Barking Road Tabernacle is on the western
side of Barking Road, at the north-west corner with Tabernacle Road
in Plaistow. The building was built by the West Ham Central Mission
(see below). For some years Baptists had been trying to establish
themselves in southern West Ham. The last meeting at Mount Zion
Chapel on Barking Road, closed in 1867, so they moved first to
a barn and then to the mission. By 2009, the Tabernacle was being
occupied by The Glory House.
Cumberland Road Gospel Hall may be the
same building that was opened in 1915 as Horeb Welsh (Wesleyan)
Church. This was in the London (Welsh) circuit, but it was sold
in 1939 due to low numbers. Some members joined the Welsh Methodist
society which in 1945 took over Sibley Grove Church in East Ham.
Shown here is the Gospel Printing Mission, at the south-west
corner of Cumberland Road and Esk Road. It started in 1960, possibly
on the same site.
St Andrew Plaistow occupies much of the
northern side of St Andrew's Road, close to Barking Road. It
originated in 1860 in a small mission (which later became St Philip's
- see below) built in Whitwell Road. St Andrew's itself opened in 1870
on a site that was a few metres south of the northern outfall sewer
embankment. The large stone building, designed by James Brooks, is in
an Early English style with apsidal chancel and large but uncompleted
The Memorial Baptist Church Plaistow looms
over Barking Road, on its western side. It was founded in 1871 as the
West Ham Central Mission. For some years before this Baptists
had been trying to establish themselves in southern West Ham, but the
first group in Plaistow, formed by J E Cracknell in 1858, failed in
1859. The Memorial Church sprang from a re-founding of Mount Zion
Chapel (see above). The present buildings were planned by 1907 and
completed in 1922.
Christ Life Mission Church is on the western
side of Barking Road, next door to the Memorial Baptist Church (see
above). The building appears to date from the 1920s or 1930s which would
mean that it was erected around the same time as the Memorial Church.
Considering the proximity, this building was quite possibly part of the
Baptist church at the start, and has since been sold or leased as general
nonconformist membership has faded following the Second World War.
The Society of Friends (Helping Hands) office
in Plaistow is formed by two attractive individual buildings on Balaam
Street, opposite the entrance to Whitwell Road. The Society of Friends,
or Quakers as they are more popularly known, began in England in the
seventeenth century. Their nickname came about because they were known
'to tremble in the way of the Lord'. Due to persecution at home, they
were amongst the first wave of settlers in the New World.
Plaistow (Congregational) Church stood here
on Balaam Street, a little north of the Quakers (above). It started
with a 1796 Baptist mission held in private houses nearby. In 1807
a group of Independents and Baptists opened North Street Hall (see
links), and they unified in 1812. They opened this Balaam Street
Church in 1860, replacing the hall, but in 1869 the Baptists
(probably) left for the short-lived Upper Road Church.
Bomb-damaged, Balaam Street was demolished.
St Philip & St James Church lies alongside
St Cedd's Function Hall (to the right), on Foster Road, at the north-eastern
corner with Whitwell Road. It began as St Philip's Mission, prior to
the building of St Andrew Plaistow (see above), and remained in use afterwards.
In 1894 it was taken over by the Society of the Divine Compassion, but
was destroyed by bombing in 1941. Services continued nearby until the present
building was opened in 1953 by Anglican Franciscans.
Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Chapel lies on the
southern side of Bethell Avenue, which is on the eastern side of the junction
with Chargeable Avenue. The Franciscan missionaries of Mary built a convent
in Bethell Avenue in 1902 and added the Sacred Heart chapel to it in 1931.
Along with St Margaret's & All Saints Catholic Church in Canning Town,
the convent and chapel were damaged by bombing during the Second World War,
and were subsequently rebuilt.
Goodwill Mission occupies a plot on the
southern side of Ladysmith Road, close to Hermit Road, just a little
way north-west of the nearby catholic church (see above). The London
City Mission had seven centres in the borough in 1914, including
Swanscombe Street German Mission (now Mary Street). The building
on Ladysmith Road was registered for worship in 1937 by an independent
nonconformist group, but by 1960 it was in the hands of the London City
All photos on this page by P L Kessler (from