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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of East London

by Peter Kessler, 7 March 2010

Redbridge Part 8: Churches of Woodford Wells & Woodford Bridge

The Parish Church of St Barnabas, Woodford, Redbridge, East London

The Parish Church of St Barnabas, Woodford Wells, lies on the southern side of Snakes Lane East. Maud in the Lane (1235) gave her name to a tenement called Lanes on the old Woodford to Chingford route. From the later Sake family the lane became known as Sakes Lane, corrupted as Snakes Lane. The church began as an iron mission attached to St Paul, Woodford Bridge, erected in 1904. A new brick and stone church was built in 1910-1911, and was granted its own parish.

The Parish Church of St Barnabas, Woodford, Redbridge, East London

The Early Perpendicular church's two-bay nave was completed in 1964. By 2009, the church hall was run-down and seeking funds for full modernisation. It was aided in this by a visit by actor Tony Robinson of 'Blackadder' fame. The unconsecrated St George's Mission Church, Horn Lane, was promoted before 1903 as an undenominational hall. In 1911 it was transferred to St Barnabas. Services were discontinued in 1956 and the building later became a youth club.

Ray Lodge United Reformed Church, Woodford, Redbridge, East London

Ray Lodge United Reformed Church is on the western side of Ray Lodge Road, north of Snakes Lane East. It began when members from Woodford Green Congregational Church put up a chapel here, near Ray Lodge, in 1865. In 1900 a Gothic church was built in Snakes Lane, near the chapel, but this was demolished about 2008. The old chapel was used by the New Apostolic Church from 1954. Rebuilt in 1986, it is now shared by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Broadmead Baptist Church, Woodford, Redbridge, East London

Broadmead Baptist Church is on the eastern side of the busy Chigwell Road, with the M11 motorway across the park behind it. A Baptist mission was opened in a pavilion off Broadmead Road (about 110 metres to the south) in 1948. As numbers increased, the members built their own temporary church out of wood in the Chigwell Road in 1957. This was constituted in 1963, which is perhaps the date on which this modern building replaced the temporary one.

St Paul's Church, Woodford Bridge, Redbridge, East London

St Paul's Church, Woodford Bridge, is on the northern side of Manor Road. As the population of Woodford increased, St Mary's Church became inadequate. Its position on the High Road in the south-western corner of the parish was always inconvenient for parishioners at Woodford Bridge and Woodford Wells. In 1851 a large room, used as an infant school, was being rented at Woodford Bridge for services and it was there that the first new district chapelry was created.

St Paul's Church, Woodford Bridge, Redbridge, East London

The church of St Paul, Manor Road, was built in 1854. C B Waller, who as an assistant curate at Woodford had been mainly responsible for raising the money for the church, became the first vicar. He was succeeded by his son, who served there until 1919. After a fire in 1886 the church was rebuilt in stone in the Decorated style, consisting of nave and aisles, chancel, and north-west tower with spire, the base of which forms a porch.

All photos on this page by P L Kessler.



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