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Gallery: Churches of East London
by Peter Kessler, 7 March 2010
Redbridge Part 8: Churches of Woodford Wells &
The Parish Church of St Barnabas, Woodford
Wells, lies on the southern side of Snakes Lane East. Maud in the Lane
(1235) gave her name to a tenement called Lanes on the old Woodford to
Chingford route. From the later Sake family the lane became known as
Sakes Lane, corrupted as Snakes Lane. The church began as an iron mission
attached to St Paul, Woodford Bridge, erected in 1904. A new brick and stone
church was built in 1910-1911, and was granted its own parish.
The Early Perpendicular church's two-bay nave was
completed in 1964. By 2009, the church hall was run-down and seeking
funds for full modernisation. It was aided in this by a visit by
actor Tony Robinson of 'Blackadder' fame. The unconsecrated St
George's Mission Church, Horn Lane, was promoted before 1903 as
an undenominational hall. In 1911 it was transferred to St Barnabas.
Services were discontinued in 1956 and the building later became a
Ray Lodge United Reformed Church is on the
western side of Ray Lodge Road, north of Snakes Lane East. It began
when members from Woodford Green Congregational Church erected a
chapel here, near Ray Lodge, in 1865. In 1900 a Gothic church was
built in Snakes Lane, near the chapel, but this was demolished about
2008. The old chapel was used by the New Apostolic Church
from 1954. Rebuilt in 1986, it is now shared by the Seventh-Day
Broadmead Baptist Church is on the eastern
side of the busy Chigwell Road, with the M11 motorway across the park
behind it. A Baptist mission was opened in a pavilion off Broadmead Road
(about 110 metres to the south) in 1948. As numbers increased, the members
built their own temporary church out of wood in the Chigwell Road in 1957.
This was constituted in 1963, which is perhaps the date on which this modern
building replaced the temporary one.
St Paul's Church, Woodford Bridge, is on the
northern side of Manor Road. As the population of Woodford increased,
St Mary's Church became inadequate. Its position on the High Road in the
south-western corner of the parish was always inconvenient for
parishioners at Woodford Bridge and Woodford Wells. In 1851 a large
room, used as an infant school, was being rented at Woodford Bridge
for services and it was there that the first new district
chapelry was created.
The church of St Paul, Manor Road, was
built in 1854. C B Waller, who as an assistant curate at
Woodford had been mainly responsible for raising the money for the
church, became the first vicar. He was succeeded by his son, who
served there until 1919. After a fire in 1886 the church was rebuilt
in stone in the Decorated style, consisting of nave and aisles,
chancel, and north-west tower with spire, the base of which forms a