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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of East London

by Peter Kessler, 11 October 2019

Newham Part 8: Churches of East Ham

St Andrew's Church Roman Road, East Ham, London

St Andrew's Church, Roman Road, East Ham, was another mission church that was planted by the since-lost St Michael & All Angels Church in Beckton (see links). St Andrew's was built in 1934 on a site donated by J Stokes & Sons. It was closed in 1952, and in 1957 it was sold for 450. With the eastern end of the road now overshadowed by Newham Way, no sign of church building exists. It seems to have been replaced by new housing which now exists on the street.

High Street South Methodist Church, East Ham, London

High Street South (Primitive) Methodist Church lies opposite the entrance to Marlow Road. It originated in 1872 when A G Batten, a workman at Beckton Gas works, first held services in a house in Mountfield Road. Five years later he invited the Primitive Methodists to supply preachers. In 1880 a temporary church was erected on High Street South, replaced by a brick building in 1885. The buildings were thoroughly renovated in 1958 and new schoolrooms added.

Bonny Downs Baptist Church, East Ham, London

Bonny Downs Baptist Church, Flanders Road, is on the southern side between Darwell Close (formerly Bonny Downs Road) and Telham Road. It began with an open air Sunday School in 1897 and then meetings in a private house. In 1900 an empty shop on the present site was rented and a free church was formed. The driving force behind these advances, Charles W Howe, became the church's first pastor. The present building was erected in 1928 and is still in service.

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, East Ham, London

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, East Ham, is on the eastern side of Napier Road, at the very lowest end with Flanders Playing Fields next to it (on the right here). The plot was originally given over to light industrial use when this area was first built up, with a works occupying much of this block. By 2012, when this photo was taken, a 1943 building still occupied the main part of the block (on the left here), but it was now closed and remains so in 2019.

St Michael's Roman Catholic Church East Ham, London

The Roman Catholic Church of St Michael, East Ham, stands on the northern side of Tilbury Road, with Arthur Road flanking it on its western side. The eastern side of East Ham was served from St Mary & St Ethelburga in Barking until 1926, when this church was built. It was also used as a day school from the start, and a larger school was soon needed, being added in 1931. The original building was then used only as the church, but the present building replaced that in 1959.

St Bartholomew's Church & Centre, East Ham, London

St Bartholomew's Church & Centre, East Ham, lies on the southern side of Barking Road, opposite the entrance to Ron Leighton Way. The first church building was erected in 1902 to replace St John the Baptist, High Street North (see below). It was an enormous, aisled, red brick structure, designed in the Gothic style which dominated the area. Bombed in 1941, this photo shows a service being conducted in the ruined shell of the building on 25 August 1946.

St Bartholomew's Church & Centre, East Ham, London

Despite the wartime damage, the church was rebuilt and was reconsecrated in 1953. It had never been used to full capacity on a regular basis, however, and with people now moving out into the suburbs attendances declined. The church, expensive to maintain, was demolished in 1974 in favour of the building of a resource for the whole community - a 'People's Church'. The new build included church, community centre, doctor's surgery, and flats for older people.

East Ham Methodist Church, Barking Road, London

East Ham Methodist Church (Central Hall) stood on the southern side of Barking Road, behind the town hall. Its origins lay in Kelly Road Church, an iron structure erected around 1870 on what is now Market Street - two streets to the south of Barking Road. A brick church here on Barking Road replaced it in 1880 and central hall replaced that in 1906. This was demolished in 1969. Still under construction here in 2013, its replacement turned out to be East Ham Library.

St John the Baptist, East Ham, London

The Church of St John the Baptist, East Ham. stood at the south-west corner of High Street North and St John's Road, flanking the camera to the right in this view which looks east from St John's Road. It was built in 1866 as a chapel-of-ease to St Mary Plaistow. It was a flint cruciform building with stone dressings in a late-thirteenth century style. In 1902, when St Bartholomew was built (above), this became a church hall. It was demolished in 1925 and is now a car park.

Wakefield Street Congregational Church, East Ham, London

Wakefield Street Congregational Church began in the Holme Road Assembly Room mission (1886). In 1890 Stamford Road Church was built, an iron structure two streets north of Wakefield Street. In 1901 a large brick church opened on the current site on the southern side of Wakefield Street, now surrounded by the main shopping area. This was destroyed by bombing and the present building replaced it in 1957, later as Pilgrims Way Church Congregational & Methodist.

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