History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of East London

by Peter Kessler, 19 December 2010. Updated 22 December 2014

Redbridge Part 15: Churches of Ilford

Grange Road Evangelical Church, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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.

St Alban Great Ilford, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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.

Salvation Army, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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.

Vine United Reformed Church, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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.



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