Search

For better and worse: Harold Wood church celebrates 75th anniversary

08:34 13 March 2014

Rev David Banting at St Peter

Rev David Banting at St Peter's church

Archant

It may have been built during one of the most turbulent periods in our history but a church has stood the test of time and last week celebrated its 75th anniversary.

The final two bricks being put into place in 1939The final two bricks being put into place in 1939

More than 200 members of St Peter’s Church, Harold Wood, came together to celebrate the past, present, and future of the Gubbins Lane church.

Vicar David Banting said: “This is such a big occasion and such a special time for all of the members of the church as well as the entire community.”

Works began on the building in 1938 but the project wasn’t finished until 1939 - as the world faced the outbreak of the Second World War.

Almost 100 children visited in during the February half term, for Starquest, a children’s holiday club teaching them about Christianity.

Eileen Knowles has been a member of the church since 1956Eileen Knowles has been a member of the church since 1956

One of the organisers, Matt Simper, said: “We told the children about the 75th anniversary to see what they knew about the time it was built.

“It’s fantastic that even though we were on the brink of war, the people of Harold Wood were preparing their future.”

But the story of the church actually began years earlier as a simple iron building, built in 1871, in the nearby Church Road.

And it wasn’t until 70 years later that it made the permanent move to Gubbins Lane, at a cost of £9.000. and with the help of contributions from many of its congregation, including millers, brothers James and George Matthews.

As a member of the church fellowship since 1956, when she moved to the area as a child, Eileen Knowles has been with St Peter’s for most of her life.

She said: “I was born into a Christian family and so being apart of the community has always been very important to me and I’ve just learnt and grown as a Christian through the church’s encouragement.

“I came here as a child and progressed through the groups, as have our children and now our grandchildren. Passing on our faith through the generations is important to us as parents.”

Then as part of National Marriage week last month, St Peter’s contributed to the Big Promise, a Guiness World Record which saw as many people renew their vows at the same time as possible.

Church centre manager, Emily Atnew, said: “It was really lovely to hold the day for some really lovely couples and to take part in the nationwide event.”

But the real celebrations kicked off last week at the church when the swinging Jive Aces, who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, paid a visit, bringing their trombones and trumpets.

Mr Banting said: “People really enjoyed celebrating the day the church was built. The church has helped so many of our members and here is to the next 75 years of St Peter’s.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Huge industrial pincers bite into the tower (Picture: Paul Bennett)

Demolition of the last tower block on a once crime-ridden Rainham estate started today.

16:21
We Are FSTVL

An award-winning dance music festival has announced the first set of acts to play next year’s event.

Brendon Smith, 31, is wanted in connection with a burglary in Chigwell. [Picture: Essex Police]

Police are hunting a man known to frequent the Romford area over a burglary.

A portrait of Hayley Anderson (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Gemma Collins has walked out of the I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! jungle - Hayley Anderson asks - are we surprised?

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition

The club said the reaction following their decision to allow Evans to train had been at an intensity they did not anticipate.

The celebrity chef is embroiled in a bitter dispute over the contract for the lease of one of his restaurants.

The Labour MP has apologised after posting a photo of a house draped with three red-and-white Cross of St George flags on the day of the Rochester and Strood by-election.

It’s all part of a Nato training exercise.