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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of East London

by Peter Kessler, 10 July 2011

Havering Part 10: Churches of Gidea Park & Collier Row

All Saints Church Squirrels Heath (Ardleigh Green), Gidea Park, Havering, East London

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), Gidea Park, Havering, East London

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, Gidea Park, Havering, East London

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, Collier Row, Havering, East London

The Church of the Good Shepherd is at the south-western corner of Collier Row Lane and Redriff Road. It originated in 1934 as a mission of the Parish Church of the Ascension, Collier Row. A separate parish, taken from the Ascension and 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, Collier Row, Havering, East London

Collier Row Gospel Mission sits inside a small fenced plot on the southern side of Mowbrays Road, a few metres 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, Collier Row, Havering, East London

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, Collier Row, Havering, East London

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, Collier Row, Havering, East London

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, Collier Row, Havering, East London

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.

Catholic Church of Corpus Christi, Collier Row, Havering, East London

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.

All photos on this page by P L Kessler.



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