Woodford: Religious history

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1973.

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'Woodford: Religious history', in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6, (London, 1973) pp. 352-358. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/essex/vol6/pp352-358 [accessed 1 March 2024]

In this section


A church was evidently in existence by 1177 when it was confirmed among the possessions of the canons of Waltham Holy Cross. (fn. 1) In 1191 the Pope assigned this church, among others, to the use of the sacristy at Waltham. (fn. 2) What exactly was effected by this measure is uncertain. The benefice does not seem to have been appropriated, even temporarily, and its incumbent has always been styled a rector. But part of the income may have been reserved for the sacristy: a composition was made in 1224 between the abbot of Waltham and the rector of Woodford to settle certain divisions of tithe and other matters, although no mention was then made of the sacristy. (fn. 3)

The advowson descended with the lordship of the manor until 1898, (fn. 4) except for occasional turns. Thus, for example, Sir Thomas More presented pro hac vice in 1526, Robert Browne, by what right is unknown, in 1558, and Henry Fanshawe for one turn in 1561. (fn. 5) The theologian Henry Isaacson acquired two turns, presenting in succession his younger brother William (1619) and William's son Richard (1645). (fn. 6) In 1824 the next presentation was bought by William, Lord Maryborough, for £4,200. (fn. 7) In 1898 the Revd. J. B. Brearley bought the advowson. (fn. 8) In 1904 his mortgagee sold it to Lady Henry Somerset. (fn. 9) Lady Henry conveyed it in 1914 to her sister, Adeline Russell, duchess of Bedford (d. 1920). (fn. 10) In 1930 the duchess's executors sold it to the diocese, for vesting in the bishop. (fn. 11)

In 1224 the rector was allowed to claim pasture for 8 cows, 6 horses, 40 sheep, and 20 pigs over a year old, with their offspring. (fn. 12) This considerable number of animals suggests that the rector was a man of substance, but in 1254 the benefice was valued at only 100s., (fn. 13) and in 1291 it was among the poorest livings, being valued at £2. (fn. 14) In 1535 it was assessed at £11 12s. (fn. 15) In 1604 it was reckoned to be worth £66 13s. 4d. a year, in 1650 £79 (of which tithe produced £72, glebe £7), (fn. 16) and in the mid 18th century £170, (fn. 17) while in 1829–31 the value of the rectory averaged £788. (fn. 18) The tithes were commuted for £676 in 1840. (fn. 19) A terrier of 1610 includes a rectory house, barn, and stable, with a close of 3 a. beside the barn. There were 3 a. of meadow in the common mead, 'the Parson's Grove', and another acre of wood on the north side of Jack of Lea's Grove. (fn. 20) In 1840 there were 16 a. of glebe. (fn. 21) The large rectory house was purchased in 1934 for use as council offices, having been in lay ownership since before 1928. (fn. 22) Although the house may incorporate part of an earlier 18th-century building, the main structure dates from c. 1800. It is a square threestoreyed house of dark red brick with yellow brick window-heads, having an entrance front of seven bays and a central doorway flanked by glazed lights and surmounted by a fanlight. A Regency bow window on the south side formerly had a canopied balcony above it. A house north of the churchyard, in Buckingham Road, now (1965) serves as the rectory.

Henry Siddall, rector from 1530, was deprived in 1555 as a married priest; he was later reconciled and became vicar of Walthamstow in 1557. (fn. 23) Richard Wood (1561–89) was listed in 1585 among Essex's non-preaching clergy. (fn. 24) Robert Wright (1589–1619), later bishop successively of Bristol and of Lichfield and Coventry, was non-resident; Woodford was the first of many country livings he acquired and seldom visited. (fn. 25) William Isaacson (1619–45), a pluralist, was deprived of a London living after 1642, but kept Woodford. (fn. 26) He was succeeded by his son Richard (1645–53), who was commended in 1650 as an able and good minister. (fn. 27) Zachariah Cawdrey (1654–60) was presented to Woodford after being ejected from Barthomley (Ches.) as a royalist. At the restoration he recovered Barthomley and resigned Woodford, where he was succeeded by William Master (1661–84). (fn. 28) Master was another pluralist, as was James Altham (1729–66). (fn. 29)

With many of its rectors holding other livings, Woodford was often served by curates. The names of many of these curates survive. (fn. 30) By 1779 the incumbent was paying the curate £50 a year. (fn. 31) In the middle of the 17th century communion was celebrated only quarterly (fn. 32) and in 1682 there were complaints that the reader, not being in full orders, was unable to give absolution, and that the rector read the services perfunctorily. (fn. 33) By the early 18th century two services were being held on Sundays, with communion celebrated monthly; by the 1760s there were three Sunday services and also mid-week services. (fn. 34)

Woodford parish church has been dedicated to ST. MARY since at least the 14th century, though it has sometimes been known as St. Margaret's. (fn. 35) Nothing survives of the medieval building. It consisted of a nave, 2 aisles, a chancel with a vestry on its north side, and a tower. (fn. 36) Late-18th- and early19th-century views show a chancel with 2 lancet east windows divided by 3 buttresses, in each of which is an empty niche; on the south wall of the chancel a dormer and a 'Tudor' window had been inserted. (fn. 37) By 1621 more accommodation was needed; the north wall of the old church was pulled down and an aisle erected at the expense of Elizabeth Elwes (d. 1625). (fn. 38) The new north wall had to be rebuilt in 1719. (fn. 39) This aisle had 2 dormers and 2 roundheaded 2-light windows in the north wall, and 3 lancet windows in each of the east and west walls. By 1638 further accommodation was being provided by a west gallery. (fn. 40) In 1644 Sir Thomas Rowe left £80 towards building a second aisle but nothing was done until 1691, when the south wall was in danger of falling, and it was decided to enlarge the church by building a south aisle. This was completed by 1694, with the aid of a church rate and voluntary contributions. (fn. 41) The new aisle had round-headed windows of 2 lights in the south wall and of 3 lights in the east wall, all with 'Gothic' glazing-bars, and a square-headed south doorway.

By 1705 the church was again decayed and the spire was so dangerous that it had to be removed. The tower, which was of timber on a base of flint, chalk, and ragstone, was demolished and a new brick tower, incorporating some of the old materials, was built in 1708. The remainder of the church was repaired at the same time. The work was met out of church-rates during the next 20 years. (fn. 42) The new tower was topped by 4 angle turrets and a lantern. These were removed in 1817, a plain battlement substituted, and the whole cemented over, but in 1899 the cement was stripped off and the top was restored to the original design. (fn. 43)

The need for more accommodation prompted sporadic discussion in the 18th century, but nothing was done, and in 1811 many parishioners still lacked seats. (fn. 44) By then the fabric of the building was ruinous and rebuilding the only solution. The vestry therefore decided to take down the side walls of the chancel and extend the aisles to the length of the chancel, thus forming an approximate square. At the same time the walls were to be raised, the north and south windows enlarged, the roofs renewed, and new galleries made inside. The work was completed in 1817. The cost was met by subscriptions, fines from inhabitants refusing to serve parish offices, and the sale of annuities payable out of parish rates. (fn. 45) The church, designed by Charles Bacon, (fn. 46) consisted of a nave with 2 aisles divided by thin arcades on slender pillars, lit by lancet windows and a small central lantern. A small area at the east end was arranged as a sanctuary. In 1889 a chancel was added, together with a vestry on its south side and an organ chamber on the north. At the same time the west gallery was removed and the tower arch opened into the nave. These alterations were carried out in the Perpendicular style by W. O. Milne. (fn. 47) The organ was moved to the south side in 1912 and the space vacated used as a chapel. (fn. 48) After the Second World War the north and south galleries, which excluded much light, were removed. (fn. 49)

In 1708 there were 4 bells (fn. 50) but after the tower was rebuilt a ring of 6 bells, cast by Richard Phelps and dated 1721, was hung. There is also a sanctus bell dated 1708. (fn. 51) A silver flagon and 2 silver bowls were in use in the 1680s, (fn. 52) but all the communion plate was stolen in 1773 (fn. 53) and the present plate is modern. A silver christening bowl, dated 1777, was presented by Henry Burmester of Gwynne House in 1817. (fn. 54)

Several monuments from the old church were preserved (fn. 55) including a painted and gilded alabaster monument to Rowland Elrington, haberdasher and merchant adventurer of London (d. 1595) in the south aisle, a tablet to Robert Wynch (d. 1595) and a relief to Elizabeth Elwes (d. 1625), both in the chancel, and several large 18th-century marble cartouches. Among many memorials in the churchyard are a marble column with entablature to Peter Godfrey (1742) and the heavy Raikes mausoleum (1797). A large altar-tomb in the Greek Revival style commemorates William Morris of Woodford Hall (d. 1847) and prominently displays his newly-granted arms. The remnant of a giant yew tree still shades the south entrance to the church. Sir John Roberts, Bt., who financed the building of the parish church Memorial Hall in 1902, bequeathed £4,000 to it in 1917. (fn. 56)

As the population of Woodford increased, St. Mary's church became inadequate. Its position on the High Road in the south-western corner of the parish was always inconvenient for parishioners at Woodford Bridge and Woodford Wells. In 1851 a large room, used as an infant school, was being rented at Woodford Bridge for services (fn. 57) and it was there that the first new district chapelry was created, when the church of ST. PAUL, Manor Road, was built in 1854. (fn. 58) C. B. Waller, who as an assistant curate at Woodford had been mainly responsible for raising the money for St. Paul's, became the first vicar. He was succeeded by his son, who served there until 1919. After a fire in 1886 the church was rebuilt in stone in the Decorated style, consisting of nave and aisles, chancel, and north-west tower with spire, the base of which forms a porch. (fn. 59) The advowson of the vicarage is held by the rector of Woodford.

The church of ALL SAINTS, Inmans Row, Woodford Wells, was built in 1874, on a site, facing the Green, given by H. F. Barclay of Monkhams. In the following year a consolidated chapelry was formed from parts of the parishes of St. Mary, Woodford, and St. Peter-in-the-Forest, Walthamstow. (fn. 60) A separate ecclesiastical parish was formed in 1906. (fn. 61) Originally there were no endowments and the incumbent was dependent on pew rents of £283 a year. The church, a stone building designed by F. E. C. Streatfeild in the Early English style, has a chancel, nave, south aisle, north transept, and a north-east tower with a shingled broach-spire. In 1876 a north aisle was added and in 1885 a choir vestry. The advowson of the vicarage is held by trustees. (fn. 62)

The mission church of ST. ANDREW, Chingford Lane, in All Saints parish, originated about 1880 with services held in the Working Men's hall (the old Congregational chapel) and, by 1882, in a rented room in the Square near by. (fn. 63) An iron church was erected in 1888. In 1923 the decayed iron was stripped off the wooden frame and replaced with cement-rendered expanded metal after the frame had been moved a few yards northwards to make room for a hall, vestry, and kitchen. At the same time the original wooden bell-tower was removed and the roof was slated. (fn. 64)


CHRIST CHURCH mission, Burlington Place, also in All Saints parish, was an iron building opened about 1889 after services had been held for some years at Knighton Lodge. It was closed in 1904 and the building was sold. (fn. 65)

The mission church of ST. GEORGE, Horn Lane, was promoted before 1903 by Andrew Johnston as an undenominational hall. It was staffed by Church Army captains and became attached to All Saints. In 1911 it was transferred to the new parish of St. Barnabas. Services were discontinued in 1956 and the building was adapted for use as a youth club. It appears that it was never consecrated and that the name St. George's is modern. Another mission chapel attached to All Saints was begun in Horn Lane in 1903 but was never completed; it was known as St. Bartholomew's. (fn. 66)

In 1882 a chapel of ease to St. Mary's was erected in Grove Hill and dedicated to ST. PHILIP AND ST. JAMES. Its seating capacity was later doubled. A hall was built in 1905 (fn. 67) and a men's club in 1910. (fn. 68) The chapel is a low building of red brick with dormer-windows. In 1951 a conventional district was formed, the living of which was in the gift of the bishop. (fn. 69) This became an ecclesiastical district in 1962. (fn. 70)

The church of ST. BARNABAS, Snake's Lane, originated as an iron mission church attached to St. Paul's, erected in 1904. (fn. 71) A new church of brick and stone in Early Perpendicular style was built 1910–11, consisting of aisled nave, chancel, Lady chapel, and organ chamber. (fn. 72) The nave, originally of only 2 bays, was completed in 1964 (fn. 73) by extending the arcades in the form of blank walls, each pierced by 2 arched openings, and by closing the west front with a chequer-board effect of window and wall. In 1911 a new parish was formed from parts of the parishes of St. Paul, All Saints, and Holy Trinity, South Woodford. The vicarage is in the gift of the bishop. (fn. 74)

The parish of Holy Trinity extends into South Woodford but the church itself is in Hermon Hill, Wanstead. (fn. 75)


The Roman Catholic parish of Woodford was formed in 1894. (fn. 76) The church of ST. THOMAS OF CANTERBURY, High Road, Woodford Green, and the Franciscan friary adjoining it to the south, were built in 1895 at the expense of Henrietta Pelham-Clinton (d. 1913) dowager duchess of Newcastle. (fn. 77) The church is built of red brick with stone dressings in the Early English style. The duchess occupied a house called the Oaks, immediately north of the church, which in 1920 became the convent of the Poor Clares (Colettines). (fn. 78) It is a late-18th-century building of brown brick having a two-storeyed front of five bays and a central doorway with a Tuscan porch; there are large additions in a similar style at both ends. The duchess also gave a site for the convent of the Holy Family of Bordeaux, Mornington Road, Woodford Green, which was built in 1898. (fn. 79)


There is little early evidence of nonconformity in Woodford. Thomas Doolittle, who had been ejected from his London living in 1660, came to Woodford to escape the plague in 1665, when 'many resorted to his house for worship', but before 1672 he had returned to London. (fn. 80) Nicholas Lockyer, a Puritan divine, settled at Woodford some time after 1670 but there is no evidence that he was a proselytizer; (fn. 81) in 1676 no nonconformists were recorded. (fn. 82) By 1766 there were only two or three families of Presbyterians and some of those attended the parish church. (fn. 83)

John Wesley visited Woodford in 1787. (fn. 84) His preaching may have stimulated the formation, during the next few years, of Woodford Congregational chapel, which two early references describe as Methodist. (fn. 85) Another group described as Methodist in 1810, 'meeting in a different quarter of the parish', can probably be identified with the 'Independents, Calvinists', who registered private houses in 1804 and 1805, and with the Woodford Bridge mission of the Zion Itinerant Society which existed in 1812, when it was transferred to the London Itinerant Society. In the following year Woodford Bridge chapel was built for the mission. In 1816 it was visited by Wesleyan preachers of the Waltham Abbey circuit, and soon after the first Wesleyan society was formed. Its success at Woodford Bridge so undermined the position of the Independents that their chapel closed in 1822. (fn. 86) In 1829 the Wesleyan society, meeting in the house of Robert Johnson, was in the Waltham Abbey and Leyton (later the Leyton) circuit. (fn. 87) It still existed in 1851, (fn. 88) but there is no later trace of it. It probably disappeared during the Reform agitation of 1851–2. At Woodford Green the first Wesleyan society seems to have been founded in the 1830s. In or soon after 1837 this took over the old Congregational chapel in Mill Lane. (fn. 89) It was in the Leyton circuit, and by 1842 the residence of the circuit minister. (fn. 90) The Reform movement was strong in that circuit, (fn. 91) and William Burnett, who had been its superintendent since 1848, was replaced in 1851 and expelled from the Wesleyan Connexion in 1852. (fn. 92) He remained at Woodford and became the minister of the independent Wesleyan (later United Methodist Free) church described below. (fn. 93) The members from Mill Lane evidently went with him, for there is no trace of that society after 1852.

When Burnett retired in 1874 most of his congregation wished to reunite with the Wesleyan Connexion. Having failed to persuade the U.M.F.C. Assembly to agree to this, they seceded and began to hold services in the old Mill Lane chapel. (fn. 94) The Wesleyan Conference sent a missionary minister there in 1875, and in 1876–7 the present church was built in Derby Road. (fn. 95) It was at first in the Clapton circuit, but in 1879 a separate Wanstead and Woodford circuit was formed. (fn. 96) In 1888 that circuit was extended to Woodford Bridge, where services were held in a hired room, and later in a hall. A site for a church was given in 1889, but none was erected and in 1902 the work there was discontinued. The site was sold in 1932. (fn. 97)

The independent Wesleyans led by William Burnett registered a chapel at Woodford (Green) in 1857. (fn. 98) This was replaced in 1869 by a new one on the same prominent site, at the junction of Links Road and High Road. (fn. 99) The society remained independent until 1871, when it joined the U.M.F.C. (fn. 100) In 1862 a daughter church was founded at Chingford Hatch. (fn. 101) The secession that followed Burnett's retirement left his Woodford church almost empty, but it was joined in 1875 by a group of seceders from the Woodford Congregational church. The combined congregation formed itself in 1876 into the Woodford Union church, with 84 members, of whom 60 were Congregational, 14 Baptist, and 10 Methodist, under the leadership of Burnett's successor, George Atchison. (fn. 102) The new church adopted a Congregational form of government and organization, while retaining links, for certain purposes, with the U.M.F.C.

By 1900, when Atchison retired from the pastorate, the church was flourishing, with over 300 members, and a daughter church had been built at Highams Park, Walthamstow. (fn. 103) Atchison was succeeded by Joseph Hocking, a well-known novelist, (fn. 104) who promoted the building of a new church on a near-by site in High Elms. This was completed in 1904. The old building was bought by (Sir) J. R. Roberts (Bt.), who presented it for public use; it is now (1965) Woodford Green men's club. It is a brick building of 2 storeys, an attic and a semi-basement, with windows of various shapes. At the south-east corner is a bell-tower, capped with lead. The initials WM (for Wesleyan Methodists) are worked over the east doorway. Some features of the present building date from its conversion after 1904. (fn. 105) In 1941 the possibility of amalgamation between the Union church and Woodford Congregational church was discussed, and in the following years the two churches cooperated in various ways. In 1944, when the Congregational church was bombed, its congregation joined that of the Union church and in 1947 the two bodies were formally amalgamated as the Woodford Green United Free church, with 400 members. The building is of red brick with yellow terracotta dressings, and consists of an aisled nave with transepts, characterized by semi-circular windows and flying-buttresses.

In 1875 the Union church opened a Sunday school in Churchfields Board school for children of the Woodford Hall estate. This was moved to a new hall in Fullers Road, built in 1909. In 1946 it became a branch of the United Free church; it closed in 1968. The Wilfred Lawson mission of the Union church, opened in 1907, closed in 1940. (fn. 106)

The Primitive Methodists were represented in Woodford for a few years, but were never strong. They registered a church in Snakes Lane in 1888, but it had ceased by 1913. (fn. 107) A Primitive Methodist mission in Granville Road, South Woodford, appears to have closed between 1906 and 1908. (fn. 108)

Woodford Congregational church was founded about 1790. As Providence chapel, for Independents, it was registered in 1795 by William Whitefoot, who was a minister of the countess of Huntingdon's Connexion at Enfield (Mdx.). (fn. 109) This was clearly identical with, or a precursor of Woodford New Chapel, Mill Lane, which according to a much later statement was built in 1798 after missionaries of the London Itinerant Society, and students from the countess's college at Cheshunt, had preached on the Green, and later in a room in Horn Lane. (fn. 110) The new chapel was sponsored by the trustees of Cheshunt College. Additional evidence concerning its origin is provided by a statement made in 1790, that there was a Methodist meeting, lately established, at Woodford, and by another made in 1810, that the Methodists had a 'regular meeting-house erected in 1794'. (fn. 111) The context of these statements, and other evidence, makes it unlikely that they refer to Wesleyan Methodists, but at this period followers of the countess of Huntingdon were sometimes described as Methodists, and indeed even used the title themselves, (fn. 112) and it is to their chapel that the statements almost certainly refer. In 1815 a church was formed, at a meeting presided over by the Revd. George Collison of Walthamstow. The chapel was used until 1837, when a larger building was erected in Horn Lane, and was called Providence. That name is said to have been chosen by a benefactor of the church; this does not exclude the possibility that he was recalling the name used in 1795. The old chapel, which stands in Savill Row, just off Mill Lane, is a small brick building evidently refronted in 1890. (fn. 113) It became after 1837 in succession a Wesleyan chapel, a British school, a Workmen's hall, and an Anglican mission hall. After 1910 it was used solely for secular purposes; in 1965 it was a store for glass.

Services in the new Congregational church continued to be conducted by supply preachers (fn. 114) until 1840, after which there was usually a resident minister. Additions, including a new schoolroom, were made in 1861. The building was a rectangular stucco-faced building in the neo-classical style with a Corinthian portico of three bays. (fn. 115) It was demolished in 1873 and a third church, built on the same site, was opened in 1874. This was designed by Rowland Plumbe, (fn. 116) and built of stone in the Early English style with a tall spire, 'the high water mark of Congregational Church building in Essex'. (fn. 117) Much of the cost was borne by the Spicer family of Harts.

During the vigorous ministry of Edward T. Egg (1859–82) missionary work was carried on at Buckhurst Hill, Ray Lodge, Sewardstone Green, Chingford, Hermon Hill, South Woodford, and Chigwell Road; a new Sunday school was opened, and in 1861 the church joined the Essex Congregational Union. (fn. 118) But there were internal dissensions and in 1875, as described above, about a third of the congregation, including all the Baptist members, seceded, joined the Free Methodists, and formed the Union Church. Under Egg's successor, W. E. Anderton (1884–1905) the Congregational church prospered, and by 1901 its membership (including that of the daughter churches at Ray Lodge and Woodford Bridge) was over 300. (fn. 119) The church was wrecked by flying bombs in 1944, and, instead of rebuilding, the congregation joined Woodford Union church to form, in 1947, Woodford Green United Free church.

As a result of missionary activity from Woodford Congregational church, a chapel was erected in Globe Road, near Ray Lodge, in 1865. From 1886 onwards a resident minister was appointed who, in 1890, was given the supervision of two associated missions at Woodford Bridge (established in 1868) and Chigwell (begun about 1866), which then combined to erect an iron building in Smeaton Road, Chigwell. (fn. 120) In 1900 a new, Gothic church, designed by F. Boreham, and costing £3,500, was built in Snakes Lane, (fn. 121) near the chapel, which remained in use as a mission-room until its purchase by the New Apostolic church. An institute was added in 1920. In 1930 Ray Lodge Congregational church became independent of the parent church at Woodford Green.

A Congregational mission was established in 1870 in a cottage in Victoria Road, near George Lane, and two years later a temporary iron church was erected at the corner of Daisy Road, on the site now (1965) occupied by the Salvation Army citadel. The first pastor was appointed in 1876. (fn. 122) Though the building was twice enlarged, a bigger one was soon needed. (fn. 123) In 1879 land in George Lane was purchased, and in 1886 a new church was completed to the design of Thomas Arnold in the Early English style. (fn. 124)

Congregational mission-rooms were opened in Crescent Road in 1887, Granville Road in 1901, (fn. 125) and Beechcroft Road in 1907. (fn. 126) The last is still in use.

A Baptist school-chapel was opened in George Lane in 1883, and three years later a minister was settled there. (fn. 127) In 1895–6 the present stone church in the 13th-century style was built in front of the school-chapel. (fn. 128) It was registered in 1896, (fn. 129) just before about half the congregation seceded to form a separate church in Eastwood Road. (fn. 130) In 1900 the seceders were joined by the minister from George Lane. (fn. 131) The Eastwood Road building had been given up by 1903 (fn. 132) and its congregation moved to an iron building in Maybank Road, known in 1906 as South Woodford Free church and in 1911 as South Woodford Union church. (fn. 133) This congregation ceased to exist in 1920. Baptists then used the building in Maybank Road as a church hall until 1933 when they sold it to the Christian Brethren. (fn. 134)

Baptist missions were opened in Avenue Road in 1947 and in a pavilion off Broadmead Road in 1948. (fn. 135) As numbers at the latter increased, members built their own temporary church of wood in Chigwell Road in 1957. This was constituted Broadmead Baptist church in 1963. (fn. 136)

The Salvation Army used the Congregationalists' iron building in Daisy Road from 1886. After buying the site in 1906, (fn. 137) they built the present brick citadel, opened in 1907. (fn. 138)

Grove Road Evangelical church is the outcome of work begun by Edward Hobbs (1825–1907) in 1877 amongst the gipsies encamped on Mill Plain, west of Chelmsford Road, where the evangelist 'Gipsy' Smith was born. To satisfy their spiritual as well as material needs, a mission was opened in a stable in Grove Road. In 1883 the present hall was built, and in 1894 the adjoining building, which is used for departmental activities, was added. The mission was formed into a church in 1949, when an ordained minister was appointed. It is affiliated to the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical churches. (fn. 139)

The Christian Brethren purchased the Baptists' iron chapel at the corner of Maybank and Latchett Roads in 1933. They replaced this with a brick building, called Maybank Hall, in 1952, and in 1962 added a new, adjoining, building, called Latchett Evangelical church. Maybank Hall is now used mainly for youth work. (fn. 140) Since 1944 the Brethren have also used a hall in Canfield Road. (fn. 141) Salway Hall Evangelical church was opened in 1933. In 1966 it had an active membership of nearly 200, including two missionaries in India and one in Argentina. (fn. 142) Meetings of the National Spiritualist church have been held at Ellerslie Hall, Washington Road, since 1953. (fn. 143) The New Apostolic church opened in the former Ray Lodge Congregational chapel in 1954. (fn. 144) A Moravian church, built in 1906, had closed by 1922. (fn. 145) A gospel mission was being held in a room in Barclay House, High Road, in 1914. (fn. 146)


A congregation was formed and affiliated to the United Synagogue in 1947. Services were held in a large room attached to a member's house. In 1951 a house and land in Churchfields were purchased, and in 1952 the Wanstead and Woodford Affiliated Synagogue was erected on the site. The house is used for religious classes and by a youth club. There were 492 members in 1964. (fn. 147)


  • 1. J. Farmer, History of Waltham Abbey, 40.
  • 2. B.M. Harl. MS. 391, f. 133.
  • 3. B.M. Harl. MS. 4809, f. 21.
  • 4. Crockford (1898), 683, 1931.
  • 5. Newcourt, Repertorium, ii. 679–80.
  • 6. D.N.B. (Henry Isaacson); Emler, Hist. Woodford Par. Ch. 63–4.
  • 7. C.P. 25(2)/1530 Trin. 5 Geo. IV; E.R.O., D/AEM 2/6.
  • 8. Crockford (1898), 683, 1931.
  • 9. E.R.O., D/CP 20/68.
  • 10. E.R.O., D/CP 20/68; Burke's Peerage (1963), p. 2264; Chelmsford Dioc. Yr. Bk. 1915, p. 79.
  • 11. Dioc. Yr. Bk. 1922 f; Chel. Dioc. Chron. June 1930, p. 92; E.R.O., D/CP 20/68; Lond. Gaz. 1931, pp. 1627–8.
  • 12. B.M. Harl. MS. 4809, f. 21.
  • 13. E.A.T. N.S. xviii. 17.
  • 14. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 24.
  • 15. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i. 435.
  • 16. H. Smith, Eccl. Hist. Essex, 18, 248.
  • 17. Guildhall MS. 9556, p. 63.
  • 18. Rep. Com. Eccl. Revenues, H.C. 54, p. 680 (1835), xxii.
  • 19. E.R.O., D/CT 408.
  • 20. Newcourt, Repertorium, ii. 679.
  • 21. E.R.O., D/CT 408.
  • 22. J. E. Tuffs, Wanstead and Woodford, 85, 112–13; A. H. Gander, Woodford and its church, 15. By 1969 it had been renamed The Courthouse and was used by the North-East London Area for quarter sessions and various offices.
  • 23. H. Grieve, 'The deprived married clergy in Essex, 1553–1561' (Trans. R. Hist. Soc., 4th ser., xxii. 152). Unless otherwise stated, details of the Woodford clergy are taken from Newcourt, Repertorium, ii. 679–80, F. G. Emler, Hist. Woodford Par. Ch. 60–9, Venn, Alumni Cantab. and Foster, Alumni Oxon.
  • 24. T. W. Davids, Nonconformity in Essex, 95.
  • 25. D.N.B.; H. Smith, Eccl. Hist. Essex, 18.
  • 26. D.N.B. (Henry Isaacson); Smith, Eccl. Hist. Essex, 122.
  • 27. Lambeth MS. 910(8), ff. 149–50.
  • 28. D.N.B.; Davids, Nonconf. in Essex, 257.
  • 29. W. Master was rector of St. Vedast (Lond.) 1671–84, and J. Altham was vicar of Latton, 1730–58.
  • 30. Cf. E.R.O., D/AEV 4, ff. 2a, 61b, 76a, D/AEV 29; Guildhall MSS. 9550, 9553, 9555, 9560 passim; G.L.C., DL/C/298; F. G. Emler, Woodford Parish Ch. 70.
  • 31. Guildhall MS. 9553.
  • 32. H. Smith, Eccl. Hist. Essex, 73.
  • 33. E.R.O., D/AEV 11, f. 107a.
  • 34. Guildhall MSS. 9550, 9558 passim; F. G. Emler, op. cit. 19; V.C.H. Essex, ii. 76.
  • 35. E.A.T. N.S. vii. 364. Newcourt, followed by Morant, Essex, i. 39, and Ogborne, Essex, 71, give St. Margaret.
  • 36. Morant, Essex, i. 39.
  • 37. F. G. Emler, op. cit., pls. f.pp. 8, 15; cf. also Ogborne, Essex, 71.
  • 38. G.L.C., DL/C/228, ff. 233–8; Emler, op. cit. 7.
  • 39. Emler, op. cit. 15.
  • 40. E.R.O., D/AEV 7.
  • 41. Emler, Woodford Par. Ch., 7–8.
  • 42. E.R.O., D/AEV 17, f. 67v; G.L.C., DL/C/250, ff. 377–96; Emler, op. cit. 9–14.
  • 43. A. Hughes, Ch. of Woodford in Essex, 10.
  • 44. Emler, op. cit. 17, 20, 21, 24. For the church in 1809 see plate.
  • 45. Emler, op. cit. 28, 30, 36, 44; Woodford Parish Church Act, 56 Geo. III, c. 9 (local and personal).
  • 46. Emler, op. cit. 33.
  • 47. H. M. Colvin, Biog. Dic. of Eng. Architects, 1660–1804 under Ch. Bacon.
  • 48. Emler, Woodford Par. Ch., 44, 52–4.
  • 49. After this article was completed, the church was gutted in Jan. 1969 by a fire started by vandals, which left only the tower and external walls intact.
  • 50. G.L.C., DL/C/250, f. 377v. There had been 3 bells and a sanctus bell in 1552: E.A.T. N.S. ii. 247.
  • 51. Ch. Bells Essex, 455.
  • 52. E.A.T. n.s. xviii. 201, xix. 275.
  • 53. Emler, Woodford Par. Ch. 91.
  • 54. Ch. Plate Essex, 45; Emler, op. cit. 88–92.
  • 55. R.C.H.M. Essex, ii. 269.
  • 56. Char. Com. file 96481; Kelly's Dir. Essex, 1906.
  • 57. H.O. 129/7/194.
  • 58. Parishes divided etc., H.C. 557, p. 41 (1861), xlviii.
  • 59. Chel. Dioc. Chron. Nov. 1919, p. 141; Essex Churchman, Jan. 1959.
  • 60. H. H. Stevens, All Saints Ch., 1874–1936, 4–5.
  • 61. A. Hughes, Ch. of Woodford in Essex, 15.
  • 62. H. H. Stevens, op. cit. 5–6, 12; Jones's Woodford Dir. 1883, p. 26.
  • 63. Ibid. 26; Kelly's Dir. Essex, 1886.
  • 64. 1888–1963: St. Andrew's, Chingford Lane (pamphlet in church).
  • 65. H. H. Stevens, op. cit. 27.
  • 66. Ibid. 28; R. Mudie-Smith, Relig. Life London, 371; inf. from Mr. A. W. Bass.
  • 67. Date on building.
  • 68. Kelly's Dir. Essex, 1886, 1908, 1926.
  • 69. E.R.O., D/CP 20/69.
  • 70. E.R.O., D/CPc 401.
  • 71. E.R. xiii. 183.
  • 72. E.R. xx. 45, 153.
  • 73. Plaque in church.
  • 74. Kelly's Dir. Essex, 1937.
  • 75. See above, p. 334.
  • 76. Cath. Dir. 1965.
  • 77. Kelly's Dir. Essex, 1898.
  • 78. Tuffs, Wanstead and Woodford, 105; inf. from Abbess of Poor Clare Convent.
  • 79. Inf. from Superior of Convent of Holy Family.
  • 80. T. W. Davids, Nonconformity in Essex, 606.
  • 81. D.N.B.
  • 82. Wm. Salt Libr., Stafford, Bp. Compton's census, 1676.
  • 83. Guildhall Lib. MS. 9558, f. 400.
  • 84. Jnl. of J. Wesley (standard edn.), vii. 235d.
  • 85. Guildhall MS. 9558, f. 400.
  • 86. R. L. Galey, Hist. Woodford Green United Free Ch. 47, 106–9, 112–15.
  • 87. E.R.O., Q/CR 3/2 Hall's Circuits and Ministers (1897 edn.), 319.
  • 88. H.O. 129/7/194.
  • 89. White's Dir. Essex, 1848, p. 266; E.R.O., D/CT 408.
  • 90. Mins. Wesleyan Conference, 1844 f.; Galey, Hist. Woodford Green U. F. Ch. 47–8.
  • 91. See p. 228.
  • 92. Hall's Circuits and Ministers, 164; Mins. Wesleyan Conf. 1852.
  • 93. Much help has been received from Mr. R. Galey in tracing Burnett's career and the history of the churches with which he was connected. See also his Hist. Woodford Green United Free Ch. published in 1968.
  • 94. Wesleyan Times, 19 and 26 Dec. 1874, 2 Jan. 1875, 22 July 1876.
  • 95. Wanstead and Woodford Meth. Circuit, Quarterly Meeting Recs. (examined by Mr. G. Harrington); Wesleyan Chapel Ctee. Rep., 1876.
  • 96. Hall's Circuits and Ministers, 316.
  • 97. Wanstead and Woodford Meth. Circuit, Q.M. Recs.
  • 98. Worship Reg., 7864 (14 Mar. 1857).
  • 99. A. G. Kidd, 'The Pioneers' (TS. Hist. Woodford Green United Free Ch.), chap. iii.
  • 100. U.M.F.C. Mins. Conf. 1900: obit. of W. Burnett.
  • 101. Meth. Arch. Dept., Pamph. Box 'London': Meth. Ch., Chingford Hatch, Centenary 1962; V.C.H. Essex, v. 112; Galey, Hist. Woodford Green U. F. Ch. 94–5.
  • 102. A. G. Kidd, 'The Pioneers', chap. iii, for this and the following 2 paragraphs; the 1876 figures, from the Union Church Bk., have been supplied by Mr. R. Galey.
  • 103. See p. 299.
  • 104. 1860–1937: see D.N.B.
  • 105. Galey, Hist. Woodford Green U. F. Ch. 51.
  • 106. Ibid. 95–100, 105–6.
  • 107. Worship Reg., 30794 (1 May 1888).
  • 108. Kelly's Dir. Essex, 1906, 1908.
  • 109. G.R.O., Rtns. Mtg. Houses before 1852, no. 375; Life and Times of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon (1840), 11, 113.
  • 110. Unless otherwise stated, this account of Congregationalism in Woodford is taken from A. G. Kidd, 'The Pioneers'. See also Galey, Hist. Woodford Green U. F. Ch.
  • 111. Guildhall MS. 9558, f. 400.
  • 112. Life and Times of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon (1840), pp. iv, v.
  • 113. Date on keystone.
  • 114. Cf. E.R.O., Q/CR 3/2.
  • 115. E.R. liii. 117; cf. C. S. Jones, Fifty Pictures of Old Woodford.
  • 116. Cong. Yr. Bk. 1874.
  • 117. E.R. liii. 117.
  • 118. Cong. Yr. Bk. 1861.
  • 119. Ibid. 1901.
  • 120. Cf. V.C.H. Essex, iv. 35.
  • 121. Cong. Yr. Bk. 1901.
  • 122. 'Scrutator Diaconalis' [Albert Fuller], The Church at George Lane, 20, 25.
  • 123. Ibid. 23.
  • 124. Ibid. 34, 49, 73.
  • 125. Cong. Yr. Bks. 1887, 1904.
  • 126. A. Fuller, op. cit., 75.
  • 127. Baptist Handbk. 1889.
  • 128. Ibid. 1896, p. 319.
  • 129. Worship Reg. 35679 (7 Oct. 1896).
  • 130. Bapt. Handbk. 1898, 1899.
  • 131. Ibid. 1901.
  • 132. R. Mudie-Smith. Relig. Life of London, 370.
  • 133. Kelly's Dir. Essex, 1906; Worship Reg., 40841 (24 Jan. 1905), 44843 (20 June 1911).
  • 134. Kelly's Dir. Essex, 1926; inf. from Church Secretary, Latchett Evangelical Church.
  • 135. Bapt. Handbk. 1947, 1948.
  • 136. Ibid. 1965; local inf.
  • 137. A. Fuller, op. cit. 23–4.
  • 138. Date on building.
  • 139. Inf. from Mr. E. E. Mead, Trustee and Elder.
  • 140. Inf. from Church Secretary.
  • 141. Worship Reg. 60747 (20 Mar. 1944).
  • 142. Ibid. 54637 (18 Aug. 1933); inf. from Mr. W. S. Loynes.
  • 143. Worship Reg. 63981 (23 June 1953).
  • 144. Inf. from Church Secretary.
  • 145. Kelly's Dir. Essex, 1908, 1922.
  • 146. Worship Reg. 46133 (30 Apr. 1914).
  • 147. Inf. from Sec. United Synagogue; foundation stone.