering Part 8: Churches of Romford

Romford Congregational Church

Romford Congregational Church stood at the north-western corner of South Street and Arcade Place in the very centre of Romford. The church was built in 1877 to replace the Union Chapel. Known initially as Romford Independent Church, its style was Early English, in brick faced with Kentish ragstone, designed by E C Allam of Romford. It was gutted by fire in 1883 and rebuilt. In 1965 it was sold for redevelopment and replaced by Western Road Church.

The Parish Church of St Edward the Confessor

The Parish Church of St Edward the Confessor & the Blessed Virgin Mary, Market Place, Romford stands in the heart of the busy town, surrounded by shops and parked cars. The earliest known place of worship in Romford was St Andrew's Chapel (see below), located in what is still known as the Oldchurch area. It was first mentioned in 1177. Built near the River Rom (then called Mercke-dych, or border ditch), it became isolated and too ruinous to use by 1410.

The Parish Church of St Edward the Confessor

When the focus of the town was relocated from Oldchurch in 1410, a new chapel of St Edward was built on the present site. It consisted of a chancel, nave and north aisle, and was larger than the old church, with a brick tower with five bells. This was demolished in 1849 and the present church was built in its place by 1850. Designed by John Johnson, it is of Kentish ragstone with Bath stone dressings in the Decorated style. Some stone was re-used from the old church.

Trinity (Wesleyan) Methodist Church

Trinity (Wesleyan) Methodist Church sits at the north-western corner of Angel Way (formerly Mawney Road) as it turns east, with St Edward's Way in front of the church. The first Wesleyan Methodist church in the town was opened on the High Street in 1827 (see below). This was sold to the Salvation Army in 1887 and the present church was built on the growing Mawneys Estate. New vestries were added in 1923, and further extensive alterations were carried out in 1936.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army citadel is on the northern side of the High Street, at the western end almost opposite Logan Mews. From 1881 the Army used the Union Chapel before taking over the High Street Methodist Chapel between 1887-1967. Then the present citadel was built to replace it a little way further east (the old building was demolished to make way for the nearby roundabout). Also hereabouts, Brazier's Yard Mission, High Street was open between 1884-1912.

Salem Baptist Church

Salem Baptist Church is on the eastern wedge between St Andrew's Road and London Road. It was founded in 1836 by Ilford Baptist Church. Early meetings were held in a schoolroom in the market-place, near Zoar (Strict) Baptist Church (1850-1871). In 1840 a small chapel was built on part of the old barracks in London Road. In 1847 some members formed a church at Chadwell Heath. Those still at Salem built the present chapel next to the older building (on the left).

St Andrew's Church Romford

St Andrew's Church Romford lies on the Western side of St Andrew's Road, opposite Queen Street. The church was built in 1862 for the new working-class district on the former barracks ground. The building, designed by John Johnson, is of Kentish ragstone in the Early English style. Since the Second World War the district has been redeveloped, but St Andrew remains, in its small, walled churchyard. A separate parish, taken from Romford, was assigned in 1863.

St Andrew's Church Romford

The building cost 4,500 and took twelve months to construct, after the laying of the foundation stone by Mr O E Coope, a prominent and generous member of the building committee and associate of the local brewery that bore his family name. The mission church of St Agnes was opened in 1928. The churches of St Alban Princes Road (built 1890), and St Augustine Rush Green (built 1958) also began as missions of St Andrew, but were later given their own parishes.

St Andrew's Chapel

St Andrew's Chapel stood on the southern side of the busy junction between South Street and Old Church Road, but the exact spot uncertain. It was the first Anglican place of worship in Romford, mentioned in 1177 when the pope confirmed it to Hornchurch Priory along with the church of Havering (St Andrew Hornchurch). There are no details of its appearance, and by 1410 it was ruinous and isolated. The parish church of St Edward the Confessor replaced it (see above).

Elim Christian Centre

Elim Christian Centre is on the south-eastern corner of Wheatsheaf Road and Richmond Road. It started in 1944 in a hall later known as Christ Church, in Victoria Road. It was re-registered in 1948 by the Bible Pattern Church Fellowship, which in 1955 moved to Wheatsheaf Road. 'Elim' was used from 1960. Nearby, Richmond Road Peculiar People's Church was built in the 1920s. It became Richmond Road Evangelical Church in 1934 but has since been lost.

In Depth
In Depth


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