Dagenham - St Anne

Woodward Road, Dagenham, London RM9

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A functional church of the late 1950s which is not without some architectural interest in the handling of the glazing.

In 1931 a small community of nuns rented an old farmhouse in Gale Street for use as a convent and turned the old dairy into a small chapel. The convent was closed in 1938 but the chapel was kept open for the use of the local Catholic community and became part of the parish of St Thomas More, which was run by the Pallottine Fathers. In 1939 the parish priest Fr Canning purchased half an acre of land in Woodward Road for a future new church from the L.C.C. The old chapel was destroyed by a V1 bomb in 1944 and was replaced in 1945 by a temporary chapel on the Woodward Road site. In 1958 this building was in turn replaced by the present church which was designed by a local architect named F. J. Tingey with the assistance of an LCC quantity surveyor named Mr Mahoney. The sanctuary is faced in different brick from the rest of the church and may be a later addition. The interior was re- ordered in 1982. The temporary church built in 1945 became a hall, which was rebuilt in 1991.

St Anne’s is a modest building with a concrete portal frame, walls of red brick and glass and roof coverings of pantiles. The plan comprises an aisleless nave with a small forebuilding and a small sanctuary. The red brick forebuilding has a flat roof with a flat canopy over the main door. Behind it rises the west gable of the main church which is largely glazed. The south side is five bays long with low brick side walls and continuous glazing above in the first four bays with a brick porch in the fifth bay. The north side which faces directly onto the boundary fence has higher side walls and glazing in all five bays. The sanctuary is of brown brick with a single rectangular window on the north side and a sacristy addition on the south side.

The interior is a broad well-lit space with bare brick walls and the roof trusses exposed. The windows are all clear glazed. The head of the fourth truss from the west has been filled in and a folding screen allows the low-ceilinged sanctuary to be divided off from the rest of the building. 

Diocese: Brentwood

Architect: F. J. Tingey

Original Date: 1958

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed