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St James Chapel is part of Alfred English
& Sons, Funeral Directors, which specialises in horse-drawn
funerals. Its small chapel, which lies alongside the main premises on
St James Street, is named after the former Anglican church of the same
name which was closed in 1961 and demolished. A chapel of St James was
formed in the south aisle of St Barnabas, which took over its
parish, and the section of the main road on which St James formerly
stood still bears its name.
The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary and St
Patrick is on Blackhorse Road, a short way north of the chapel
of St James. During the sixteenth century, repeated prosecutions were
brought against local families for recusancy, most notably the Hale
family of Moons, which licensed its own chapel in 1536, perhaps for
secret Catholic worship. Indictments continued to 1629, although by
then they were tailing off, and no Catholics were recorded at all in
By 1780 numbers were beginning to rise again.
In the 1840s mass was being said in private houses. In 1847 the
mission chapel of St George was opened in Shernhall Street on the
eastern side of Walthamstow. This, and the later church of Our Lady
and St George served all of Woodford, Leyton, Wanstead, and
Chingford, until their own missions opened. The church of Our Lady
of the Rosary and St Patrick was opened in 1908, and in 2008
celebrated its centenary.
Walthamstow Blackhorse Road Baptist Church
is divided from Our Lady only by Tenby Road on the western side of
Blackhorse Road. It was founded in 1898, with the help of the
Pioneer Mission, at a time when large areas of southern Walthamstow
were disappearing under new housing estates. There were 120 members
in 1903. The original building, fondly known as 'The Tin
Tabernacle', served the church well, until the construction of the
present building in 1932.
During the late 1980s, extensive modernisation
was carried out in the worship area. The floor was carpeted, and
wooden pews were replaced with chairs which could be moved around to
give a flexible layout. In recent years, new kitchen and toilet
areas were added, together with a new front wall and gates. Over the
past century, the church has also hosted many other organisations
with a Christian basis, such as the Band of Hope, Crusaders, Scouts
The Parish Church of St Michael and All Angels
sits on the corner of Palmerston Road and Northcote Road in Walthamstow.
It is the largest church in Walthamstow, and was built to serve the area
of St James' parish north of the former Great Eastern Railway. The cost
was met by public subscription which was assisted by the bishop of St
Albans' fund. The design was by James Maltby Bignell in 1882. The
completed church was consecrated on 18 November 1885.
The building, of brown and red brick with stone
dressings, is in the Early English style, and has a very lofty nave
and chancel with lower side aisles. It gained its own parish in 1887
and is now a Grade II listed building. The Church of St Paul,
on Courtenay Road at the very western edge of Walthamstow, was built
in 1900 as a mission church for St Michael's, on a site given by T
Courtenay Warner. It was closed in 1917, reopened in 1919, and finally
closed in 1964.
Forest Road Hall Baptist Church
seems to have been sited on this western corner with Hervey Park
Road, but no sign remains of it today. The church was registered in
1892, but may have served as the Forest mission of Wood Street Union
Church. By 1903 it was certainly Baptist, when Sunday attendances
totalled 210. It continued to be listed until 1926, was included in
1928 among extinct Baptist missions but found new independent use
until as late as 1970.
Walthamstow Spiritualist Lyceum Church is
on the northern side of Coleridge Road, with just three
semi-detached 1930s houses between it and Borwick Avenue. The
Spiritualist Lyceum church was meeting in the Workmen's hall on the
High Street in 1929. It was able to open the church in Coleridge
Road in 1933, which was little more than a narrow, long hall with a
small entrance porch. It may now be closed as in 2009 it bore the
appearance of being a dwelling.
Erskine Road Spurgeon Memorial Church
stood between Coleridge Road and Melville Road. It began life in the
High Street in 1898, perhaps as a mission for Boundary Road Baptist
Church. In about 1901 an iron hall was erected in Erskine Road,
registered in 1902. The church appears to have ceased by 1911-1912,
when there were 32 members. Tradition states that the church
furnishings went to Spruce Hill Baptist Church while the site is now
a community centre.