Many ups and downs in 125 years of worship at the Trinity Methodist Church in Romford
- Credit: Archant
Trinity Methodist Church in Angel Way, Romford, is celebrating its 125th anniversary and the years have been anything but uneventful.
Just a few months after opening its doors in March 1888, the church was flooded when water from the River Rom poured in.
Mr C. T. King, one of the parishioners, wrote about the incident at the time.
He said: “The water in the High Street attained a depth of six feet with the result that the whole of the pews in Trinity were underwater.”
More bad news came in 1940 when the church was damaged on the nights of December 8 and 9 during the Blitz.
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Luckily the next four decades were relatively quiet but in 1980 the parishioners experienced another setback.
This time, the church was targeted by arsonists. A fire was started in the kitchen and there was another in the church by the side of the organ.
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A policeman in a patrol car was passing and noticed the smoke. He managed to call the fire brigade in time to stop major structural damage to the church.
However, the organ was damaged beyond repair and so were hand-embroidered kneelers.
The 90s brought even more bad luck for the church.
With the derelict post office to one side and a multi- story car park on the other, it became a target for vandalism and break-ins.
In 1996, the church was targeted five times by burglars in just a few weeks.
Expensive audio equipment along with a television, video recorder and other items were stolen.
The intruders also damaged interior doors, cupboards, windows and a stained glass window.
Despite its many setbacks, Marlene Partridge, who has been attending the church since the 1960s, says that it has been the community that has helped to keep the church going.
“It is definitely the community,” she said.
“We are one of a few churches that still have a service on Sunday evening.
“It is a very strong community and everyone is very friendly.”
She added: “The challenge for us in the next few years will be if we can get lots of younger people into the church.”
The church will be holding an open day on Saturday June 22 for people who were married, baptised or those who attended Sunday school at the church.