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Gidea Park church celebrates 80th birthday

PUBLISHED: 10:10 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:10 16 May 2018

Special guests at the service included from left to right: Andrew Rosindell MP, Councillor Melvin Wallace, The Bishop of Barking Peter Hill Rev Phil Weston and Councillor Philippa Crowder. Photo: Rev Phil Weston

Special guests at the service included from left to right: Andrew Rosindell MP, Councillor Melvin Wallace, The Bishop of Barking Peter Hill Rev Phil Weston and Councillor Philippa Crowder. Photo: Rev Phil Weston

Rev Phil Weston

A church in Gidea Park had some special guests and was packed to the rafters as it celebrated its 80th birthday at the weekend.

St Michael and All Angels church in Gidea Park. Photo: Rev Phil WestonSt Michael and All Angels church in Gidea Park. Photo: Rev Phil Weston

St Michael and All Angels is the parish church of Gidea Park and building work began in 1927 before it was consecrated by the Bishop of Chelmsford, Dr Henry Wilson on May 21, 1928.

On Sunday (May 13) the congregation hosted a tea and cake party on the green outside of the church to celebrate it’s 80th birthday,

The church has had five vicars over it’s history, and current rector Rev Phil Weston has been at the church since 2014.

Over 250 people packed the rafters at St Michael and All Angels church in Gidea Park to celebrate its 80th birthday. Photo: Rev Phil WestonOver 250 people packed the rafters at St Michael and All Angels church in Gidea Park to celebrate its 80th birthday. Photo: Rev Phil Weston

He moved down from Lancashire four years ago, and said that since he has been at the church he has enjoyed watching it progress and said Gidea Park is a “lovely, diverse and interesting” parish.

To celebrate it’s birthday on Sunday, May 13 the congregation hosted a tea and cake party on the green outside of the church.

There was also a special guest for the service as the Bishop of Barking, Peter Hill came to visit.

Speaking after the celebrations Rev Phil Weston said: “It was fantastic occasion, as we celebrated eighty years of Christian ministry at St Michael’s and gave thanks to God for all that this church has contributed to our community in Gidea Park.

“Nearly 250 people attended the event, including children from Gidea Park’s Scout and Guide groups.

“There were several special guests, including the Bishop of Barking (Peter Hill), Andrew Rosindell MP, and local Councillors Philippa Crowder and Melvin Wallace.”

History of the church

The first Anglican place of worship in Gidea Park (built 1928) was the St Michael’s Mission Church.

Until 1931, Gidea Park was within the chapelry of All Saints Squirrels Heath, now known as Ardleigh Green.

In 1931 a decision was taken to create the new and separate Parish of Gidea Park, and on August 8, 1933 the new parish of St Michael Gidea Park was constituted.

Following this a new church hall was built - which still remains to this day.

The first general church meeting was held on September 29, 1933 for the purpose of the appointment of church wardens and the PCC.

The church as we know it today was built next to those buildings and the mission church building was modified to become the current Bishop Chadwick Hall.

The architects at the time were Crowe and Careless, and the cost to build the church - including furnishings - was £8450.

The church was built by the Stedman Brothers, the bells were donated by Alderman Chaplin and the floodlighting and gold cross on the church tower were donated in memory of former reverend Rev Canon Frank Leech.

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