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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of North London

by Peter Kessler, 24 April 2011. Updated 4 February 2013

Barnet Part 2: Churches of East Finchley

East Finchley Methodist Church, East Finchley, Barnet, North London

East Finchley Methodist Church stands at the south-west corner of East Finchley High Road and Park Gate. The church originated in a Wesleyan congregation established by 1817 and probably by 1810. John Freeman held prayer meetings in Lincoln Lodge, a cottage in the High Road at the corner of Strawberry Vale, in 1820. A small chapel, attended mostly by labourers, opened in 1829 in King's Corner or Street. This was replaced in 1868 by a larger building.

East Finchley Methodist Church, East Finchley, Barnet, North London

The new building also proved to be too small, so the present Gothic-style red-brick church was erected in 1897 on a brand new site. In 1940 the roof, windows and organ suffered damage from a blast. Nearby, Elim Hall in Christchurch Avenue (now apparently lost), perhaps formerly used by the Christian Spiritualists, was registered by Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance in 1938-1954. Then they moved to the King Street chapel until 1974, when they began sharing East Finchley URC.

Salvation Army Hall, East Finchley, Barnet, North London

The Salvation Army Hall is on the northern side of Hertford Road, close to the junction with the High Road. The hall was built as a Baptist chapel in 1889, but the Baptists rapidly outgrew it, so in 1902 they moved to a new church building on the newly-laid Creighton Avenue (see below). The old chapel was sold to the Salvationists following the destruction of their own building, which lay opposite, during the war. This closed about 2001 and the building now houses a nursery.

East Finchley Baptist Church, East Finchley, Barnet, North London

East Finchley Baptist Church stands on the northern side of Creighton Avenue, close to the High Road. The church was founded in 1877 in Long Lane as a New Connexion Church by J Batey. A Baptist church was erected on Hertford Road (see above) before the congregation moved to this site in 1902, constructing this striking Gothic building of flint with stone dressings on the newly laid-out road. The original building eventually proved to be too large for the congregation.

East Finchley Baptist Church, East Finchley, Barnet, North London

The present red-brick church, more modest, but still attractive and ornate, was built next door to the original building in the 1930s (or 1950, sources differ). The 1902 building became a church hall until dwindling use saw it sold off around 1990 to be converted into apartments during a property boom. The Gothic frontage remained while the more ordinary rear was reconstructed into flats. The money raised allowed extra buildings to be added to the church building.

St Mary's Catholic Church, East Finchley, Barnet, North London

St Mary's Catholic Church stands on the western side of the High Road, opposite and a little north of Chandos Road. The former Congregational chapel was used at first, opening in 1898. It was destroyed in 1940 and services were held from 1941 at No 279 High Road, where the present church was built in 1953. One of the earliest European churches to contain pre-cast concrete, it is a simple brick building with stone dressings, next to a hall built in 1959.

St Pancras Cemetery Chapel, East Finchley, Barnet, North London

St Pancras Cemetery Chapel lies towards the back of Islington & St Pancras Cemetery, on the eastern side of the High Road. Also known as The Episcopal Chapel, the Gothic building is made of Kentish Rag and Bath stone. This section of the cemetery is owned by Camden (formerly St Pancras), and was established in 1854 as the first municipally-owned cemetery in London when the St Pancras Burial Board bought 88 acres of the former Horseshoe Farm on Finchley Common.

Islington Cemetery Chapel, East Finchley, Barnet, North London

Islington Cemetery Chapel lies closest to the High Road, although its date of construction is not known, the 1890s seems possible. The cemetery was more than doubled in size in 1877, and the total area was divided between Islington and Camden. A bank and ditch along the eastern edge marks the parish boundary between Finchley and Hornsey. To the south the cemetery is bordered by the ancient woodland of Coldfall Wood, to the north the North Circular Road.

All photos on this page by P L Kessler. Additional information by Don Baldwin.



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