A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1973.
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During the Middle Ages the parish of All Saints included the whole of West Ham except the precincts of Stratford Abbey, which constituted a separate parish of about 24 a., with its own church of St. Mary and All Saints. (fn. 1) After the Dissolution St. Mary and All Saints was destroyed with the rest of the abbey. Its parish became in one sense extra-parochial; the landowners there did not pay tithes. But in other respects it seems to have been merged in the parish of All Saints.
The church of All Saints originated in the 12th century, if not earlier. William de Montfitchet, when he founded Stratford Abbey in 1135, endowed it with, inter alia, land in Ham that had belonged to Ranulph the priest. (fn. 2) This suggests the existence of a church, but the first explicit reference to one is in a charter of Henry II, probably issued between October 1181 and January 1182, confirming to the same abbey the church of West Ham, given by Gilbert de Montfitchet. (fn. 3) About the same time Gilbert Foliot (d. 1187), bishop of London, licensed this appropriation and ordained a vicarage. (fn. 4) The advowson of the vicarage was apparently not then given to the abbey, but descended with the Montfitchet estates at least until 1254, when Richard de Montfitchet (d. 1267) was listed as the patron. (fn. 5) The abbey did, however, acquire it by 1334, and held it until the Dissolution, since when it has been vested in the Crown. (fn. 6)
The rectory also remained with the abbey until the Dissolution. It was subject to an annual pension of £3 to Hatfield Peverel priory in lieu of tithes; (fn. 7) this, although not mentioned before the 16th century, may have dated from c. 1100, since the founders of the priory, the Peverels, were the lords of Sudbury in West Ham. (fn. 8) In 1537–8 the abbey was leasing the great tithes in two separate portions. Those of the area south of Portway were on lease along with New Barns (the rectorial glebe), while the remainder were on lease with the manor of Woodgrange. (fn. 9) After the Dissolution the rectory was permanently split up. The great tithes from some 2,480 a. were retained by the Crown and descended along with the manor of West Ham, though in the 18th century they were apparently leased, separately from that manor, to James Smyth of Upton. (fn. 10) They were held in 1853 by Edward Humphreys (fn. 11) and in 1897 by John C. Humphreys. (fn. 12) A substantial part of the great tithes in the north of the parish descended with the manor of Woodgrange. (fn. 13) Some of these were eventually merged in Woodgrange: in 1853 216 a. comprising Woodgrange, and 32 a., previously belonging to that manor, were thus exempt from great tithes. (fn. 14) Other great tithes formerly annexed to Woodgrange must have been alienated by 1853. Some of them probably became attached to the Pelly's estate at Upton: (fn. 15) in 1853 Sir John H. Pelly was entitled to the great tithes from 173 a., of which all but 14 a. belonged to his family. (fn. 16) By 1853 there were, in addition to Woodgrange, some 1,850 a. land in the parish exempt from great tithes. (fn. 17) These included 590 a. of 'Abbey Rate' lands (fn. 18) and 109 a. belonging to the Coopers' Company.
The Coopers' land was the ancient rectorial glebe, formerly called New Barns, at Plaistow. When Gilbert Foliot ordained the vicarage, he excluded from it 'the house [curiam] where the barns are', which thus remained part of the rectory. (fn. 19) In 1541 Henry VIII leased New Barns for life to his servant Sir Thomas Spert and Spert's son Richard. (fn. 20) It was later leased to Henry Fanshawe (d. 1568) of Jenkins in Barking, and the lease apparently descended in his family until 1629, when the trustees of Sir Thomas Fanshawe (d. 1631) also bought the freehold. (fn. 21) In 1650 Thomas Fanshawe, son of Sir Thomas, was the proprietor of the 'parsonage impropriate called New Barns'. (fn. 22) As a delinquent he was then being forced to augment the vicarages of both West Ham and Leyton from the profits of this impropriation. His son, Sir Thomas Fanshawe, sold New Barns in 1702 to Thomas Owen and William Manlove, from whom it was bought in 1706 by the Coopers' Company with money left in trust by Henry Strode for the endowment of a school and alms-houses at Egham (Surr.). (fn. 23) New Barns remained a farm until about 1900 when the Strode Foundation started to develop it for building. The farm lay between New Barn Street and Prince Regent Lane, and an ancient barn, adjoining Cumberland House, survived until about 1900. (fn. 24)
In 1254 the estimated value of the rectory was £53 6s. 8d. and that of the vicarage £8 (fn. 25) The equivalent figures in 1291 were £30 and £8 13s. 4d. (fn. 26) The ordination of the vicarage had provided that the vicar should pay 4 marks a year to the priory of Holy Trinity, Aldgate (Lond.) for two small fields evidently adjoining New Barns. This rent was still being paid in 1291, but no later reference to it has been found. In 1517, after a dispute between the vicar and Stratford Abbey, it was agreed that he should surrender his endowments in return for an annual pension of £39 13s. 8d. (fn. 27) After the Dissolution the Crown continued to pay this pension until 1638, when the vicar, Peter Blower, obtained a renewal of the original endowments in lieu of it. (fn. 28) In 1650 the vicar's glebe and tithes were valued at £60, and he was also receiving £20 in voluntary gifts from his parishioners and £20 augmentation from New Barns. (fn. 29) These improvements in the vicar's income were accompanied by an increase in his obligations. From 1644 or earlier until the early 19th century he seems to have been responsible for the maintenance of the chancel of the parish church. (fn. 30) In 1644 the churchwardens were paying him £2 for the chancel. This payment, later increased to £3 and then to £5, was kept up until 1682, when a disagreement between the vestry and a new vicar caused it to be discontinued. In 1853 the great tithes of Edward Humphreys were commuted for £164 and those of Sir John Pelly for £56. (fn. 31) The vicarial tithes were commuted for £794 together with 8s. an acre on market-gardens. A partial commutation of the small tithes had taken place long before. It was stated in 1853 that the owners of some 830 a. in the parish made ancient prescriptive payments in lieu of small tithes, and that the owners of other tithable lands paid the vicar 4d. an acre. (fn. 32) That rate of 4d. had apparently been unchanged for over a century. (fn. 33) The early-18th-century writer who first mentions this rate also states that the vicarial glebe had been augmented by bequests; in 1853 it comprised 32 a. (fn. 34)
In addition to the income from tithes and glebe the vicar was by the 18th century receiving a substantial income from offerings, fees, pew-rents, and charities. (fn. 35) Among the charities was that of Nicholas Avenon (d. 1599), which gradually increased in value up to the later 19th century, and was then transformed by building development into one of the main sources of parochial income: (fn. 36) by 1898 it was producing nearly £300 a year, and by 1964 about £2,000. A Chancery scheme of 1913 provided that most of the income should be used for curates' stipends.
The ancient vicarage house of West Ham was at the southern end of Vicarage Lane. That building of unknown appearance still survived in 1853, but by 1809 or earlier it was considered to be unfit for the vicar's use. (fn. 37) He and his successors appear to have used rented accommodation until about 1856, when The Farm, Portway, with 4 a. land, was bought for use as a vicarage. (fn. 38) That house was altered in 1879, when half the land was sold. In 1936 it was demolished, part of the site being used to develop Vicar's Close, at the south end of which a new vicarage was built. (fn. 39) The house in Portway was a large early-19th-century building, apparently on the site of an older and smaller one, to which had belonged a range of thatched out-buildings, also demolished in 1936. (fn. 40)
The architecture of All Saints church, described below, shows that by the 15th century it was of good size, fit for a populous parish near London. During the later Middle Ages there are occasional references to clergy assisting or deputizing for the vicars. (fn. 41) Robert Paynter (d. 1538), the last vicar presented by Stratford Abbey, showed by his will that his interests included theology, history, and music, and that he had been friendly with clergy and laymen in several of the neighbouring parishes. (fn. 42) Thomas Rose, presented in 1552, was a zealous Protestant whose inflammatory preaching, 20 years earlier, had provoked the theft and destruction of the rood at Dovercourt. He was ejected for marriage in 1554, but restored after the accession of Elizabeth I. (fn. 43) In 1555–6 18 Protestants were burnt at Stratford and Bow, including 13 who died in one fire. The memory of this never faded from local tradition and in 1879 it was commemorated by the erection, in St. John's churchyard, of a memorial to the martyrs. (fn. 44) Peter Blower (1638–44), whose re-endowment of the vicarage has already been mentioned, appears to have suffered sequestration in 1644 and to have died in the same year. (fn. 45) Of his five immediate successors the last, Thomas Walton (1656–60), was ejected at the Restoration. (fn. 46) William Marketman (1660–71) officiated for some months before being presented to the vicarage on the petition of the parishioners. (fn. 47) Richard Hollingsworth (1671–82) had been Marketman's curate for five years, and also secured the living on local recommendation. (fn. 48) These are the earliest occasions on which the parishioners can be shown to have influenced the appointment of vicars, but the tradition of popular choice probably went back to the early 17th century: at least one parish lecturer, William Holbrook (d. 1629), has been noticed before the Civil War. (fn. 49) A lecturer appointed in 1728 (fn. 50) had several successors in the 18th century, (fn. 51) including William Dodd (1752–66) 'the macaroni parson', later executed for forgery. (fn. 52) According to some of his verses Dodd preached to a crowded congregation including several noblemen. (fn. 53) In 1766 there were two Sunday services, each with a sermon, also prayers on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Holy days. (fn. 54) In recent years the accommodation of the church had been increased by the erection of new galleries, a new organ had been installed, and a paid organist was being employed. (fn. 55) During the 18th century the vicars seem usually to have resided in the parish, though some also performed duties in London. (fn. 56) George Gregory (1804–8) is said to have obtained the living for political services. (fn. 57)
Hugh C. Jones (1809–45), also archdeacon of Essex, built West Ham's first two new churches, at Plaistow and Stratford. Canon Abel Ram (1845–68), Canon Thomas Scott (1868–91), and Canon Richard Pelly (1891–1916) each worked vigorously for church extension, in a period when West Ham's population increased by over 270,000. (fn. 58) Scott began the highly profitable development of the Avenon charity estate. Pelly continued this, and in 1912 also founded the West Ham Evangelical Trust, to promote the teaching of 'the Protestant and evangelical party in the Church of England' within this parish and that of St. Matthew, West Ham, and to provide an income for church building maintenance. The doctrinal object of the trust was clearly to combat the strong Roman Catholic and Anglo-Catholic movements in West Ham. Its practical scope was later widened to include poor-relief and prizes for school children. By 1964 its total income was £82. (fn. 59) In 1898 Pelly's staff comprised 3 curates, 2 lay readers, 2 women workers, and a parish nurse. (fn. 60) During the First World War Pelly's successor, Canon Guy Rogers, employed four women as curates for everything except the administration of the sacraments. (fn. 61)
The ancient parish church of ALL SAINTS, Church Street, consists of nave, chancel, north and south aisles, north and south chapels, west tower, south vestries, and two south porches. (fn. 62) The walls are mainly of ragstone and flint rubble, with white brick on the south and east, Reigate stone in the tower, and red brick in the north chapel. The church dates from the late 12th century, but was considerably altered in the 13th century, when it included a crossing and probably transepts, and again in the 15th century, when the crossing and transepts were demolished, the nave lengthened eastwards, and the present tower built. The north chapel was rebuilt about 1547. In 1803 the south aisle, south chapel, and east wall were refaced with yellow brick. During the 18th century north, south, and west galleries were added, but these were all removed in the later 19th century. The vestries were built in 1892–4.
A church existed on this site in the late 12th century: on each side of the nave there are three blocked clerestory windows of that period. In the mid 13th century the nave was largely rebuilt and given north and south arcades of five bays. The crossing which then existed appears to have been demolished about 1400, when the nave was extended eastwards by two bays, re-using material from the former transept arches; the chancel arch was rebuilt and the tall west tower, with south-eastern stairturret, was added. In the mid 15th century a north chapel with an arcade dividing it from the chancel was built, and a little later a south chapel. The north aisle was probably rebuilt in the late 15th century, since several of its windows seem to be of that date. Wall-paintings, probably of the 15th century, were uncovered in the nave during 19th-century restorations, but were too imperfect for preservation. About 1547 the north chapel was rebuilt in dark red brick by the churchwardens, whose successors stated in 1548 that this had been done without the consent of the whole parish, and that funds for it had been raised by the sale of church property, including the communion plate and a house at Stratford. (fn. 63) This chapel, which externally is a fine example of Tudor brickwork, has a projecting rood-stair turret on the north side.
In 1707–8 over £500 was raised for church repairs and alterations, (fn. 64) which probably included the erection in 1710 of a west gallery, (fn. 65) where an organ was placed in 1731. (fn. 66) A south gallery, apparently replacing a smaller one, was added about 1727, and a similar north gallery in 1735. (fn. 67) In 1763 the vestry resolved to undertake further alterations including the rebuilding of the west gallery, and the insertion of two new dormer-windows, one above the north aisle, the other on the north side of the nave. (fn. 68) A drawing of the church from the south, made in 1769, shows a dormer-window in the nave. (fn. 69) A drawing from the north-east, made in 1794, shows three dormers in the north aisle and one in the nave. (fn. 70) Work done in 1788–90 included alterations to the pulpit, and the rebuilding of the churchyard walls in connexion with road widening. (fn. 71) A long south porch, in the form of a classical colonnade, which ran across the churchyard into Church Street, may have been built then: it certainly existed in 1799. (fn. 72) In 1800–3 substantial repairs were carried out at a total cost of nearly £3,000. (fn. 73) These included the refacing with yellow stock brick of the south aisle, the south chapel, and the east wall of the chancel, and probably also the insertion of the two dormers in the south aisle, shown in a drawing of 1808. (fn. 74) A sundial on the south wall of the south chapel is dated 1803.
In 1821–4 the north, south, and west galleries seem to have been again enlarged to meet the demand for sittings caused by the growth of the parish. (fn. 75) The third dormer in the north aisle was probably added at this time. (fn. 76) It was stated in 1827 that the church could seat only 1,400 out of an estimated population of 11,500. (fn. 77) During the 1830s the building of new district churches began to relieve this pressure. In 1847–9 All Saints was restored by George Dyson and (Sir) George Gilbert Scott. (fn. 78) The old box-seats were replaced by modern pews providing more free sittings. There were other alterations designed to lighten the church, probably including the replacement of the old dormers in the nave by the present small windows, comprising five triplets on each side, which were certainly in existence by 1861. (fn. 79) In 1865–9 the west gallery was removed, some new windows were inserted, and other repairs done. (fn. 80) This work was again directed by Scott, who also designed a new reredos. Alterations in 1879–80 probably included the removal of the north gallery. (fn. 81) In 1892 there was a further restoration, by C. C. Winmill. (fn. 82) The last remaining (south) gallery was removed, the south aisle was repaired, and new vestries were built at the south-west corner of the church. Some time in the 19th century the long south porch with its classical columns was replaced by the present structure in Jacobean style. In the 20th century there have been no important alterations, though much has been spent on maintenance. During recent years malicious damage has become a serious problem: between 1964 and 1968 this cost about £6,000 to repair. (fn. 83)
In 1804 Thomas Holbrook gave the royal arms to be placed at the east end of the church. (fn. 84) This is probably the arms, crudely and inaccurately repainted, now (1968) above the chancel arch. There is another royal arms, of William IV, on the wall of the south aisle, beside the vestry door.
At the east end of the north aisle is a font dated 1707 with a plain octagonal bowl. A larger font, given by Lewis Angell in 1869, stands at the west end of the nave. (fn. 85) At the west end of the north aisle are the remains of a third font, possibly from Stratford Abbey. (fn. 86)
The original organ, placed in the west gallery in 1731, was replaced by a new one about 1821. (fn. 87) In 1865–6 this was removed to the north aisle, repaired and enlarged. (fn. 88) It was rebuilt in 1892 and again about 1924. (fn. 89)
In 1737 the six existing bells were recast by Samuel Knight as a peal of eight. (fn. 90) In 1752 Knight's successor, Robert Catlin, appears to have recast two of the bells and added two new ones. The present ten include four by Catlin, three by Knight, and one each by Thomas Mears (1795), C. & G. Mears (1846), and J. Warner & Sons (1852). (fn. 91)
The plate includes a cup and cover, a pair of patens, and a flagon, all of 1693. (fn. 92) A cup dated 1718 and four alms-dishes dated 1718 (one) and 1737 (three) appear to have been given in 1738 by Edward Flower. (fn. 93) A pewter alms-dish dated 1702 was given in 1959 by the West Ham Evangelical Trust in memory of Canon Pelly. (fn. 94)
The church contains many monuments. (fn. 95) Under the western arch of the north chapel is a late-15th-century altar-tomb with an indent of the figures of a man and two wives. On its sides are panels containing shields of arms, including those of the Brewers' Company, the Goldsmiths' Company, and possibly the Mercers' Company. On the south respond of the chancel arch is a brass to Thomas Staples (1592), tanner, and his four wives. In the south aisle is a tablet to Nicholas Avenon (1599), merchant tailor, formerly on an altar-tomb. (fn. 96) In the chancel is a wall monument, with kneeling figure, to John Faldo (1613) and a similar one to his brother Francis (1632). In the north chapel, behind the organ, is a monument to Robert Rooke (1630), captain of the trained band of this hundred, showing him in armour, with figures of his two wives and seven children. In the south chapel is the monument of William Fawcit (1613) depicting his wife and her second husband, William Toppesfield, as kneeling figures, with Fawcit himself reclining below. (fn. 97) In the north chapel, side by side, are two fine monuments with standing figures, one to Sir Thomas Foot, Bt. (1688), lord mayor of London, (fn. 98) the other to James Cooper (1743). A later lord mayor, Sir James Smyth (1706), is commemorated by a ponderous classical monument in the south chapel. Also in the south chapel is a monument with kneeling figures by Edward Stanton, to Amhurst Buckeridge (1710) and his brothers and sisters. There is an altar-tomb in the north chapel to Sir Philip Hall (1746) and his family. Among other monuments is one in the north aisle to John Finch (1748), lecturer of West Ham.
The church contains several fragments from Stratford Abbey, including the font mentioned above. (fn. 99)
The chapel of St. Katherine on Bow Bridge existed in 1344, when its custody was granted by the king to John de Ware, a hermit. (fn. 100) Another Stratford hermit occurs in 1370, (fn. 101) and there are occasional references to St. Katherine's chapel in the mid 15th century. (fn. 102) There may have been a link between the chapel and a leper hospital, which in 1315 lay in a meadow owned by the priory of Stratford Bow on Queen Maud's Causeway at Stratford. (fn. 103)
From the 16th century onwards All Saints church remained the only Anglican place of worship until the building of St. Mary, Plaistow (1830), and St. John, Stratford (1834), both of which became parish churches in 1844. Two more new parishes were formed in 1852: Christ Church, Stratford Marsh, and Emmanuel, Forest Gate. By 1900 there were 17 parish churches and some 24 other churches within the borough. In 1903 the Anglican congregations in West Ham numbered about 17,600 a Sunday. (fn. 104) They comprised less than 32 per cent of the total worshippers, the lowest proportion in outer London except in one very small place. (fn. 105) They were, however, ahead of the other denominations in providing welfare services, both through the normal parochial organization, and through university and public school settlements, (fn. 106) and in the southern slums of the parish they had a higher proportion of the worshippers (39 per cent) than they did in the borough as a whole, in contrast to the nonconformists. (fn. 107) Their educational work is also notable. Church day-schools were built in 13 out of the 17 parishes created before 1900, though some closed after the formation of the school board. (fn. 108)
By 1910 there were 19 parish churches and some 28 others. After the First World War three more parishes were formed. During the Second World War most churches suffered bomb-damage, and all were affected by depopulation. This made a thorough reorganization inevitable. In 1961 the Church Commissioners confirmed a scheme (under the Reorganization Areas Measure, 1944) dealing with all except two of the parishes in the borough. (fn. 109) Five parishes ceased to exist and there were many smaller boundary changes. Two other parishes disappeared by amalgamation, in 1962 and 1966 respectively, thus reducing the total, in West Ham, to 15. The reorganization of the two Thames-side parishes, St. Barnabas and St. Mark, Victoria Docks, had not been completed by 1966. There were then only 14 parish churches and 8 other churches in the borough.
The following accounts of individual churches and missions are arranged by parishes, listed in the order of their formation. Scattered Sunday schools and temporary mission rooms are not usually included. Where it is stated that the advowson of a parish was vested in the bishop, this means the bishop of the diocese which then or later included West Ham. Details concerning the parish reorganization of 1961 are taken from the Church Commissioners' order, already mentioned.
In All Saints parish a large church hall, with ancillary rooms, was opened in Meeson Road in 1884. (fn. 110) A mission room was opened in Napier Road in 1889. (fn. 111) This may have been the predecessor of the mission church of ST. JUDE, Stephen's Road, opened in 1898. (fn. 112) The Manor Road mission hall was opened about 1900. (fn. 113) A Charity Commission scheme of 1941 provided for it to be sold and the proceeds used for the maintenance of the remaining missions in the parish. (fn. 114) The Holbrook Road mission hall, also opened about 1900, was dilapidated and disused by 1957, when authority was obtained to sell it. (fn. 115) ALL SAINTS church for the deaf and dumb, East Road, though situated in All Saints parish, exists to serve all deaf and dumb people in east London, and has its own special organization. It originated in 1905, when the Royal Association in aid of the Deaf and Dumb bought a church previously used, it seems, by the West Ham Park Congregationalists, and reopened it as the Constance Fairbairn memorial church. It was rebuilt in 1959. (fn. 116) In 1961 most of the former parish of St. Thomas, West Ham, was again merged with that of All Saints.
The church of ST. MARY, Plaistow, St. Mary's Road, was built in 1830 as a chapel of ease to All Saints, on a site given by Sir John H. Pelly. It was a brick building designed by Thomas Curtis in a late Perpendicular style, with pinnacled turrets and a clock-tower. (fn. 117) West of it were added the National school (1831) and a hall for the men's guild (1836). (fn. 118) A separate parish was formed in 1844, the advowson of the vicarage being vested in the vicar of West Ham. (fn. 119) During the incumbency of W. B. Marsh (1842–84) the population of Plaistow was increasing rapidly, and much mission work was done, leading to the formation of the new parishes of St. Mark, Victoria Docks, The Holy Trinity, St. Andrew, and St. Gabriel, and the building of St. Peter's. Thomas Given-Wilson (vicar 1884–1914) was the outstanding figure in the history of the parish. He recruited a team of trained nurses to tend poor parishioners, opened two convalescent homes at Southend-on-Sea, founded a children's hospital, organized penny dinners, and sold second-hand clothes. By the 1890s the philanthropic work of St. Mary's was costing about £8,000 a year, which he raised by world-wide appeals. (fn. 120) His pamphlets describing poverty at Plaistow caused resentment among the more independent residents, partly because they were thought to have caused a decline in property values there. (fn. 121) He also rebuilt the parish church on a much larger scale, to seat 1,000. The new building, in the Early English style, was completed in 1894 to the design of Sir Arthur Blomfield. It is of yellow brick with grouped lancet windows and a tall double bellcote. During Given-Wilson's time St. Peter's church and that of St. Matthias (opened 1887) were assigned their own parishes. The mission church of ST. KATHERINE, Chapman Road, was opened in 1891 in a building previously used as the infants department of St. Mary's day-schools; a permanent church was completed in 1894. (fn. 122) It was demolished in 1965 as part of a redevelopment scheme. (fn. 123) The mission church of ST. THOMAS, Northern Road, was built in 1898 and was demolished about 1950. (fn. 124) In 1912 Given-Wilson founded an institute named after him, independent of St. Mary's, and he retained control of it, after his retirement, until his death in 1916. (fn. 125) In 1935 the Given-Wilson institute was vested in a new committee with the vicar of St. Mary's as vice-chairman and secretary. (fn. 126) Its building was originally the Pelly Road United Free church, later the Upton Manor Congregational church.
The church of ST. JOHN, Stratford, The Broadway, was built in 1834 as a chapel of ease to All Saints, at Stratford (or Gallows) Green, on the island site at the junction of the Leytonstone and Romford Roads. (fn. 127) A separate parish was formed in 1844, the advowson of the vicarage being vested in the vicar of West Ham. St. John's, designed by Edward Blore in the Early English style, is of yellow brick with tall south-western tower and spire. The chancel was added in 1885 as a memorial to Sir Antonio Brady. The church was badly damaged by bombing in the Second World War but restored in 1951. (fn. 128) The martyrs' memorial (1879), in the churchyard, which is a polygonal Gothic structure designed by J. T. Newman, is thought to mark the site where the Protestants were burnt under Mary I.
Parts of St. John's parish were transferred to those of St. Paul (1865) and St. James (1881). A mission hall in connexion with St. John's was built in Chant Square in 1872 or soon after. (fn. 129) It continued in use until 1946. The mission church of THE HOLY TRINITY, Oxford Road, in connexion with Trinity College, Oxford, was founded in 1888, and finally closed in 1945 after bombing. (fn. 130) The iron mission church of ST. STEPHEN, Cedar Road, opened about 1883, was replaced in 1917 by a brick building. (fn. 131) This was closed in 1943 after bombing. The parishes of Christ Church and St. James were merged with that of St. John in 1961 and 1966 respectively. In 1961 St. John also acquired part of the former parish of St. Thomas.
CHRIST CHURCH Stratford, High Street, was built in 1852 to serve Stratford Marsh. (fn. 132) A separate parish, taken from that of All Saints, was assigned in the same year. (fn. 133) Thomas Curtis contributed to the cost of the site and the building. Schools were erected first, and then the church, a stone building designed by John Johnson in 14th-century style with a north tower and spire. (fn. 134) In 1862 the vicarage was endowed and the advowson was vested in five trustees headed by the vicar of West Ham. (fn. 135) The advowson was acquired in 1888 by the Simeon Trust. (fn. 136) A mission was opened in Ward Road in 1882, and the church of ST. AIDAN was built there in 1895–9 to the design of Sir Banister Fletcher, the chancel being added in 1908. (fn. 137) St. Aidan's was closed in 1944 after bombing and was later demolished. There was another mission in Biggerstaff Road by 1906. (fn. 138) Christ Church parish was united with that of St. John in 1961.
The church of EMMANUEL, Forest Gate, Romford Road, was opened in 1852, and in the same year a separate parish was formed from parts of West Ham (All Saints) and East Ham, the advowson being vested alternately in the vicars of those two parishes. (fn. 139) The building, erected at the expense of the Revd. T. Cornthwaite, was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott in the Decorated style, using Kentish ragstone. By 1889 it had been slightly enlarged and in 1890 the north aisle was rebuilt on a larger scale in the Perpendicular style, forming a second nave with a new porch and choir vestry. The church suffered bomb damage during the Second World War, but was repaired. Parts of the parish were transferred to those of St. James (1881), St. Saviour (1884), All Saints, Forest Gate (in East Ham) (1886), and St. Mark (1894). About 1893 ritualism at Emmanuel caused some of its members, led by a churchwarden, to secede and form a Free Church of England in Earlham Grove. (fn. 140) In 1962 the parish of St. Peter was united with that of Emmanuel, the advowson being vested in the bishop.
The church of ST. MARK, Victoria Docks, North Woolwich Road, originated in 1857, when an iron building, also used as a school, was erected. (fn. 141) A permanent brick church was built in 1862, designed in an unorthodox Victorian Gothic style by S. S. Teulon. A separate parish was formed in 1864 from parts of St. Mary, Woolwich (Kent) and East Ham. It was provided that the first presentation to the vicarage was to be by Charles Capper, manager of the docks, (fn. 142) after which the bishop of London was to be the patron. In 1884 the advowson was transferred to the corporation of the City of London. (fn. 143) Henry Boyd, vicar 1862–75, built the church of St. John, North Woolwich (in Woolwich) (1872), to which a parish was assigned in 1877, and planned that of St. Luke, Victoria Docks (1875). He was a pioneer of sanitary reform in the area. (fn. 144) The church of St. Matthew, Custom House, built in 1860, became a mission of St. Luke's. The church of St. Barnabas, opened in 1882, remained a mission of St. Mark's until 1926. St. Mark's survived the Second World War and now (1966) stands isolated amid the warehouses, roads, and railways of the reorganized dock area.
The church of ST. PAUL, Stratford, Maryland Road, originated about 1850 when a City Missionary opened a Sunday school at Stratford New Town, for which, in 1853, a building was erected in Queen Street by Samuel Gurney. (fn. 145) Although New Town was in St. John's parish, the vicar of St. John's, William Holloway, was half-hearted in his support of the mission, and in 1856 A. J. Ram, vicar of All Saints and patron of St. John's, obtained a site for a new church. Holloway resented this interference and a quarrel ensued, as the result of which Ram apparently took over the mission. (fn. 146) An iron hall, erected in 1859, was replaced in 1864 by the permanent church of St. Paul on the present site, built with help from Thomas Fowell Buxton and Raymond Pelly. A separate parish, taken out of St. John's, was assigned in 1865. The advowson of the vicarage was at first vested in trustees, including Buxton and Pelly, but by 1949 had been acquired by the Church Patronage Society. (fn. 147) The mission church of ST. MARK, Windmill Lane, originated in 1877, with services for factory girls held in a shop in Leytonstone Road. An iron hall was later erected, being replaced in 1891 by a permanent building. (fn. 148) St. Mark's was damaged by bombing during the Second World War, and after the war was sold to the Methodists. (fn. 149) Between 1891 and 1894 missions were also opened in the west of the parish, in Chandos Road and Leyton Road. (fn. 150) In 1945 St. Paul's was destroyed by a German rocket. A new church was consecrated in 1953. (fn. 151) In 1954 a bell of 1642 by Miles Graye, previously in the church of St. Giles, Colchester, was placed in the tower of St. Paul's, but it was found to be cracked and was subsequently removed. (fn. 152)
The church of THE HOLY TRINITY, Canning Town, Barking Road, originated in 1857 when the vicar of St. Mary's, Plaistow, and (Sir) Antonio Brady formed the Plaistow and Victoria Docks mission, to serve the rapidly-growing area previously called Hallsville. (fn. 153) In 1861 Brady built a new National school in Barking Road, which was used also for worship until 1867, when the church was opened opposite on the Hermit Road corner. (fn. 154) A new parish, taken from those of St. Mary and All Saints, was formed in 1868. The advowson, originally vested in the bishop, was in 1886 transferred to the Lord Chancellor, so that the benefice could be augmented from the revenues of All Hallows, London Wall. (fn. 155) In 1894 the mission of ST. ALBAN AND THE ENGLISH MARTYRS, Cooper Street, was opened under the sponsorship of Malvern College. This grew into the dockland settlement, now the Mayflower family centre. (fn. 156) Its church was rebuilt in 1930 as that of ST. GEORGE AND ST. HELENA. (fn. 157) Another mission, opened in Woodstock Street by 1898, survived for some years. (fn. 158) Holy Trinity was badly damaged by bombing in 1941, re-opened in 1942 but finally closed in 1948. It was later sold to the borough council, which demolished it and built flats on the site. The parish was administered by the vicar of St. Matthias until 1961, when most of it was merged in his parish, smaller parts being transferred to those of St. Luke and St. Cedd.
The church of ST. ANDREW, Plaistow, Barking Road, originated in 1860, when a small mission (later that of St. Philip) was built in Whitwell Road in connexion with St. Mary's. (fn. 159) St. Andrew's itself was opened in 1870 on a site, given by the Revd. A. Kent, a few yards south of the northern outfall sewer embankment. The large stone building, designed by James Brooks, is in an Early English style with an apsidal chancel and large but uncompleted crossing tower; a spire, of which the fontcover may be a model, was part of the original plan. A separate parish was formed in 1871, the advowson of the vicarage being vested in the bishop. (fn. 160) Schools were added in 1873 and a parish hall in 1883. Under its first vicar George Godsell (retired 1898) St. Andrew's established a distinctive ceremonial tradition in the face of strong opposition from Bishop Claughton. During the Second World War St. Andrew's suffered heavy bomb damage. Extensive repairs were carried out after the war, and in 1957 the old school was rebuilt as a family centre. (fn. 161) The church of ST. PHILIP, Whitwell Road, remained in use as a mission after the building of St. Andrew's. In 1894 it was taken over by the Society of the Divine Compassion and became the centre of their settlement at Plaistow. (fn. 162) It was destroyed by bombing in 1941, but services continued in borrowed premises. In 1953 the S.D.C. was taken over by Anglican Franciscans, and in 1955 a new church of yellow brick with an Italian-style tower, dedicated to ST. PHILIP AND ST. JAMES, was opened. (fn. 163) The mission church of ST. MARTIN, Boundary Road, was built in 1894. For a period between the two world wars it served a conventional district, (fn. 164) but it has since reverted to its original status.
The church of ST. LUKE, Victoria Docks, Boyd Road, planned by Henry Boyd, Vicar of St. Mark's, was consecrated in 1875, and in the same year a separate parish was formed from part of St. Mark's. (fn. 165) The The advowson of the vicarage, originally vested in the bishop, was in 1886 transferred to the Lord Chancellor, so that the benefice might be augmented out of the revenues of All Hallows, London Wall. (fn. 166) The church is a lofty building in the Early English style, with an apsidal chancel and a flèche instead of a tower. The Boyd workmen's institute was built at the same time. (fn. 167) The church of St. Matthew, Custom House, previously a mission of St. Mark's, passed to St. Luke's, and remained in that parish until it became separate in 1920. The church of The Ascension (1887) remained a mission of St. Luke's until 1905. A Lascar mission, under an Indian curate, was opened in 1887; in 1898 this was one of three centres serving the docks. By 1890 there was also a mission in Ford Park Road, (fn. 168) probably the predecessor of the present (1966) St. Alban's mission, Butchers Road. St. Luke's was badly damaged by bombing in 1940. Services continued in a garage until the church hall was repaired. (fn. 169) Temporary repairs to the church were carried out in 1949, and permanent reconstruction was completed by 1960. Since the Second World War this part of West Ham has been redeveloped as the Keir Hardie estate, and in 1961 the parish was also augmented by parts of the parishes of The Holy Trinity, St. Gabriel, and St. Matthew, Custom House. In 1965 the Boyd institute was rebuilt as a youth centre.
The church of ST. GABRIEL, Canning Town, Wellington Street, originated about 1868. A map of that year shows an unnamed iron church between the river Lea and the railway, just north of Barking Road, in the position later occupied by St. Gabriel's. (fn. 170) A brick building was consecrated in 1876. (fn. 171) St. Gabriel's was at first a mission of West Ham, but in 1879 a separate parish was formed from parts of West Ham, St. Mary's, and St. Andrew's. The advowson of the vicarage, originally vested in the bishop, was in 1886 transferred to the Lord Chancellor, so that the benefice could be augmented from the revenues of All Hallows, London Wall. (fn. 172) In 1884 services were started in Hermit Road, where an iron church was erected in 1896. Another mission was started in Clifton Road, where the church of ST. FAITH was built in 1891–2. A third mission, in Grange Road, was opened in 1891. Of these only St. Faith's appears to have remained in use by the 1920s. (fn. 173) St. Gabriel's itself was damaged during the Second World War, and was demolished about 1955. In 1961 part of the parish was merged in that of St. Matthias, the remainder going to St. Luke.
The church of ST. JAMES, Forest Gate, Forest Lane, originated about 1870, when an iron building was serving a conventional district. (fn. 174) A separate parish, taken from those of Emmanuel, St. John's, and All Saints, West Ham, was formed in 1881, the advowson of the vicarage being vested in the bishop. A permanent church was completed in 1882. The organ came from the church of St. Matthew, Friday Street (Lond.), and is said to have been built in the 18th century by George England. During the incumbency of G. W. Hanford (1895–1925) the church and schools were enlarged and parish halls were built. The church was demolished in 1964, after which its congregation met in the chapel of the Durning Hall community centre. (fn. 175) In 1966 the parish of St. James was united with that of St. John.
The church of ST. SAVIOUR, Forest Gate, Macdonald Road, originated in 1880, when an iron mission hall was opened in connexion with Emmanuel. (fn. 176) A large permanent church was opened in 1884, and a separate parish, taken from Emmanuel, was formed in the same year. The advowson, at first vested in trustees, (fn. 177) was conveyed in 1933 to the Church Pastoral Aid Society. The first vicar, Henderson Burnside, had been one of the first Anglican missionaries in Japan, and he worked vigorously at St. Saviour's in support of foreign missions. In 1903 St. Saviour's had a mission at '365, Railway Arches'. (fn. 178)
The church of ST. THOMAS, West Ham, Rokeby Street, was opened about 1878 as a mission of All Saints. (fn. 179) In 1889 the original iron building was replaced by one of brick, and in 1891 a new parish was formed from part of All Saints, the advowson of the vicarage being vested in the bishop. During the Second World War St. Thomas's was damaged by bombing and was closed. It was demolished in 1957 and in 1961 the parish ceased to exist, most of it being merged again with All Saints and a smaller part with St. John.
The church of ST. MARK, Forest Gate, Tylney Road, originated in 1886 as a mission of Emmanuel, to serve the area between Romford Road and Wanstead Flats. (fn. 180) Services were first held in a rented cow shed on the site of nos. 65–7 Tylney Road, and in 1888 an adjacent site was bought in Tylney and Lorne Roads. To avoid debt the church was built in three stages. Half the nave was consecrated in 1893, the other half, with the aisles, porch, and temporary chancel, in 1896. A permanent chancel was completed in 1898. The building is in the Early English style, of red and yellow brick with stone facings; there is an eastern belfry. New vestries and a baptistery were added in 1925. A separate parish was formed in 1894 from parts of Emmanuel and All Saints, Forest Gate (in East Ham), the advowson of the vicarage being vested in the Church Patronage Society. (fn. 181)
The church of ST. PETER, Upton Cross, Upton Lane, originated as a mission in Pelly Road, in connexion with St. Mary, Plaistow. Services were held first in a barn, then in an iron church, licensed in 1877. (fn. 182) In 1885 the bishop of St. Albans' fund bought Upton House, Upton Lane, once the home of Lord Lister. The first part of St. Peter's church was built in the garden in 1893, Upton House itself becoming the vicarage and parish rooms. The church is a tall building of red and yellow brick in the Early English style with a chancel screen of open brick arches on black marble columns. A separate parish was formed in 1894, taken from All Saints (West Ham), St. Mary, Emmanuel, and St. Stephen, Upton Park (in East Ham). The advowson was vested in the bishop. (fn. 183) By 1906 there was a mission church in Gwendoline Avenue. (fn. 184) This was bombed during the Second World War and was not rebuilt. (fn. 185) In 1962 St. Peter's parish was united with Emmanuel. (fn. 186) The former vicarage was demolished in 1968. (fn. 187)
The church of ST. MATTHEW, West Ham, Vaughan Road, originated about 1891, when R. A. Pelly, vicar of All Saints, opened a mission to serve the area between Romford Road and West Ham Park. (fn. 188) A permanent building of flint and brick was completed in 1896, and a separate parish was formed in 1897. The first vicar, A. Armitage, provided an endowment of £140, a vicarage house, and an organ. The advowson was at first vested in trustees, but in 1933 was conveyed to the Church Pastoral Aid Society. (fn. 189) About 1900 St. Matthew's opened a mission in Vicarage Lane. (fn. 190) This was destroyed by bombing in the Second World War and the sale of the site was authorized in 1951. (fn. 191) St. Matthew's was included in the scheme for the West Ham Evangelical Trust, formed by Canon Pelly in 1912. (fn. 192)
The church of THE ASCENSION, Victoria Docks, Baxter Road, originated in 1887, when a mission hall was built by the vicar of St. Luke's. (fn. 193) This became the special charge of the Felsted School mission, which had previously been working at Bromley (Mdx.). Felsted provided a club room in 1892. A new church was built in 1903–7, to which a separate parish, taken from St. Luke's, was assigned in 1905; the advowson of the vicarage was vested in the bishop. A mission house for women workers was opened in 1909 and still existed in 1966. During the Second World War, when the parish was depopulated by bombing, the clergy of The Ascension also had charge of the parish of Sandon, near Chelmsford, the vicar of which was then a prisoner of war in Japan. Felsted continues to give financial support. In 1961 most of the former parish of St. Matthew, Custom House, was merged with The Ascension.
The church of ST. MATTHIAS, Canning Town, Hermit Road, originated in 1887, when the vicar of St. Mary's, Plaistow, opened a mission in Garfield Road, with help from St. Matthias's church, Torquay (Devon). (fn. 194) This mission was merged in 1906 with that of ST. CYPRIAN, Beaconsfield Road, for which an iron church had been built in 1896. (fn. 195) In 1907 the church was built in Hermit Road, and a separate parish was formed from parts of St. Mary, St. Andrew, and St. Gabriel, the advowson of the vicarage being vested in the bishop. (fn. 196) In 1961 parts of the parishes of St. Gabriel and The Holy Trinity were merged with that of St. Matthias.
The church of ST. MATTHEW, Custom House, Victoria Docks, Ethel Road, was a small building erected in 1860 at the expense of the chairman of the Dock company, Charles Morrison. (fn. 197) It was a mission of St. Mark's and later of St. Luke's until 1920, when a separate parish was formed, the advowson of the vicarage being vested in the bishop. After the Second World War St. Matthew's was administered by the clergy of The Ascension. The church was closed in 1960, and in 1961 the parish was divided between those of The Ascension (which took most of it) and St. Luke. By 1966 St. Matthew's had been demolished in the course of redevelopment.
The church of ST. BARNABAS, West Silvertown, Eastwood Road, was built in 1882 as a mission of St. Mark's. (fn. 198) In the Silvertown explosion of 1917 the chancel was blown away and an iron hall destroyed. (fn. 199) Temporary buildings were used until 1926, when a new church was completed and a separate parish was formed, mainly from St. Mark's, with a small part from St. Luke's. The advowson of the vicarage was vested in the bishop. (fn. 200) In 1934 a 16th-century bell from the demolished church of Markshall was given to St. Barnabas. (fn. 201) After the Second World War the parish was administered by the vicar of St. John's, North Woolwich. (fn. 202)
The church of ST. CEDD, Canning Town, Beckton Road, was originally a mission of St. Andrew's. (fn. 203) A brick hall was built in 1903–4 on a site given by R. Foster. In 1905 a mission district was formed from parts of St. Andrew's and St. Luke's. (fn. 204) This became a separate parish in 1936, the advowson of the vicarage being vested in the bishop in 1938. (fn. 205) A new red-brick church, in Romanesque style, was opened in 1939 as a memorial to 'Tom' Varney, the first mission curate, whose nephew, John Varney, the became the first vicar. (fn. 206) In 1961 part of the parish of Holy Trinity was included in that of St. Cedd.
Voluntary settlements and community centres, most of which have had religious affiliation, are treated elsewhere. (fn. 207)