St John, Stratford

The church of St John the Evangelist was built to serve the growing population of Stratford.

This Church of England church has its origins in 1827 when the then vicar of West Ham parish considered that there was a need for a new church in the area. A new parish was formed and funds were raised by local people and work began in 1832, taking two years to complete.

The church stands in a prominent position in the middle of the Broadway which was originally an unfenced village green. Originally, it stood almost as an island where the High Street split at the church, on the north side it formed the A11 to Cambridge and Newmarket and on the south the A118, where it retraced the line of the ancient Roman Road to Colchester. The construction of Great Eastern Road in the 1970s enabled traffic to be diverted away and the church was "joined" to the Broadway on its north side.

Describing the building, Nickolaus Pevsner writes: "1832 - 34 by [Sir Edward] Blore. Early English with lancets; yellow brick. Tall and ornate south west spire. Thin many moulded piers with depressed arches. Clerestory and thin tie beams with tracery. The chancel was added in 1882."

In 1879 a monument was erected in the church yard to those men and women burned at the stake for their Protestant faith in 1556 during the reign of Mary Tudor. (See article on the website about this).

The churchyard has a number of trees included in a Tree Preservation Order made in 1973. In the 1990s an extension was built on the north side, from bricks chosen to closely match the existing.

 (Image: Newham Council Arts & Heritage. Text from "Buildings in Newham- A survey of buildings of architectural, historic, and local interest recorded in the Borough in 1973" by Kenneth Lund, Director of Planning & Architecture, published by the London Borough of Newham and containing a full list of acknowledgements of textual sources)

St John, Stratford


St John, Stratford

I have seen in a number of places the statement that the church was built on the village green. This is inaccurate. The land was donated by the then Lord of the Manor & the brother of the Duke of Wellington, so it cannot have been a village Green, also, there is evidence that there was a blacksmiths shop and other buildings on the site. John Cary's road map of 1790 also clearly shows buildings on the site.