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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of East London

by Peter Kessler, 10 July 2011

 

 

Havering Part 13: Churches of Harold Hill, Harold Wood & Harold Park

Romford Common Chapel

Romford Common Chapel stood between the Colchester Road and Neave Crescent, adjoining Widecombe Close in Harold Wood. The chapel seems to have originated in 1861, when a schoolroom at Harold Wood Hall was registered by Congregationalists. It was taken over by the Baptists of the Metropolitan Tabernacle about 1866. It was still active in 1882 when Hornchurch Baptist Church replaced it. Romford Common Chapel was apparently closed soon after.

The Methodist Church Harold Wood

The Methodist Church Harold Wood occupies the south-western corner of The Drive and Gubbin's Lane. The church originated in 1889, when Athelstan Chapel (see below) was registered. Around 1908 it became Harold Wood (United) Methodist Church and in 1929 the members built a church on the present, much larger site, with the aid of funds from (Sir) William Mallinson (Bt). The present building was erected in 1962, and the 1929 building behind it became a hall.

Athelstan Chapel

Athelstan Chapel is on the western side of Athelstan Road, at the northern end of the street. The small chapel was opened in 1889 when it was registered as an undenominational mission hall. It was taken over about 1908 by the United Methodists before they moved to a new site on Gubbin's Lane in 1929. The hall's use after that is unknown, until it was taken over by the Brethren in 1952, one of many small meeting places that were created either side of the war.

St Peter, Parish Church of Harold Hill

St Peter, Parish Church of Harold Hill occupies a large plot on the eastern side of Gubbin's Lane, midway between Squirrels Heath Road and Rosslyn Avenue. The church originated in 1871, when an iron building was erected in Church Road. In 1939 the present brick church was opened with the help of contributions from James and George H Matthews, local millers. The church gained its own parish soon afterwards. The annexe on the right was added in 1963.

Harold Park Baptist Church

Harold Park Baptist Church stands in a long, narrow plot on the northern side of Ingreway, very close to Harold Court Road. It was founded in 1930 with help from Romford Baptist Church, joining the Essex Baptist Association in the same year. In 1932-1933 the church had grown disenchanted with the Association's apparent departure from traditional practices and by 1959 had joined the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical churches. The building was extended in 1960.

Hall Lane Chapel

Hall Lane Chapel stood on the western side of Hall Lane, midway between the Southend Arterial Road and Warley Road. Surrounded by open countryside, a chapel was first opened here in 1850 for Upminster Congregationalists. Still in use in 1888, it was inactive until reopened in 1915, and it had to be reopened again in 1940. It was destroyed by bombing in 1944 and the site was sold. The new chapel shown here was built in 1953, but was demolished between 2008-2010.

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