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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of East London

by Peter Kessler, 8 November 2019

Newham Part 11: Churches of West Ham

St Peter Upton Park, West Ham, Newham, London

St Peter Upton Park stood on the eastern side of Upton Lane in West Ham, midway between the junctions for Lancaster and Boleyn roads and with St Antony of Padua behind it (see links). It began as the nearby Pelly Road Mission, at the south-east corner with Crescent Road. An iron church was licensed in 1877. Construction of St Peter's began in 1893, in red and yellow brick in the Early English style, but demolition followed between 1973 and 2010.

Upton Cross Baptist Church, West Ham, Newham, London

Upton Cross Baptist Church stands very close to the north-eastern corner of Neville Road and Upton Lane in West Ham. It appears to have originated around 1883, possibly through missionary work carried on by members of West Ham Park Tabernacle (see below) which seems to have had some Baptist connections. This hall for its independent congregation was built in 1885 but appears to have closed after 1966. By 2013 the building had been re-titled Blossom House.

West Ham Park Tabernacle, Newham, London

West Ham Park Tabernacle formerly stood on the western side of East Road. The tabernacle was registered as an Independent Methodist church in 1879. Little is known about it, and it is unlikely to have belonged to one of the main branches of Methodism. Possibly it was the result of a local secession. It had Baptist links and the building was later used by Upton Manor Congregationalists (below) and then by All Saints Church. Demolition may have been in the 1980s.

Glad Tidings Free Pentecostal Church, West Ham, Newham, London

Glad Tidings Free Pentecostal Church is on the northern side of Plashet Road, midway between the St Anthony's Road and Dacre Road junctions. A Free Church of England meeting at 13 Balaam Street in Plaistow existed briefly in 1873. The present building was erected in 1889 as St John's Reformed Episcopal Church. In 1912 the building was taken over by the Moravians as Upton Manor Church. The site's iron schoolroom was destroyed by Second World War bombing.

Plaistow Seventh-Day Adventist Church, West Ham, Newham, London

Plaistow Seventh-Day Adventist Church is at the south-east corner of Nevill Road and St Anthony's Road. It was registered at an unknown date before 1998, at which time a visitation report was compiled by the Seventh-Day Adventist church in Britain. The church has its origins around the time of the American Civil War, coming to the UK in the late Victorian period. The Plaistow congregation have links to the London Ghana SDA congregation at Canning town (see links).

Latimer Hall Chapel, West Ham, Newham, London

Latimer Hall Chapel reportedly stood on Boleyn Road (hence this shot). However, the OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914 shows Boleyn Road Primitive Methodist Hall at the south-east corner of Green Street and Cromwell Road, on the opposite side of Green Street to Boleyn Road, and one block north. Founded around 1886 as an undenominational mission, it was sold by 1923. It was named Latimer Hall chapel in 1939-1965, but was demolished after the latter date.

St Stephen's Green Street, West Ham, Newham, London

St Stephen's Green Street stood at the north-east corner of Green Street and St Stephen's Road in West Ham. The nave and aisles were completed in 1887, when the church first opened. The rest of the work was completed in 1894, making it one of the largest churches in the entire diocese. It was renovated in 1938 but wrecked by bombing in 1940. Later it was decided not to rebuild, with demolition following in 1954 and St Stephen's Parade being built over the site.

Upton Park Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, West Ham, Newham, London

Upton Park Wesleyan Methodist Chapel stood on Green Street in West Ham, at an uncertain location (this shot looks south along Green Street from the junction with Plashet Grove). Registers exist for the church between 1883-1965, but it is reported to have opened in 1882. A larger church was erected in 1893-94, the original building becoming the church hall. An extension was built in 1899-1900, and in 1904 the membership was 261. It must have been demolished after 1965.

Harold Road Free Methodist Church, West Ham, Newham, London

Harold Road Free Methodist Church stands at the north-east corner of Harold Road and Claude Road. Plaistow's High Street Wesleyan Methodist Church began about 1867, opening the High Street & Swete Street corner chapel in 1880. It was destroyed by bombing in 1941. Harold Road opened in 1901 but was always heavily in debt, making it a relief when High Street took over here. By 2013, Harold Road's building housed the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.

Upton Manor Congregational Church, West Ham, Newham, London

Upton Manor Congregational Church stood on the west side of Pelly Road, north of the railway bridge. West Ham Park Tabernacle (above) began in 1879. Initially it was Independent Methodist but by 1890 was Congregational. In 1904 its members bought the former Pelly Road United Methodist Free Church, to which they moved as Upton Manor Church, but this ceased by 1909. The Pelly Road building became the Given-Wilson institute, associated with St Mary's in Plaistow.

Seven photos on this page by P L Kessler, and two kindly contributed by the London Borough of Newham.

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