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Gallery: Churches of East London
by Peter Kessler, 10 July 2011
Havering Part 10: Churches of Gidea Park &
All Saints Church Squirrels Heath (Ardleigh Green)
is on the western side of Ardleigh Green Road, opposite the Redeemed Christian
Church of God. The church originated in 1884 with a wooden mission on Squirrels
Heath Road, at the corner of Upper Brentwood Road (to the west). In 1926 a
permanent church was erected on the same site. It was enlarged in 1933-1934,
but in 1941 was destroyed by bombing. The present church was built in 1957 on
a new site.
Friends Meeting House (Quakers) is hidden
away, accessed from the southern side of Balgores Crescent. Quakers
have been in Romford since the late seventeenth century. One of
their leaders was William Mead, owner of Gooshayes Manor in Harold
Wood. By 1691 there was a small meeting at Harold Hill, although it
did not prosper. The present meeting house originated in 1934, when a
meeting was formed in Romford. The building itself was erected in 1961.
St Michael & All Angels, the Parish Church
of Gidea Park stands well back from the northern side of Main Road,
opposite Crossways. The church started as a mission of All Saints Squirrels
Heath (above) in 1929. An ecclesiastical district, taken out of the parish
All Saints, was assigned in 1933. In 1936 the advowson of the vicarage was
vested in the bishop of Chelmsford. In 1938, the present permanent church
was completed, and a separate parish was formed.
The Church of the Good Shepherd is at the
south-western corner of Collier Row Lane and Redriff Road. The church
originated in 1934 as a mission of The Parish Church of the Ascension,
Collier Row. A separate parish, taken from The Ascension and from St
John the Devine Romford, was formed in 1935. The church (completed in
1935 with a central tower), hall, and vicarage were given by Dame Violet
Wills. She, and other trustees, were vested with the advowson of the vicarage.
Collier Row Gospel Mission sits inside a small
fenced plot on the southern side of Mowbrays Road, a few metres (yards)
east of the Horndon Road junction. Harold Hill Evangelical Free Church,
Bridgewater Road, and Collier Row Gospel Mission, which belong to the
Fellowship of Independent Evangelical churches, were both opened in 1956.
The small Collier Road mission building was for sale in 2009, and had
been occupied by a pre-school nursery by late 2010.
Rise Park Chapel stands on the eastern side of
Petits Lane North, just above the 's'-bend. The Brethren have five halls
in Romford. Ingrave Hall was apparently taken over from the Town Mission
about 1933. Rush Green Hall and Collier Row Hall were both registered in
1936. Rise Park Hall, later chapel, was first registered in 1948. The Carlisle
Room in Romford was registered in 1963. Rise Park Chapel is now known as Rise
Park Centre (from at least late 2010).
Havering Road Methodist Church occupies the
eastern corner of the Havering Road and Moray Way junction. The church
originated in 1957, when a hall was registered as part of the Romford
circuit (to the right of the photo, just about visible). The present
church building was erected alongside the hall in 1974. It is described
as being of snuff-coloured brick, with full-height windows across each
corner, giving an octagonal plan. The spirelet is centred over the roof.
St James's Family Church occupies a broad plot
on the northern side of Chase Cross Road, between the junctions for Mount
Pleasant Road and Philan Way. The wooden Calvary Mission Church
in Havering served this newly-built area from 1940 until the present church
was built in 1956. It was assigned a separate parish, mainly taken from The
Ascension Collier Row, but also from Havering. The advowson of the vicarage
was vested in the bishop of Chelmsford.
Chase Cross Baptist Church sits close to the
road, behind a mid-height brick wall, on the north-western corner of
Chase Cross Road and Felstead Road in Collier Row. The church originated
in 1936, as a mission for Main Road Baptist Church in the centre of Romford.
The present permanent building was opened in 1961. The chapel is of red
brick sides with a yellow brick frontage and a flat-roof entranceway in
front of it. A larger, two-storey building stands at the back.
The Catholic Church of Corpus Christi
occupies a large, open plot at the south-western corner of Lowshoe
Lane and Hood Walk in Collier Row. A new parish was formed for the
area in 1952, and a church hall was registered in Lowshoe Lane in 1955,
on part of the present site. The yellow brick church, with a red tiled
roof and semi-ornate entrance, was constructed adjoining the hall in
1965. There was also a primary day school attached to the church.