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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of East London

by Peter Kessler, 19 December 2010. Updated 17 January 2022

Redbridge Part 17: Churches of Ilford & Goodmayes

Seven Kings (United) Methodist Church, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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).

All Saints Church, Goodmayes, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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.

Catholic Church of St Vincent de Paul Becontree, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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.

St Thomas' Church, Becontree West, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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 (as shown in this photo postcard of the site). The entire block was sold off between 2007-2009 and the church was demolished in favour of an apartment block.

Goodmayes Baptist Church, Ilford, Redbridge, East London

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 1959.

Eight photos on this page by P L Kessler, and two kindly contributed by Peter Murch.



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