Places of Worship Guide
Please note that the London Metropolitan Archives is the designated place of deposit for Church of England records and therefore, Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives is not permitted by law to collect these records for its archives. However, we do hold copies on microfilm of some of these records and other records of places of worship where the originals are held elsewhere.
Records of Non-Conformist Places of Worship
We hold the archives of various non-conformist churches and other places of worship in Tower Hamlets, these are catalogued within our collections for Places of Worship - reference: W/. We hold archival records for the following places of worship:
- Bethnal Green United Reformed (formerly Congregational) Church ref: W/BGU
- Central Hall of the Mildmay Mission to the Jews, Philpot Street ref: W/CHM
- Cubitt Town Primitive Methodist Church register of baptisms ref: W/CTP
- East London (Baptist) Tabernacle, Burdett Road ref: W/ELT
- Good Shepherd Mission, Bethnal Green ref: W/GSM
- Little Alie Street Baptist Church, Whitechapel ref: W/LAS
- Latimer Congregational Church, Mile End ref: W/LAT
- Lighthouse Baptist Church, Bromley-by-Bow ref: W/LBC
- The Out and Out Christian Mission, Bow ref: W/OAO
- Poplar Methodist Church, East India Dock Road, Poplar ref: W/PMC
Please note this collection includes some records for Bow Road Methodist Church; Cubitt Town Methodist Church; St. George's Methodist Centenary Chapel, Cable Street; The Lycett Methodist Church, Mile End; Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Dee Street, Bromley-by-Bow.
- St. George's German Lutheran Church and St. Paul's German Reformed Church, Whitechapel ref: W/SGG
- Stepney Meeting House and John Knox Presbyterian Church ref: W/SMH
- Tower Hamlets Mission ref: W/THM
- Trinity United Reformed (formerly Congregational) Church, Poplar ref: W/TUC
- Victoria Park Baptist Church, Bethnal Green ref: W/VPB
Records of Synagogues
- Princes (later Princelet) Street Synagogue, Spitalfields ref: W/PRI
- Spitalfields Great Synagogue, 59 Brick Lane ref: W/SGS
The contents of the above collections varies greatly for instance, our archives for Princes Street Synagogue consists of three records whereas we hold approximately 485 items within our archives for St. George's German Lutheran Church and St. Paul's German Reformed Church. Staff will be happy to provide you with further information and details about specific collections in the above list. Hard copy catalogues for the majority of these collections are also available to consult in the Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives reading room.
We hold lots of general material about places of worship in Tower Hamlets within our library collections. These include: books; pamphlets; press cuttings; photographs; local newspapers and copies of some records for places of worship on microfilm. We also have a large collection of historic parish magazines and church newsletters. Materials cover not just Christian places of worship but also several Jewish synagogues, the Brick Lane Mosque and the East London Mosque as well as the London Buddhist Centre and Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. The locations of places of worship that are no longer existent or are redundant can be traced by using our extensive historic map collection.
We hold copies of parish registers, mainly pre-1870, for the following Church of England churches:
- St. Matthew's, Bethnal Green
- St. Mary's, Bow
- St. Anne's, Limehouse
- Poplar Chapel, Poplar
- All Saints, Poplar
- St. Paul's, Shadwell
- St. Dunstan's, Stepney
- St. George-in-the-East
- Christ Church, Spitalfields
- St. Mary's, Spital Square
- St. John at Wapping, Limehouse
We also hold copies on microfilm of registers of the Great Synagogue - Duke's Place, Aldgate - and of many non-conformist registers held at the National Archives.
You can also now use Ancestry Library Edition to view London Parish Registers held by the London Metropolitan Archives. This resource is freely available for visitors to access in all Tower Hamlets Idea Stores and libraries.