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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of East London

by Peter Kessler, 8 January 2012. Updated 2 August 2012.

 

 

Newham Part 3: Churches of Silvertown, North Woolwich & Beckton

Silvertown Presbyterian Church

Silvertown Presbyterian Church stood on Tate Road in Silvertown between the docks and the River Thames, although the exact spot is not known. The church was built in 1882, by local manufacturers. It was bombed during the Blitz which flatted much of the docks and was not rebuilt. Victoria Docks Presbyterian Church, Hack Road (now lost), was built in 1872 by James Duncan, the sugar-refiner, to meet the needs of his Scottish workers. This was also lost in the Blitz.

Our Lady & St Edward Catholic Church

Our Lady & St Edward Catholic Church stood midway along Newland Street, on the southern side, overlooking the docks. The first church of this name was opened in Bailey Street in 1887, and completed in 1892. In 1915, when the site of the church and its school was taken over for the building of the King George V Dock, a temporary church was erected in Newland Street. This was replaced by a permanent church in 1921, but today the site is covered by new housing.

St John with St Mary and St Edward Parish Church of North Woolwich with Silvertown

St John with St Mary and St Edward Parish Church of North Woolwich with Silvertown stands on the northern side of Albert Road, opposite Henley Road and a few metres east of Fernhill Street. The church seems to have succeeded St John the Evangelist, Elisabeth Street (now Woodman Street, see below). That church was built in 1872, and gained a parish in 1877. It was demolished after being Blitzed in 1940. The modern co-faith church probably dates from the 1960s.

North Woolwich Methodist Church

North Woolwich Methodist Church stood on Albert Road. It originated about 1870, with missions conducted by Wesleyans from Woolwich. A brick church was opened on the north side of Albert Road in 1871, near the docks and railway. In 1914 it was demolished due to subsidence and replaced by an iron church. This was closed for a time at the start of the war and damaged by bombing in 1943. It opened again in 1949 but finally closed in 1959, the site being sold.

North Woolwich Primitive Methodist Church

North Woolwich Primitive Methodist Church stood at the corner of Woodman Street (then Elisabeth Street) and Storey Street (on the right). It was built in 1880 but was completely destroyed by bombing. Elizabeth Street Mission Hall was a brick building dating from the late 1800s and is probably identical to the Elizabeth Street Gospel Hall of 1903. It was still registered in 1952. Holy Trinity Family Chapel survives at Gallions Point Marina, overlooking the Thames.

St Mark's Mission Church

St Mark's Mission Church stood on Ferndale Street (on the right of the photo), in the Cyprus area in the south-eastern section of Beckton. The church was built about 1890, in connection with St Michael & All Angels Beckton (see below). An iron hall was added in 1911 at the expense of the Gas Light & Coke Co, but the church was closed in 1952. The building was derelict in 1966 and by 2011 was nowhere to be found. The entire street has since been totally rebuilt.

Beckton Primitive Methodist Church

Beckton Primitive Methodist Church stood on Winsor Terrace, in the north-east of Beckton. The church originated about 1875, in cottage services. Missioners from Canning Town later opened a Sunday school. By 1901 the society was occupying a church building on Winsor Terrace which had been erected by the Gas Light & Coke Company (whose former entrance gates are shown here). By 1965 it belonged to the North Thames Gas Board. Its exact location is unknown.

The Church of St Michael & All Angels

The Church of St Michael & All Angels stood at the junction of East Ham Manor Way and Winsor Terrace (the area has been totally rebuilt and the roads renamed, but the roundabout marks the former junction). It opened in 1883 as a mission for St Mary East Ham, was destroyed by fire in 1887, and immediately rebuilt. About 1906 the original iron building was replaced by a permanent church on a new site. It was damaged during the Blitz in 1941 and later demolished.

St Mark's (New) Church Beckton & Community Centre

St Mark's (New) Church Beckton & Community Centre is on the south-western corner of Tollgate Road with Kingsford Way. It replaced St Mark's (Old) Church, which was closed down in the 1980s. The population of this former docks area has grown rapidly over the last few years, from 5,500 in the 1991 census to a population in 2010 of around 20,000. The church also plays host to Roman Catholic services, in conjunction with St John with St Mary and St Edward (see above).

Ascension Church Centre Victoria Docks

Ascension Church Centre Victoria Docks stands at the south-western corner of Baxter Road and Prince of Wales Road. The church originated in 1887, when a mission hall was built by the vicar of St Luke's. A new church was built between 1903-1907, and it gained a separate parish in 1905, taken from St Luke's. A mission house for women workers was opened in 1909 and still existed in 1966. In 1961 the parish gained that of the former St Matthew Custom House.

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