Last year our first donation drive was a complete success,
thanks to some wonderful people who helped us gain a security certificate and meet
some of the increasing web hosting costs. This year, that certificate needs to be
renewed and another round of hosting costs need to be supplimented. As the History
Files is a non-profit site it still needs your help. Please click anywhere inside
this box to make a small donation via PayPal so that we can continue to provide
highly detailed historical research on a fully secure site. If every visitor
donated just a penny then we'd cover a year's running costs in a day! Your support
is highly appreciated.
Seven Kings (United) Methodist Church
occupies a triangle of land between Seven Kings Road to the west
and Vernon Road. The church originated in 1903 as a society of the
United Methodist Free Church. Services were held at first in the central
hall. A church was opened in 1905 and, following union in 1907 with
the New Connexion and the Bible Christians, enlarged in 1923. Among the
leading members was A E Williams, secretary and biographer of Dr Barnardo.
South Park Chapel is on the western side of
Water Lane, with Ripley Road on its other flank. The chapel was (and
possibly still is) Brethren. It was opened in 1905 on the eastern edges
of Ilford in time for the 1921 creation of the Becontree housing estate,
of which Ilford has about ten per cent within its borders. Something
like 11,600 people filled those houses, so the chapel must have found
extra members at the time. It celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1955.
All Saints Church Goodmayes faces out over
Goodmayes Lane, on the corner with Abbotsford Road. A mission
district was formed here in South Goodmayes in 1909, and a church
hall opened. The church itself was quickly built and was ready to be
consecrated in 1913. The building consisted of brown brick with
starkly contrasting white stone dressings, and with a fleche and a
bellcupola on the roof (visible on the nearside corner of the church
as shown here).
The main church building consists of a nave with
wide aisles, chancel, side chapel, organ chamber, and west porches.
The following year, in 1914, the district was constituted a separate
parish, being formed from parts of the parishes of St Mary Ilford,
St Chad Chadwell Heath, and St Peter & St Paul
Dagenham. The advowson of the vicarage is vested in the Hyndman
Trustees, and the church hall (shown here) still exists, although
some patching has occurred.
The Catholic Church of St Vincent de Paul Becontree
sits on the corner of Waldegrave Road and Stevens Road on the Becontree
Estate. The Roman Catholics were the first religious body to begin work
on the estate. St Vincent, at the northern end of the estate, was their
first church. A temporary church was opened in 1923, and a permanent
building was erected in 1934. It is a large building of red brick with
stone dressings in the Perpendicular style.
St Thomas' Church, Becontree West is on Burnside
Road, a short way behind St Vincent, with Haydon Road on its southern side
(on the right of the photo). St Thomas was the first Anglican church built
for the Becontree Estate, which grew up after 1921. The church gained its
own parish in 1922 which comprised the whole of the estate, in Dagenham,
Ilford, and Barking, but this was subsequently sub-divided as other
new parishes were formed.
Services were first held in a workmen's hut, then
in a large parish hall, built in 1923. The church itself was opened
in 1927, with the help of funds from the sale of St Jude's,
Whitechapel. It is a Gothic style red brick building, with a nave
with west baptistery and passage aisles, a chancel, Lady chapel, and
organ chamber. The church played an important part in the social
life of the estate during its early years, before parish
subdivisions drew people away.
Becontree (Wesleyan) Central Hall used to
lie on the north-western corner of Bennetts Castle Lane and Haydon
Road. The Methodist hall was built in 1925 at a cost of £21,000,
half of which was donated by Joseph Rank. It included a main hall
seating 1,000, and two smaller halls which flanked it. It was built
of brown brick with red brick dressings, in a neo-Georgian style.
The main hall, surmounted by a cupola, was closed and later
demolished, probably between 1990-2005.
Goodmayes Congregational Church formerly
stood at the south-eastern corner of Green Lane and Broomhill Road.
It originated in 1900, when an iron building was erected on
the site. At first it was a branch of Ilford High Road Church, but in
1905 became separate. The church building in its final form was built
in 1927 (but only this aerial view of it is available). The site was
sold between 2007-2009 and the church was demolished in favour of an
Goodmayes Baptist Church is on the corner
of Goodmayes Road and Kinfauns Road. The church was formed in 1914 by
a group who seceded from Seven Kings Baptist Church. For some years
services were held in Seven Kings Library, but in 1920 a timber and
asbestos building was erected in Kinfauns Road. Between 1927-1928 a
similar, but smaller, building was added, but was burnt down in 1952
and replaced by a Nissen hut. The permanent church was opened in