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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): LMA/4341
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1898-1940
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.08 linear meters
Name of creator(s): Congregational Church of England and Wales


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Vine Congregational church, formerly known as Ilford High Road church, was founded in 1892 by the Metropolitan District Committee of the London Congregational Union. Services were held in the Thompson Rooms and later in a house in Oakfield Road. Edward T. Egg, a veteran minister, became temporary leader at Ilford, and in 1894 opened an iron church in High Road. In 1895 a large hall was opened, with A. G. Spears as minister. He was succeeded in 1897 by Charles H. Vine, who remained until his death in 1930.

Under Vine's leadership High Road became one of the strongest churches in Essex. Soon after his arrival the hall was enlarged, and in 1901 a new church was opened, with seats for 1,400. In 1910 an adjoining site was purchased and additional buildings erected. One of Vine's most important enterprises was the Men's Meeting, founded in 1901 and rising to a membership of 2,000. This organization undertook social work of many kinds. As early as 1904 it had a labour exchange for its members, and it also ran a sick benefit society, a holiday savings club, a hospital savings group, a horticultural society, a benevolent fund, and clubs for swimming and tennis.

From the first Vine was active in fostering new churches in the Ilford area. After his death the High Road church incorporated his name in its title, being known as the Vine Memorial church and later as the Vine church. During his ministry church membership rose from 110 in 1897 to a peak of 979 in 1927. During and after the Second World War membership declined.

In 1960 the High Road part of the site, including the church of 1901, was sold for redevelopment. A new, smaller church in a simple mid-20th-century style was built in 1961, facing Richmond Road, and the church hall, facing Grosvenor Road, was renovated.

The church is now part of the Vine United Reformed Church on Riches Road.

From: A History of the County of Essex: Volume 5 (1966), pp. 249-266.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Vine Congregational Church comprising annual reports, 1898-1930 and registers of baptisms, 1906-1940.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Reports; Registers.

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:

Deposited by the United Reformed Church (URC) History Society in 2001 (B01/024).

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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