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Stratford Tabernacle stood in the north
side of Carpenters Road, just inside the junction with the High
Street and flanking the post-war Jupp Road West - directly in front
of the nearest tower block here. It probably started on Barnby
Street about 1870, with meetings in rented premises. The tabernacle
was built in 1877 to seat over 800. After 1900 numbers fell, and in
1917 the congregation joined Grove Methodists (below). Sold to the
YMCA, the building was badly bombed.
High Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was
near 383 High Street, on its east side next to the modern magistrates
court. This was West Ham's first permanent Wesleyan church (Stratford
is an extension). John Wesley visited several times in 1783-1791 and
the chapel existed by 1790. It was enlarged in 1811 but used as a
school in 1828-1830 (and demolished in 1890) when the former Unitarian
Enon Chapel was available (see links). Grove Methodists (below)
Bryant Street Conference Hall occupied an
entire block between Bryant Street and Widdin Street, facing out
onto the junction with Aldworth Road from where this photo was
taken. An American evangelist mission of 1884 saw this
undenominational hall built in the same year. It was administered by
a council of Anglicans and nonconformists. Numbers were falling by
1923 so the Methodist London Mission (West Ham) took over in
1934. It was destroyed by bombing.
Bryant Street Methodist Church was built
behind the bombed-out ruins of the old Conference Hall (see above)
between 1962-1966 and is now known as Stratford Methodist Church.
Until then, the Jubilee Hall (1897) and Memorial Hall (1912) were
used to continue services and activities. The original footprint for
the three halls (including the Conference Hall) was extensive, and
even after a police station was built over the West Ham Lane half of
it, it is still not a small site.
The Unitarian & Free Christian Church
stands at the north-east corner of the junction between West Ham
Lane and Mark Street. This church does not appear to have been
connected with the Enon Chapel of Chapel Street (see links). A
Stratford Unitarian meeting existed in 1810, probably identical to
the local Christian Association Meeting. The chapel was built
a few metres north of the current site in 1869. Bombed out during
the war, the present building replaced it.
Brickfields Christian Centre is on the
east side of Welfare Road (formerly Union Road). One of the oldest
nonconformist meetings here, it began in 1672 with Presbyterian
worship on Salway Place, off The Grove. It became Brickfields
Independent Chapel on the present site in 1776 with a burial
ground. In 1816 a gallery was added to what became Brickfields
Congregational Church. Restored again in 1896 and in 1952, it
is now Brickfields United Reformed Church.
The Church of St John Stratford is very
prominent as it occupies the centre of The Broadway in
Stratford, alongside the entrance to The Grove. In 1832 the vicar of
All Saints West Ham (see links) saw the need for a new parish church
for this growing district. Much of the money to build the new church
was given by local people, and it was erected in 1834. It was
designed by Edward Blore, one of the leading architects of his day -
having finished off Buckingham Palace.
St John's was designed in the Early English style
with a tall, ornate south-west spire. Interesting external
architectural features include the lancets (like stone bridges).
Originally there was a gallery at the back of the church, and plans
show an organ on it. In 1884 the interior was fully changed, and it
seems likely that this is when the gallery was removed. Restoration
work in the mid-1990s revealed the bricked-up door leading from the
tower to the former gallery.
Grove Methodist Church at the north-east
corner of The Grove and Park Avenue was built in 1871. It replaced
Chapel Street Methodist Chapel - sold to Primitive Methodists.
Schoolrooms were added in 1873. Abbey Lane Mission began about
1876. In 1919 the declining Grove was renovated as Stratford Central
Hall, but this was bombed out in 1940. Providing competition just
thirty metres behind it was the previously undenominational Park
Avenue Conference Hall (1934).
St Philip's Church on Tenby Road's south
side (now Oxford Road) was an 1888 brick building to replace the
1887 iron building after a fire. Holy Trinity Mission Hall
was on its east flank (at the far end here). A vast Stratford
Congregational Church was inside the north-west corner of The
Grove and Grove Crescent Road (now a Jewson centre). Built in
1866-1867 it was sold in 1948, but also ran Chapel Street
Mission (1885-1927) and Crownfield Road Mission
Seven photos on this page by P L Kessler (from
2010-2011), and two kindly contributed by the London Borough of