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Gallery: Churches of East London
by Peter Kessler, 19 December 2010. Updated 22 December 2014
Grange Road Evangelical Church sits in
between terraced houses on the southern side of Grange Road, opposite
the entrance to Dalkeith Road in Ilford, a little way south of the
High Road. The church began as a mission for Ilford High Road Baptist
Church and was certainly in existence by the Second World War. It did
not contain a baptismal pool, so baptisms were carried out in the main
church. Since that time it appears to have become independent of
the High Road.
St Alban Great Ilford occupies a large plot
on the southern side of Albert Road, opposite the entrance to Mildmay
Road, and also opposite the former Ilford Presbyterian Church (see below).
A temporary church was built here in the late nineteenth century for the
area's growing population, probably a tin church which would have been
mass-produced and easy to assemble. The present brick building was erected
between 1900 and 1906 to replace the temporary one.
The church remained a chapel-of-ease to St Clement's
Church until 1958, when a separate parish was formed. The vicarage was
in the gift of the bishop of Chelmsford. The large building, of red brick
in the Gothic style, contains an aisled and clerestoried nave (closet to
the camera in the previous photo), a chancel, an organ chamber, and a
west porch. There is a small bell cote at the west end with one bell,
but the west end of the church is confined by a row of shops.
Ilford Presbyterian Church is at the
north-east corner of Albert Road and Mildmay Road (formerly the
southern half of Oakfield Road before the Winston Way bypass was
built). An iron building was erected here in 1896. The present
permanent building replaced it in 1903. The 1905-installed organ was
built in 1820 for St Mary Moorfields. The Presbyterians merged with
Vine Church (below) in 1972. By 2010 the building was Mildmay
Neighbourhood Learning Centre.
Ebenezer Baptist Chapel (now Ilford Hindu Centre)
is on the eastern side of Cleveland Road, now cut off from the north by
Winston Way. It was formed in 1836 by seceders from Ilford Baptist
Church, with a chapel built on leased land in Cranbrook Road, almost
opposite the railway station. In 1898 a new iron chapel was erected on a
freehold site in Cleveland Road. Ebenezer was joined in 1928 by Elim Chapel
Limehouse, and the present chapel was built in 1932.
City Gates Christian Centre is on the eastern
side of Clements Road, on the inside of the corner as it turns east to
run parallel with Winston Way. The building was constructed in the very
early 1960s as the Elim Pentecostal Church. In 2010 the centre was
part of East London's CitySafe scheme. Youngsters who attended the
centre were involved in tackling local community problems, with the
support of the centre's youth pastor and the local police.
The Salvation Army hall is on the eastern
side of Clements Road, opposite Clements Lane, and just a few doors
north of City Gates Christian Centre. The Army started with a hall
behind the High Road by 1887. They were active in the 1890s, and
about 1901 opened the present hall. Goodmayes Salvation Army Hall
was also built, in Goodmayes Avenue, in 1906 (gone by 2007), and
Birkbeck Road Salvation Army Hall, Newbury Park, had similarly
gone by 2007.
Elim Four Square Tabernacle formerly stood
on Clements Road, shown here from the junction with Cranbrook Road.
The tabernacle was first recorded in 1926, although whether it was
opened in that year or at some point before is unknown. By 2010 it was
long gone, swept away. In 1903 there also existed Clements Road Brethren
and Ilford Lane Brethren meetings, while their Ley Street Gospel
Hall was first recorded in 1904 (all of which are also long gone).
Vine United Reformed Church is on the west
side of Riches Road with a hall facing Holstock Road. There
appears to have been a Congregational church at Ilford in 1854-1857,
but no later reference to it has been found. The present church began
in 1892 as Ilford High Road Congregational Church. Services were
held in the Thompson Rooms and later in a house in Oakfield Road. In 1894
an iron church was put up on the High Road, and replaced soon afterwards.
In 1900, the church started Horns Village Mission,
Barkingside, but this closed about 1903. Ilford's brick church was built
in 1901, and in 1910 the present site was purchased for additional buildings
behind the church. Renamed Vine Baptist Church after the war, the
High Road building was sold off for demolition in 1961, during the
redevelopment of the area, and the present building was erected on the
land which had previously been purchased behind the old church.
All photos on this page by P L Kessler. Additional
information provided by Paula Riome.