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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of East London

by Peter Kessler, 10 January 2009

Waltham Forest Part 16: Churches of Highams Park & Chingford Hatch

Highams Park United Reformed Church, Higham Park, Walthamstow, East London

Highams Park United Reformed Church is on Malvern Avenue, to the east of the railway line. The church originated as a mission for Woodford Union Church. Services were started in a cottage at Hale End in 1875 by both Baptist and Congregational members in the early months of their secession from Woodford Congregational Church. A small iron hall was built in 1881 and enlarged in 1887. In 1893 a church of 23 members was formed in fellowship with Woodford Union.

Highams Park United Reformed Church, Higham Park, Walthamstow, East London

A new church was built in 1897 and registered in 1898 as Congregational & United Free Methodist. It was also known as Hale End Free church. In 1905 it became independent of Woodford Union, and in 1915 it was reregistered as Congregational. From about 1912 it was known as Highams Park Church. In 1927 a hall was added and this housed services after the church was damaged by Second World War bombing. The church reopened after restoration in 1949.

Winchester Road Methodist Church, Higham Park, Walthamstow, East London

Winchester Road Methodist Church, Highams Park, is on the road of the same name, immediately west of Malvern Road, across the railway line. It opened in 1903 in an iron building on a site given by John Hitchman, at which time it was a United Church. The permanent church was opened in 1904, although a stone was laid on 3 October 1908, 'by John Hitchman Esq of Walthamstow, donor of the site. George Baines, R Palmer Baines, architects, London'.

Winchester Road Methodist Church, Higham Park, Walthamstow, East London

At the time of its opening, the church had 133 members. The society in its early years received help from Shern Hall Methodist Church, but during the Blitz of 1940 it was damaged. Repairs followed after the war, and a community centre was built beside the church (on the far right in the previous photo), comprising the Sunday school (1956) and the Memorial and Hodgson halls (1960). These buildings were built in greyish-pink brick. In 1969 the church had 179 members.

Highams Park Baptist Church

Highams Park Baptist Church lies on the southern side of Cavendish Road, opposite Selwyn Avenue School. It began in 1913 when Greenleaf Road members started a mission in the school. A church was formed in 1915 and a building erected on the present site in about 1917. The present church was opened in 1932. Membership, which was 82 in 1939, rose after the Second World War from 189 in 1949 to 293 in 1956, when a Fellowship hall was opened.

United Synagogue Highams Park, Higham Park, Walthamstow, East London

United Synagogue Highams Park serves Highams Park and Chingford's Hebrew congregation. It lies on the northern side of Marlborough Road, which connects to Cavendish Road via Nelson Road. The hall is dedicated to Marc and Adele Blair, and the synagogue was consecrated by the Very Reverend Dr J H Hertz, Chief Rabbi, and opened by Henry B Pole Esq on 22 August 1937. The style is basic art-deco, with rounded corners, but very little else to remark upon.

All Saints Church Highams Park, Higham Park, Walthamstow, East London

All Saints Church Highams Park is on the corner of Castle Avenue and Church Lane. It was formerly known as All Saints-on-the-Hill, to avoid confusion with All Saints Selwyn Avenue. That church started in 1898 as a mission on this site on Castle Avenue for St Peter's-in-the-Forest, and it gained its own parish in 1912. In the same year a new and larger parish church, designed by Hoare & Wheeler, was built a little way to the south, on Selwyn Avenue.

All Saints Church Highams Park, Higham Park, Walthamstow, East London

The Selwyn Avenue site had been home to an iron mission room known as St Matthew's Mission, since 1908. The new building, of brown brick with Decorated windows, was incomplete at the east end. The original church on Castle Avenue, All Saints-on-the-Hill, became a chapel of ease to the new church. Since then, All Saints Selwyn Avenue was closed, completely demolished, and cleared (probably for housing), and its chapel of ease is now the parish church for the area.

Handsworth Avenue Methodist Church, Higham Park, Walthamstow, East London

Handsworth Avenue Methodist Church formerly stood on the corner of Handsworth Avenue and Church Avenue. It began as Highams Park Wesleyan church in 1906-1907. The original church building was completed in 1909. It gained its later name in 1937, and by 1969 it had 49 members. Membership must have dropped off after that time as the church was demolished in 2009 to make way for a block of luxury flats, completion of which was due in 2010.

St Anne's Parish Church, Higham Park, Walthamstow, East London

St Anne's Parish Church is on the eastern side of Larkshall Road near Chingford Hatch, due north of Highams Park. An iron mission church was opened here in 1890 on a site donated by the Ainslie family of Rolls, Inks Green. In her 1901 will, Elizabeth Ainslie left 1,500 for the erection of a permanent church and by 1953 this legacy, including interest, amounted to 4,056. In that year it was used, with other funds, to build the present church. It gained its own parish in 1956.

Nine photos on this page by P L Kessler.



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