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.
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 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.
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 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 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.