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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of East London

by Peter Kessler, 7 March 2010

Redbridge Part 5: Churches of South Woodford

Woodford Congregational Church, Woodford, Redbridge, East London

Woodford Congregational Church was founded about 1790 at a site in Horn Lane near Woodford Station, to the north. The church founded a mission on Victoria Road in 1870, moved to a temporary iron church in Daisy Road in 1872, and remained until the site was deemed too small. It was leased and then sold to the Salvation Army. A mission for Wanstead was also apparently established in the 1860s. In 1879, the site pictured here, on George Lane, was purchased.

Woodford Congregational Church, Woodford, Redbridge, East London

In 1886 the new church was completed, on the south-western side of George Lane, at the top of the hill close to what is now the Slug & Lettuce public house, to the design of Thomas Arnold in the Early English style. It was probably now, during the pastorate of Nicholas Hurry at the Wanstead church, that Woodford became independent. The church was demolished in about 1982 and the site was redeveloped for a Marks & Spencer 'Simply Food' shop (shown on the right).

Woodford Spiritualist Church, Woodford, Redbridge, East London

Woodford Spiritualist Church is located on the corner of Grove Crescent and Craig Gardens, in an area of Woodford that is relatively quiet and unhurried, but for the continuous drone of traffic from the North Circular carriageways which lie just metres to the right of this photo. Affiliated to the Spiritualists National Union, the church appears to be a new build, perhaps only a decade old at most. Whether another church stood here previously is not known.

Catholic Church of St Anne Line, Woodford, Redbridge, East London

The Catholic Church of St Anne Line is also on Grove Crescent Road, south of the junction with Hillcrest Road and on the western side of the road. St Anne Line was tried in 1601 for harbouring a Catholic priest at a time when Protestant England was still vehemently opposed to Catholicism. At her trial, totally unrepentant, she declared that her only regret was not harbouring a thousand priests. She was sentenced to hang at Tyburn the next day, 27 February 1601.

Grove Hill Evangelical Church, Woodford, Redbridge, East London

Grove Hill Evangelical Church lies at the north-western end of Grove Hill. While nothing of the church's history can be found, it seems highly likely that the site was previously Anglican. In 1882 the Church of St Philip & St James was erected in Grove Hill as a chapel of ease to St Mary's Woodford. A hall was built in 1905 and a men's club in 1910. The church was a low building of red brick with dormer windows. It still existed in 1973 but thereafter disappears from records.

Grove Road Evangelical Church, Woodford, Redbridge, East London

Grove Road Evangelical Church used to stand on the road of the same name, and the most likely building is this, boarded up and facing southwards over the North Circular. The church was the outcome of work begun by Edward Hobbs (1825-1907) in 1877 amongst the gipsies encamped locally. A mission was opened in a stable here in Grove Road and in 1883 the church was built. The mission was formed into a church in 1949, but by 2009 no trace of it remained.

Four photos on this page by P L Kessler, and two kindly contributed by Keith Wreyford.



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