175th anniversary for Romford church

A Romford Baptist church will be celebrating its 175th anniversary on Sunday (May 1).

The Salem Chapel in London Road will be holding a special morning worship and praise service to mark the anniversary of its founding in May 1846.

Soon after opening, the 400-seat chapel was outgrown by its burgeoning congregation.

Retired preacher Robert McCaughren, who now attends the church, said: “In the 1930s, they had to build a new church as the building wasn’t big enough. This is why the Main Road Baptist church was built.

“Everybody was supposed to move to Main Road, but there are always those who won’t leave.”

The church currently has a small congregation of around 25 regular attendees, including two women who have been going for a very long time.

Mr McCaughren said: “One member has been coming here for 70 years, she first went in 1940. Another for 55 years.”

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The church was possibly unique in that during the Second World War there was not one Sunday on which a service was not held.

It was the only local church to hold an evening service, although this was sometimes held before the blackout came into effect.

The service on Sunday will begin at 11am, and members are hoping to make it a special occasion.

Mr McCaughren added: “We’re very excited about it, we’ll probably get support from Main Road and we’re hoping it will be as special a day as possible.”