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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 P72/MTW
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1746-1996
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 7.28 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Parish of St Matthew, Bethnal Green | Church of England


Administrative/Biographical history:

Bethnal Green was served by Saint Dunstan's in Stepney until 1743. A petition presented to the Commissioners of the Act for Building Fifty New Churches (1711) asked for Bethnal Green to be made a separate parish with its own church. The Commissioners agreed but various schemes fell through until 1743 when an Act was passed making Bethnal Green a separate rectory. The church was begun in 1743 and completed by 1746, designed by George Dance the Elder. Fire destroyed the interior in 1859 and the church was not reopened until 1861. The church was seriously damaged by bombing during World War Two, although it was rebuilt in 1957 according to the original designs. Saint Matthew's remained the only parish church until 1814, when the Episcopal Jew's Chapel opened, followed by several other churches intended to serve the needs of a rapidly expanding population.

'Bethnal Green: The Parish Church', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 11: Stepney, Bethnal Green (1998), pp. 212-217.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the parish of Saint Matthew, Bethnal Green, including registers of baptisms, marriages, banns, confirmations, burials, graves, preachers and church services; orders of service; Sunday School papers; newspaper cuttings; photographs; papers relating to the benefice; papers relating to the church buildings including the restoration of the church after the Second World War; financial accounts; Parochial Church Council minutes; administrative papers; papers relating to parish charities; parish magazines; and histories of the church and parish. Also records of the civil parish comprising settlement examinations.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records have been sorted into categories which reflect divisions between the different functions and operations of the parish and its administration. Order within these categories reflects chronology.

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 for these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records deposited in 1954, with further accessions in 1975, 1976, 1983, 1996, 2006, 2007, and 2008.

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:
March to April 2010.

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