History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of East London

by Peter Kessler, 13 September 2009



Waltham Forest Part 6: Churches of Leyton

St Joseph's Catholic Church

St Joseph's Catholic Church is on Grange Park Road. The family of Thomas More (1531-1606) were the most notable Catholics in Leyton from 1582 when they settled in a house which is now the cricket ground. Thomas himself was in prison from 1582 to 1586. In 1676 no 'papists' were reported in Leyton, but by 1766, and again in 1810, many Irish Catholics were in the parish. St Joseph's started afterwards as part of the Westminster Archdiocese under Cardinal Vaughan.

St Joseph's Catholic Church

The first baptism took place on 1 November 1881, although there was no Catholic church until a mission was founded in February 1897. The first services were held in the chapel of St Agnes school and orphanage (Etloe House, Church Road). A temporary iron church opened in 1904 in Primrose Road (and was torched by vandals in 1990). The permanent Church of St Joseph was opened in 1924, but was not consecrated until 1930, when all debt on the building was cleared.

Church of God of Prophecy

The Yada Christian Ministries' Church of God of Prophecy is on Vicarage Road where it meets Brewster Road. This is almost certainly the site of the former St Philip's Mission Church, an iron building which opened in 1897 and which is described as being on Brewster Road, although its exact location cannot be confirmed. A mission church for St Mary's, the iron church closed in 1954. This Pentecostal movement later purchased the site and rebuilt the frontage.

Calvary Charismatic Baptist Church

Calvary Charismatic Baptist Church is further north on Vicarage Road from the Church of God of Prophecy. It was originally opened in 1875 as Vicarage Road Baptist Church, Leyton. It was built with the support of the London Baptist Association on a site given to them by a resident Baptist pastor by the name of E J Farley, who was alarmed at the 'spiritual destitution' of the neighbourhood. In 1894 a larger schoolroom was built as an addition to the church.

All Saints Church, Leyton

All Saints Church, Leyton is on the corner of Capworth Street and Melbourne Road, with a design straight from the post-war years, although when it replaced the original 1864 church building is unknown. The church was opened as a chapel of ease to St Mary's Church in Leyton on a site donated by Edward Warner. Built in brick, in the 'Decorated' style, it consisted of nave, chancel, and transepts, but its tall, steeply-pitched roof had to be re-laid in 1884.

All Saints Church, Leyton

In 1886 a new parish was formed for the church which included part of St James, Walthamstow. In 1883 a Sunday school for six hundred children was opened beside the church. A new vestry was added in 1903-1904, but in 1935 the parish of Emmanuel was taken from All Saints (see next photo). The following year, among other alterations, a new baptistery was made on the north-west side of the church, but whether the church survived the war unscathed is not known.

In Depth
In Depth


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