A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1973.
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At a date between 1103 and 1130 a member of the Tony family gave Walthamstow church with all its tithe to St. Peter of Châtillon by Conches (Eure, France). (fn. 1) This gift in its full form was not in fact perpetual for after the death of Ralph de Tony c. 1126, but probably not before 1141, his widow Alice gave the church with its tithes and a little land to Holy Trinity priory, Aldgate. This was done at the request of 'Orderic the priest', apparently the rector, who had become a monk of Holy Trinity. (fn. 2) When Alice's son Roger confirmed the gift c. 1147 he reserved 2/3 of the tithes from the manorial demesne, to which Châtillon was still entitled. (fn. 3) Châtillon leased its share of the tithes to Holy Trinity in 1174 for a rent of 25s. (fn. 4) and sold that share outright in 1243. (fn. 5) In 1206 Roger de Tony still held the tithes of certain ancient meadows and mills, of which the prior of Holy Trinity 'claimed nothing as yet', (fn. 6) but when a vicarage was ordained about 1219 and a vicar instituted on the presentation of Holy Trinity the great tithes were confirmed to the priory. (fn. 7) The right to the advowson was disputed later in the 13th century. In 1254 the patron was said to be the heir of Ralph de Tony (d. 1239) (fn. 8) but in 1264 the priory. (fn. 9) In 1285 the priory purchased the Tony claim for 7 marks. (fn. 10) It retained both rectory and advowson until its dissolution in 1532. (fn. 11) In 1544 the Crown granted both to Paul Withypoll (d. 1547) and his son Edmund (d. 1582) (fn. 12) and they descended in that family until 1600 when Sir Edmund Withypoll (d. 1619), Paul's great-grandson, sold them to (Sir) Reginald Argall (d. 1611). (fn. 13) After Reginald's death his widow held them in dower (fn. 14) until her own death in 1638, when the impropriate estate was dismembered. (fn. 15)
Sir Reginald Argall's heir was his brother John of Great Baddow. (fn. 16) In 1617 John (d. 1643) sold the reversion expectant of the advowson to Dr. Henry King, archdeacon of Colchester, later bishop of Chichester. (fn. 17) King's right to the patronage was challenged after Lady Argall's death by her son by a former marriage, William Rowe. (fn. 18) It was still in dispute in 1650 (fn. 19) and the Argall family appear to have contested it in the late 1650s. (fn. 20) John Millington presented in 1657, by what right is not known, (fn. 21) but King had won his case by 1660, when he presented. (fn. 22)
Elizabeth and Mary, daughters and coheirs of King's son Henry, married Isaac Houblon and Edmund Wyndham respectively; in 1689 the Houblons and Mary Wyndham, widow, presented, (fn. 23) then sold the advowson in the same year to John Conyers (d. 1724). (fn. 24) It remained in the Conyers family (fn. 25) until 1821 when it was sold to William Wilson (vicar 1822–48), (fn. 26) passing to his second son, Alfred W. Wilson (vicar 1848–50) about 1850, when he presented Thomas Parry (1850–92). (fn. 27) By 1856 it was in the hands of Edward Warner (fn. 28) who held it until 1878 when it was transferred to the Simeon Trustees, who still hold it. (fn. 29)
The church land and great tithes of Walthamstow formed the rectory manor, the descent of which is treated elsewhere. (fn. 30) The tithes of Higham also belonged from 1147 to Holy Trinity, (fn. 31) and were probably those given to Walthamstow church at its consecration by Ralph Round (fl. 1130). (fn. 32) The value of the rectory during the Middle Ages was said to be 40s. in 1254, (fn. 33) a figure which seems improbably low. It was £16 13s. 4d. in 1291, (fn. 34) and £10 in 1515. (fn. 35)
At its ordination the vicarage was endowed with the small tithes and the altar dues, subject to a quit-rent to Holy Trinity. (fn. 36) In 1254 it was valued at 100s. (fn. 37) and in 1535 at £13 6s. 8d. (fn. 38) By 1526 the vicars held as glebe, copyhold of the rectory manor, an acre of meadow in Out mead, called Longgrass acre, and two crofts (5 a.), one called Wastells, near the vicarage. Gabriel Grant (vicar 1612–38), who resented the impropriation, described them in 1615 as a 'poor handful of fields' and tried unsuccessfully to establish that they were freehold. (fn. 39) From about 1626 Lady Argall was paying him an allowance of £20 a year. (fn. 40) In 1649 an augmentation of £40 a year was ordered from the tithes sequestered from Thomas Argall, but there is no evidence that it ever was paid. (fn. 41) In 1650 the vicarage was worth £40, comprising small tithes (£32) and 5 a. of glebe (£8). (fn. 42) The vicar's income was increased in the 18th century by bequests under the wills of Henry Maynard (d. 1686) and Elizabeth Cooper (d. 1708). (fn. 43) In 1796 they produced £34 8s. 10d. and £6 6s. respectively. (fn. 44) Four more acres of glebe, called Wildgods, had been bought with the Cooper bequest. (fn. 45) In the mid 18th century the vicarage was assessed at £150. (fn. 46) Its gross annual income in 1831 was £811. (fn. 47) The small tithes were commuted in 1843 for £601 and the vicar had in addition 11½ a. of glebe. (fn. 48) The glebe was enfranchised in 1912 and the greater part of the two crofts near the vicarage sold to Essex county council, which built the girls high school there. Wildgods was sold about the same time, and by 1928 the Longgrass acre also. (fn. 49)
The chancel belonged to the rector in the Middle Ages, (fn. 50) but from the early 17th century it was apparently claimed by the vicars. In 1615 Grant insisted that Lady Argall's pew in 'my chancel', built in 1611 with his predecessor's approval, was occupied by favour of the vicar and not of right, and that his consent was required before her son, William Rowe, could build another. In 1628 Grant signed a letter authorizing Rowe's pew, and the letter was endorsed by four of Grant's successors. (fn. 51) The rector's rights were reasserted in 1669, when the Coopers began to lease pews in the chancel and charge for burial in it. (fn. 52) Edmund Chishull (vicar 1708–33) revived the vicar's claim, perhaps as a source of additional income, and apparently won its recognition in 1724. In 1730, however, the new rector reasserted his rights and was finally confirmed in them by decision of the diocesan chancellor in 1734. (fn. 53) The parish had not acquired the chancel by 1818 but had done so by 1917. (fn. 54)
A vicarage house existed in 1487. (fn. 55) It was in poor condition in 1565. (fn. 56) About 1620 it was described, perhaps on information supplied by the aggrieved Gabriel Grant, as 'an old, rotten house … in times past an alehouse', with 5 or 6 chambers, kitchen, milkhouse, and buttery, and 6 a. of barren ground adjoining; the vicar himself had built a cowhouse, stable, and hayhouse at his own cost, worth more than all the rest. (fn. 57) Although orders were given by the sequestrators in 1643 for the house to be repaired, in 1650 it was reported partly pulled down and unfit for habitation. (fn. 58) In 1683, however, it was in good repair, (fn. 59) and was said in 1690 to have been pulled down and rebuilt by public subscription several times in the last 60 years. (fn. 60) It was blown down in the great storm of 1703, half rebuilt in 1704 as a house of '4 small rooms on a floor', and later completed. (fn. 61) A drawing dated 1790 shows a substantial house, the centre block having 2 storeys of 5 bays, with a porch, 3 dormer-windows in the roof, and small wings on either side. (fn. 62) The vicarage was very much out of repair by 1803, but was rebuilt by 1810. (fn. 63) A new one was built in 1903 on the same site, north-west of the church. (fn. 64)
George Monoux (d. 1544) endowed a chantry in Walthamstow church by his will dated 1541. The alms-priest, in addition to his prayers, was to sing in the choir and to teach. At its suppression in 1548 the chantry was valued at £6 13s. 4d. (fn. 65) Seven lights were maintained in the church before the Reformation; between 1426 and 1537 some 140 bequests were made for their upkeep by 52 testators, the most popular being Our Lady light. The others were the Rood or Holy Cross light, and the Trinity, St. Katherine, Hocking, Sepulchre, and Plough lights. (fn. 66)
From the late 16th to the early 18th centuries parish life suffered as a result of a succession of disputes and unsatisfactory appointments to the living. Henry Siddall (1557–63), previously deprived of Woodford for marriage, (fn. 67) was collated to Walthamstow by the bishop by lapse. He complained that he could not serve the cure properly because he had been forcibly evicted from the vicarage house and glebe lands by the patron who did not recognize him as vicar. (fn. 68) Siddall's successor, Richard Pattenson (1563–5), prosecuted several of his parishioners in 1563 for withholding tithes (fn. 69) and appears later to have abandoned the living. (fn. 70) John Reynolds (1583–1611) was listed in 1604 among insufficient or negligent ministers. (fn. 71) After his death the contentious Gabriel Grant was at odds with his patron, as described above, and in 1635 was charged with adultery. (fn. 72) As a result of the dispute over the advowson after Grant's death in 1638, the living was for many years void and supplied by curates. (fn. 73) The income of the vicarage was sequestrated by the bishop until 1644, when the House of Commons, on the petition of the inhabitants, ordered that it be paid to Richard Lee, an active covenanter who had been officiating since 1643. (fn. 74) About 1649 the Committee for Plundered Ministers appointed John Wood to supply the cure. (fn. 75) His unpopularity provoked a riotous demonstration in the church and most of the inhabitants refused to attend his services. In 1650 the parish was in 'great distraction' and Wood's ability in question. (fn. 76) By 1651 he had been replaced by John Pigot. (fn. 77) The admission to the vicarage in 1658 of Thomas Cartwright, later bishop of Chester, was apparently the first normal appointment of a vicar for twenty years. (fn. 78) But parish life was again disrupted in 1669 when Andrew Casse (1666–79), 'an unhappy and obnoxious person', suddenly abandoned the parish one Sunday morning and never returned. For ten years the cure was sequestrated, until eventually Casse resigned and the bishop collated Isaac Wright (1679–89) by lapse. (fn. 79) The chancel dispute, renewed during the incumbency of Edmund Chishull, the antiquary, brought fresh discord to the parish, culminating in a brawl in 1730 when the rector with his servants tried forcibly to occupy the patron's pew in the chancel. (fn. 80)
In 1733 two services were being held on Sundays and by the late 18th century three, with two sermons, and mid-week services as well. (fn. 81) Edmund Chishull employed a curate, (fn. 82) as did Thomas Wetenhall (1759–76). (fn. 83) During the incumbency of Edward Conyers (1779–1822), who was also vicar of Epping and lived there, William Sparrow served as curate for 39 years. (fn. 84) William Wilson (1822–48), who established three chapels of ease between 1829 and 1842, was employing two curates in 1831 and four by 1837. (fn. 85)
The church of ST. MARY, which bore that dedication by c. 1147, (fn. 86) stands at the top of Church Hill, between Church Hill Road and Church Lane, at the heart of Church End or 'the village'. It comprises a nave of five bays, small chancel with low vestries on each side, embattled west tower, north and south aisles with chapels, and north and south porches. The walls are partly of flint and stone and partly of brick. The whole building is rendered in mustard-coloured cement. The church was partly rebuilt in the 16th century and extensively altered, restored, and enlarged from the 18th century onwards. (fn. 87) When the external rendering was renewed after the Second World War important details of the earlier structure were exposed and recorded. (fn. 88) The church has a fine group of monuments.
Although a church was in existence early in the 12th century, the oldest surviving work in the present building appears to date from the 13th century. (fn. 89) It consists of the remains of circular piers and responds at the base of the three western-most bays of the nave arcades and suggests that the Norman church was then either rebuilt or enlarged by the addition of aisles. (fn. 90) The walls of the north aisle were originally of squared stone blocks and faced flints. A tower built of Kentish ragstone existed by 1431. (fn. 91) A round stone panel on the north-west buttress of the tower with a carved Agnus Dei is probably of the 15th century. (fn. 92)
About 1535 the church was extensively restored and altered, partly at the expense of George Monoux (d. 1544) of Moons, and partly from a legacy from Robert Thorne (d. 1532). Thorne, like Monoux, was a London merchant who came originally from Bristol. He had no known connexion with Walthamstow except family and business relationships with the Withypoll family. By his will he left £1,000 to be spent at the discretion of his executors for the good of his soul. The executors were Paul Withypoll, whose brother Richard became vicar of Walthamstow in 1534, and Emanuel Lucar, Paul's son-in-law. The money, a huge sum in the 16th century, was spent on rebuilding the south aisle and porch of Walthamstow church, and an inscription recording the fact, dated 1535, was placed in the east window of the aisle. (fn. 93) The new aisle extended the length of the nave and chancel, forming the Thorne chapel at the east end. Both aisle and porch were built of brick, on stone and flint foundations which may have been partly those of the original structure. (fn. 94) The aisle was flat-roofed, and the clerestory windows above it which are shown in later pictures were probably inserted at this time. Above the Thorne inscription in the east window were depicted the Four Evangelists, and in the other windows of the aisle the arms of the Merchant Taylors' company, of which Thorne was a member, and of the City of London, of which he was lord mayor. (fn. 95) The extension of the south aisle eastwards of the chancel arch did away with the original south door to the chancel. It was replaced by a small stone doorway in the south wall of the Thorne chapel, which was bricked up in 1720, (fn. 96) and revealed when the external rendering was renewed in 1960.
The upper parts of the north aisle and tower were rebuilt in red brick about the same time as the south aisle was reconstructed, the medieval masonry being retained to about 14 feet above ground level in the north aisle, and about 20 feet in the outer walls of the tower. The tower arch was almost entirely rebuilt in brick, but the stone bases of its jambs, apparently dating from the 15th century, survive. (fn. 97) An inscription recorded that George Monoux paid for the aisle and his arms were depicted in the windows. (fn. 98) At the same time he built a chapel at the east end of the north aisle, divided from the chancel by an arch. The roof of the chapel, in which there was a loft, (fn. 99) was higher than that of the aisle, and gabled. No evidence was found in the 1960s of any earlier building on the chapel site. The ownership of the seats in the restored north aisle was apparently granted by the parish to Monoux and his heirs. By 1635 the repair of the north aisle and chapel was regarded as the responsibility of the Monoux trustees, although the right to the pews had in fact been several times conveyed as appurtenant to the property of Moons. (fn. 100)
The restoration of the tower is also usually attributed to Monoux. (fn. 101) Since bequests for rebuilding were made in 1517–19, (fn. 102) it is possible that its rebuilding was begun before that of the north aisle, with Monoux perhaps contributing most towards completion of the work.
In the 17th century, through the negligence of the Monoux trustees, the Monoux chapel and north aisle were often in disrepair. (fn. 103) A great deal of restoration was carried out in the 18th century. In 1748 the vestry decided to repair the battlements, walls, and gutter, of the south side of the church, if necessary from one end of it to the other. The battlements of the whole church were repaired in 1752, and in 1764 the church was closed while the roof, gutters, and parapet were repaired. (fn. 104) In 1768 the nave and north and south aisles had leaded roofs, while the chancel and Monoux chapel roofs were tiled. (fn. 105) Alterations in the 18th century included the erection of a cupola on the tower about 1715, by the bequest of Susan Samms, (fn. 106) and the blocking up, probably before 1719, of the east window of the Thorne chapel. (fn. 107) In 1784 unspecified work costing £1,250 was carried out at the church by (Sir) John Soane. (fn. 108) It was probably in the chancel, as Soane was already employed by the rector, William Cooke, on the alterations to the rectory house already described.
Throughout the 18th century the need grew for more seating in the church. In 1710–11 a west gallery was built, (fn. 109) and in 1774 a gallery over the south aisle, designed by Joel Johnson (fn. 110) and lit by skylights in the flat roof. (fn. 111) The part of the Monoux estate charged with the repair of the north aisle and chapel had been in the ownership of the Marshall family since before 1710, (fn. 112) and in 1782, by agreement with the Revd. Edmund Marshall and Joshua Marshall, the parish assumed responsibility for the north aisle and chapel as well as the Monoux school and alms-houses. (fn. 113) A gallery over the north aisle was built in 1806–7 and the south gallery altered to correspond with it. The clerestory windows were removed, the aisles were heightened, and three small windows were inserted below their new embattled parapets to light the galleries. (fn. 114) The work was carried out by William Pocock. (fn. 115) By 1813 the exterior of the south aisle was rendered. (fn. 116)
In 1817–18 the church was restored and enlarged to the design of Charles Bacon (d. 1818). (fn. 117) The alterations were structurally of yellow brick. The chancel, already occupied since the 17th century by a number of pews, was heightened to unite its 2 bays with the 3 bays of the nave, leaving only a small sanctuary, in which the previous large pointed east window of five lights with tracery was replaced by a wheel window. The pulpit was moved into the centre of the chancel. The Monoux and Thorne chapels were raised higher than the aisles, and the north and south galleries continued to the east end of the church. Two tall lancet windows on each side replaced the original north and south chapel windows, and the present trefoil windows were inserted in their east walls. As Bacon mentions 'rough cast Derby lime' he probably continued the process of rendering the exterior to give it a uniform appearance.
In 1830 a small vestry was built on at the east end. (fn. 118) The cupola was taken down in 1836. (fn. 119) A north porch existed by 1843, (fn. 120) built some time after 1799. (fn. 121) In 1843 the three original bays of the nave arcades were raised with the aisles to the same height as the two chapel bays. Two of the medieval circular piers supporting the arcades were heightened in an octagonal form, while two others were apparently rebuilt. The earlier aisle windows were replaced by uniform lancet windows. (fn. 122) In 1876 the interior of the church was made more open; the box-pews were removed, and the gallery fronts were set back. At the same time the low plaster ceiling was replaced by a high wooden one. A few years later stone mullions and new glass were inserted in the lancet windows. (fn. 123)
A chancel extension was built in 1938, flanked by 2 vestries; a five-light lancet window replaced the wheel window in the east wall. (fn. 124) The north side of the tower parapet and the south aisle were damaged by bombing in 1940 and during restoration in 1942 the south gallery was removed. The church was extensively restored between 1949 and 1968. (fn. 125)
The church had at least one bell in 1431. Richard Blakgrave in 1525 left a share of his goods to buy a bell. (fn. 126) In 1552 there were 5 bells, and a hand bell which was sold. (fn. 127) The largest bell was recast in 1727 by John Waylett. (fn. 128) There were 6 bells in 1768, which were replaced in 1778 by a complete new peal of eight bells cast by Thomas Pack and William Chapman. (fn. 129) In 1852 the tenor bell was replaced by one cast by C. & G. Mears. (fn. 130) The old bell-frame was replaced in 1896, the eight bells were rehung, no. 3 being recast, and two treble bells were added, all by John Warner and Sons. (fn. 131) There were 10 bells in 1969. (fn. 132)
The church had one silver-gilt communion cup in 1552. (fn. 133) In 1674 all the silver plate, comprising 2 flagons, 2 cups with covers, and a basin, was stolen and apparently never recovered. (fn. 134) This incident probably gave rise to the later tradition that Dick Turpin took the Walthamstow church plate and held it to ransom. (fn. 135) The lost plate was replaced by a cup and paten of 1680, (fn. 136) a cup and paten of 1685–6, and two flagons and two alms-dishes of 1685. (fn. 137) The church also has alms-dishes dated 1843 and 1906, a cup of 1904, and a paten of 1901. (fn. 138)
There is a stoup on the north wall of the south porch. (fn. 139) The white veined marble font, a fluted bowl on a baluster stem, was given in 1714. (fn. 140) The Royal Arms, of carved and painted wood, dates from 1742. The beadle's staff is dated 1779 (fn. 141) and the clock 1807. (fn. 142)
The inscriptions on 100 memorials in the church were recorded in 1910. (fn. 143) Other memorials, no longer extant, were recorded by Strype in 1720, and Daniel Lysons in 1796, including a brass to William Hyll (1487), vicar, (fn. 144) which had gone by 1756. In the north aisle is a marble monument to Lady Lucy Stanley (d. 1601), (fn. 145) whose effigy kneels under an arch before a prayer desk with four smaller kneeling figures representing her daughters. On the floor is a mutilated brass of Thomas Hale and his wife (1588), both figures being palimpsest, with parts of figures, c. 1450, on the reverse. Among a number of memorials to members of the Bonnell family, including Sarah (d. 1766), founder of the charity school at West Ham, (fn. 146) is the monument at the east end of the Monoux chapel to the family of Captain John Bonnell (d. 1703). It comprises a stone sarcophagus and a large inscribed banner and achievement which once surmounted it but is now displayed apart. Also in the Monoux chapel are brass inscriptions to the vicar Henry Crane (1436) and William Rowe (1596), and on the north arcade are inlaid the kneeling brass figures of George Monoux (d. 1544) and his wife Anne, all that remains of the tomb originally built under the arch dividing the Monoux chapel from the chancel. (fn. 147) On the north wall of the chancel is a fine monument designed by Nicholas Stone and erected by Sir Thomas Merry of Winns (later Water House) to his wife Mary (d. 1632), with demi-figures of them both in oval niches and busts of their four children in relief below. On the south wall of the chancel is the monument to Henry Maynard (1686), one of Walthamstow's greatest benefactors, (fn. 148) whose family owned the manor of Walthamstow Tony. It is an inscribed marble tablet surmounted by urns and attended by cherubs. At the west end of the south aisle is the tomb of Sigismund Trafford (d. 1723), who was born in 1643 in Capworth Street in the Walthamstow Slip. (fn. 149) It was erected between 1689 and 1719 (fn. 150) with life-size figures of Trafford and his wife Susannah (d. 1689) in Roman dress with a child between them. A tablet to William Raikes (d. 1824) is by Sir Richard Westmacott and one to Elizabeth Morley (d. 1837) is by W. G. Nicholl.
An early chapel at Higham gave its name to Chapel End. (fn. 151) In 1441–2 Sir William Tyrwhitt founded a chantry of one chaplain in a chapel of St. Edward lately built by him at Higham; he granted to the chaplain the chapel, a house, and 4 a. of land at Higham. (fn. 152) Various sites near Chapel End have been suggested for the chapel. (fn. 153) The most likely may be the holding on the south-west corner of the Chapel End cross-roads, which comprised in 1817 and 1822 a small house and garden, and a 4-acre meadow called Chapel field. (fn. 154) Although the chapel's builder was later, if not at the time, lord of the manor of Salisbury Hall, the chapel was regarded as belonging to the lord of the manor of Higham. (fn. 155) It was described in 1519 as a free chapel. (fn. 156) Nothing more is known of the chantry. The chapel is not mentioned after 1563 until 1648 when the sequestrators granted £50 for the minister of the chapel in the hamlet of Higham, two miles from the parish church. This may have been an attempt to restore it, for in 1650 the chapel was reported in ruin and the Higham court leet vainly suggested that it be rebuilt since the neighbourhood was so far from the parish church. (fn. 157)
The private chapels or oratories of the Rowe family in the manor-house of Higham and of George Monoux in his house, Moons, near Chapel End, are described elsewhere. (fn. 158)
Apart from the early chapel at Higham, St. Mary's parish church was the only Anglican place of worship until 1829. In that year a chapel of ease, St. John's, was built at Chapel End on the initiative of the vicar, William Wilson, who later established two more chapels of ease, St. Peter's-in-the-Forest (1840), and St. James's (1842) at the lower end of Marsh Street. In 1844 parishes were formed for all three chapels of ease. After 1870 more churches were built to serve the rapidly increasing population, and by 1903 there were 12 churches and 7 missions in Walthamstow. But although in 1903 St. Mary's was the best attended church in Walthamstow of any denomination, the proportion of Anglicans among total church attendances was only some 40 per cent. (fn. 159) One more church and another mission church were founded before the First World War. In the 1930s the numbers of regular church-goers decreased. Two mission churches closed at the outbreak of the Second World War and during the war two churches were destroyed by bombing. In 1970 11 churches and 1 chapel remained.
The following accounts of individual churches and missions are arranged under parishes, listed in order of their formation. Where it is stated that the advowson was vested in the bishop, this means the bishop of the diocese which then or later included Walthamstow. (fn. 160)
St. Mary's conducted several missions which did not become independent churches. In 1894 St. Mary's clergy were holding evening services in the Victoria hall, Hoe Street, which had been registered in the previous year. (fn. 161) CHRIST CHURCH mission, Shrubland Road, probably originated about 1895 as St. Mary's mission on Hoe Street bridge. In 1904 the mission moved to Shrubland Road where an iron building acquired from the Post Office was put up and altered by the addition of a chancel and vestry. (fn. 162) The mission closed about 1939 and was later demolished. In 1910 a mission was opened in the Pioneer café, Hoe Street, with evening services for the residents of High Street. Before 1889 a mission cottage was built in Vestry Road by Alfred Janson as a centre for the social work of his two sisters. (fn. 163)
The church of ST. JOHN, Chingford Road, was built in 1829–30 as a chapel of ease to St. Mary's. A separate parish was formed in 1844, the advowson of the vicarage being vested in the vicar of St. Mary's. In 1923 the original church, which had for some years been structurally weak, was demolished. A new one on the same site, designed in a Gothic style by H. P. Burke Downing and built of brown brick with stone dressings, was consecrated in 1924. Because of lack of funds only three bays of the nave were built at that time. A fourth bay and a permanent west wall were added in 1961. Parts of St. John's parish were transferred to those of St. Luke (1903), St. Andrew (1911), All Saints (1912), and St. Edmund, South Chingford (1922).
The church of ST. PETER, Woodford New Road, commonly called 'St. Peter's-in-the-Forest', was built in 1840 as a chapel of ease to St. Mary's to the design of John Shaw (1803–70). It was a small square building of yellow brick in a Romanesque style with an eastern apse and south-west tower. A separate parish was formed in 1844. The advowson of the vicarage, originally vested in the vicar of St. Mary's, was transferred in 1859 to Edward Warner who had given £1,000 for a vicarage house, and it has continued in the Warner family. (fn. 164) In 1887 the church was extended westwards so that the tower stood at the centre of the south side; the east end was reorganized as a chancel. The interior was renovated in 1936–7 by Martin Travers. In 1945 the church was badly damaged by a rocket bomb. Repairs and alterations completed in 1951 included a further western extension containing vestries and entrance lobby. The sanctuary, chancel, and west windows were altered in 1958. The cemetery, consecrated in 1845, is the only one attached to a modern Anglican church in Walthamstow. Parts of the parish of St. Peter have been transferred to All Saints, Woodford Wells (1875), All Saints, Highams Park (1912), and St. Anne, Chingford Hatch (1956).
The church of ST. JAMES, St. James Street, was built in 1842 on a site given by the vicar of St. Mary's and S. R. Bosanquet. A separate parish was formed in 1844. The advowson of the vicarage was transferred in 1873 by the vicar of St. Mary's to the bishop. In 1875 St. Saviour's became the parish church of St. James's parish with St. James's as its chapel of ease. From 1882 to 1885, while the new church of St. Michael and All Angels was being built, St. James's was the centre of work for a mission district. (fn. 165) The church was demolished and rebuilt in 1902–3. The new building, designed by J. E. K. and J. P. Cutts, contained the altar, east window, and many of the bricks from the old church. It was dedicated to ST. JAMES THE GREATER. The parish of St. James the Greater, formed in 1904, was taken out of the old parish of St. James (alias St. Saviour). In 1941 its vicar became responsible for the parish of St. Oswald after that church had been bombed. Part of St. Oswald's parish was united with St. James the Greater in 1949. In 1957 St. James the Greater was placed temporarily under the vicar of St. Barnabas. It was closed in 1960 and was later demolished. The parish was merged in that of St. Barnabas in 1961. Some furnishings from St. James the Greater went to a mission church at Widford; others, including an altar from the first church of St. James, were used for a chapel of St. James in St. Barnabas' church.
The church of ST. ANDREW, St. Andrew's Road, originated in 1871, when an iron mission church was erected to serve this part of St. John's parish. A brick hall was built in Higham Hill Road in 1890. A conventional district was formed for St. Andrew in 1908, which became a separate parish in 1911 when a permanent church designed by Hoare & Wheeler was built on the site of the old iron one. The advowson of the vicarage was vested in the vicar of St. Mary's. The church, a large aisled building of dark brown brick with simple Gothic windows, was left incomplete at the east end owing to lack of funds. (fn. 166) It was badly damaged by bombs in 1940 and 1944 and was closed in 1969, when a new church was planned. Until completion of the new church, services were transferred to the new church hall in Church Road, (fn. 167) built in 1962, when the original hall was sold to the borough council and demolished to make way for redevelopment.
The church of ST. SAVIOUR, Markhouse Road, which in 1875 became the parish church of St. James's parish, was erected in 1874 from designs by T. F. Dolman. (fn. 168) It is the only church left in Walthamstow which dates from the great days of the Gothic Revival. Built of stone in a correct 13th-century style, it consists of aisled nave, apsidal chancel, and tall north-west tower with broachspire. The church and vicarage house and an endowment of £100 a year were given by Richard Foster and John Knowles. The mission hall of ST. ALBAN, Ashford Road, was built in 1889 as a mission of St. Saviour's. A mission room in Gosport Road listed in 1903–5 may have been connected with it. (fn. 169) St. Alban's closed in 1939. It was later used as a factory until 1966, when it was bought by Walthamstow borough council for demolition. (fn. 170) The 'Navvy Mission', an iron building in Station Road, was in use from 1896 to 1908. In 1945 the church was badly damaged by fire. Repairs were started three years later and the church was rededicated in 1950. Parts of the parish of St. James were transferred to those of St. Barnabas (1901) and St. James the Greater (1904). Since 1963 the name of the parish has been changed to St. Saviour. (fn. 171)
The church of ST. STEPHEN, Grove Road, originated in 1874 when a temporary church was built in Copeland Road on a site given by Alfred Janson and Henry Ford Barclay to serve that part of St. Mary's parish. (fn. 172) A conventional district was assigned to St. Stephen in 1874, which became a separate parish in 1881, formed partly from St. Mary's, Walthamstow and partly from St. Mary's, Leyton. The advowson of the vicarage was vested in the Church Patronage Society. A permanent church, designed by W. G. Habershon and adjoining the temporary one, was consecrated in 1878. About 1891 a mission of St. Stephen's was opened in Western Road in the hall previously occupied by Miss Barclay's school (fn. 173) and the Forest mission. (fn. 174) The hall, which was given to St. Stephen's by the Barclays, was sold after the mission ceased during the First World War. (fn. 175) Another mission in West Street, known as St. Stephen's schools, was opened between 1894 and 1898. (fn. 176) It was demolished in 1961. The church of St. Stephen was demolished in 1969 because it was structurally weak. The church hall, built in Copeland Road in 1880, was altered for use as a church. (fn. 177) In 1969 the parish was placed in the care of the vicar of St. Mary's. (fn. 178)
The church of ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS, Palmerston Road, the largest in Walthamstow, was built in 1885, to the design of J. M. Bignall, to serve the area of St. James's parish north of the Great Eastern railway. The cost was met by public subscription assisted by the bishop of St. Albans' fund. 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. A separate parish was formed in 1887, the advowson being vested in the bishop. The church of ST. PAUL, Courtenay Road, was built in 1900 as a mission church of St. Michael's, on a site given by T. Courtenay Warner. It was closed in 1917, but reopened in 1919 as the centre of a mission district. The church was damaged by bombing during the Second World War and completely restored after the war. From 1954 the vicar of St. Michael's exercised pastoral care. The church of St. Paul was closed in 1964. (fn. 179)
The church of ALL SAINTS, Selwyn Avenue, originated in 1898 when All Saints, Castle Avenue, a red brick structure with stone dressings in the Perpendicular style, was built as a mission of St. Peter's. Elizabeth Ainslie (d. 1901) of Rolls in Chingford contributed to the cost of the building, and by her will gave £1,000, the income from which was to be used towards the stipend of the mission curate until a separate parish of All Saints should be formed, and then to become part of the endowment of the benefice. A conventional district was formed for All Saints in 1907. A new parish, taken from those of St. Peter and St. John, was formed in 1912, the advowson of the vicarage being vested in the bishop. In the same year a new and larger parish church, designed by Hoare & Wheeler, was built in Selwyn Avenue, where there had been an iron mission room, known as St. Matthew's, since 1908. (fn. 180) The building, of brown brick with Decorated windows, is incomplete at the east end. The original church in Castle Avenue, subsequently known as ALL-SAINTS-ON-THE-HILL, became a chapel of ease to the new church. Part of All Saints parish was transferred in 1956 to that of St. Anne, Chingford.
The church of ST. BARNABAS, St. Barnabas Road, originated in 1900 when an iron mission church was erected within the parish of St. Saviour. A separate parish was formed in 1901, the advowson of the vicarage being vested in the bishop. In 1903 a permanent church was built at the expense of Richard Foster, who also gave the sites for the church, church hall, and vicarage house. (fn. 181) The church, of red brick with stone dressings, was designed by W. D. Caröe and has a small spired turret at the north-west angle and late-Gothic windows. In 1961 the parish of St. Barnabas was united with that of St. James the Greater; St. Barnabas became the parish church. After the demolition of St. James the Greater a chapel of St. James was formed in the south aisle of St. Barnabas.
The church of ST. GABRIEL, Havant Road, originated in 1881 as a mission of St. Mary's. Services were held in a shop in Wood Street and in the grounds of a house in Forest Rise. After two years the name of St. Gabriel was adopted. In 1884 a mission room was built on land given by Sir F. W. J. FitzWygram, Bt. A permanent church, planned to adjoin the mission room, was never built for lack of funds. A separate parish of St. Gabriel was formed in 1919, the advowson of the vicarage being vested in the Simeon Trustees. The church of ST. MARK, Shernhall Street, was founded in 1900 as a mission, originally called St. Bride's, in the parish of St. Mary. Services were held in a laundry in Raglan Road until an iron building was erected in 1901. A permanent church was built in 1908 to the design of W.A. Lewis. In 1919 St. Mark was included in the new parish of St. Gabriel. In 1937 a conventional district was formed for St. Mark, but in 1940 this was again merged in St. Gabriel's parish. St. Mark's church was badly damaged by a land mine in 1941 and finally wrecked by a flying bomb in 1944. One of the blocks of council flats built on the site is named St. Mark's House.
The church of ST. LUKE, Greenleaf Road, originated in 1900–1 as a mission of St. Mary's. Services were conducted in Greenleaf Road board school until a church room was built in 1901–2, and later in 1902 a church, both to the design of Bottle and Olley of Yarmouth. A separate parish was formed in 1903, taken from St. Mary's and St. John's parishes, the advowson of the vicarage being vested in the Simeon Trustees. The church is of brown and red brick with wood traceried windows and a small south tower. In 1923 the chancel was widened and new furnishings installed. (fn. 182)
The church of ST. OSWALD, York Road, was originally a mission of St. Michael's. It was built in 1909–10 to the design of Olley and Haward. The site was partly the gift of Richard Foster, who stipulated that the church was to be 'a nursery of advanced catholic teaching'. The church was closed in 1917 after a dispute with the bishop over ritualistic practices. (fn. 183) In December 1918, however, the conventional district of St. Oswald was formed and the church reopened a month later. A separate parish of St. Oswald, taken from that of St. Michael, was formed in 1924. St. Oswald's church was destroyed by a bomb in 1940. The altar was placed in the church of St. James, and, when that was demolished, was sent to the mission at Hastingwood in North Weald. In 1955 the parish of St. Oswald was divided between those of St. Michael and All Angels and St. James. The benefice was united with that of St. James. The site of St. Oswald's was sold in 1957 to the borough council, which built flats there.