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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): LMA/4109
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1914-1939
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.15 linear meters
Name of creator(s): Congregational Church of England and Wales


Administrative/Biographical history:

Stratford Congregational Church originated in 1861, when the congregation of Brickfields Church started to plan a new church in the centre of Stratford to replace their own. Funds were raised and a site was bought in Grove Crescent Road, but in 1865 Brickfields Church withdrew from the scheme, thinking that the building committee was too ambitious. The committee continued under the leadership of William Settles, a City merchant living at Stork House, Ilford (now Romford) Road, and in 1866-1867 built a church seating 1,600 with ancillary rooms beneath. It cost 11,500, most of which was lent by Settles, interest free. His creation was nicknamed 'Settles' Folly', but at first it flourished. James Knaggs, the first minister (1869-1898), was a powerful figure, well-supported by prosperous local families like the Curwens and Boardmans. By the 1880s membership was about 600, with a Sunday school of 900, and new classrooms had been built. Missions were opened in Chapel Street (1885-1927) and Crownfield Road (1885-1891), and help was given to new churches elsewhere. At this period the church was keenly interested in politics, displaying Liberal sympathies yet opposing the growing Socialism of the East End. In the 1890s the membership began to decline, though for many years it remained among the highest in West Ham. By 1941, however, it had become so small that the main building was abandoned, all activities being transferred to the classrooms behind, approached from the Grove. In 1966 the membership was only 21. 'Settles' Folly' had been sold in 1948, became a furniture factory, was gutted by fire in 1952, and later demolished. It has been called a 'big monstrosity' of white and yellow brick with columned portico, a 115-ft. spire, and 'debased classical' detail. Inside were two galleries, one above the other.

Source: A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6 (1973), pp. 123-141.


Scope and content/abstract:

Marriage registers for Stratford Congregational Church, Grove Crescent Road, Stratford, 1914-1939.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Three volumes.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: Depositor

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received in 1998 (B98/202).

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
January to March 2009

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