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 crossing tower.
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 Mission.
All photos on this page by P L Kessler (from