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The History of St. Peter’s
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The Bridge
At this time, the 18th Century Westminster Bridge in London was being replaced and the contractor also had the order for the new Church at Aldborough Hatch.

The first Westminster Bridge, designed by Charles Labelage, was opened to traffic on 18th October 1750. The new Westminster Bridge was designed by Thomas Page in consultation with Sir Charles Barry, architect of the new Houses of Parliament, and was erected at a cost of £400,000. Building of the new bridge started in 1854, but the old bridge was in use until the new one was nearing completion in 1862. The Portland Stone of the old bridge was used to build St. Peter's.
 

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From an original pen and wash drawing of the Old Westminster Bridge
by Canaletto, now in the British Museum.
 

Wordsworth stood on the stones from which our church is built to write the lines: 'Earth has not anything to show more fair...' ('Ode to Westminster Bridge').

Whilst St. Peter's was being built, an appeal leaflet was published, with an illustration showing the porch on the north side. The appeal was for contributions to endow the new benefice of St. Peter and the Committee, which was chaired by John Davis, Esq., had the
'satisfaction of announcing that the convenient and Ecclesiastical Edifice, now in course of erection, will be finished in the ensuing summer'. Commenting on the increased population expected following disafforesting of Hainault Forest, the leaflet states that: 'This increase is almost exclusively composed of the Labouring Classes...'. Those who contributed to the Building Fund, totalling at that time £1,415, included the Crown (site and £1,000), The Hon. and Revd. Henry W. Bertie, Vicar of St. Mary's (£20), Spencer Charrington of Great Gearies and a member of the famous brewing family (£20), George Painter of Aldborough Hall (£10), Mrs. Verbeke of Aldborough Grange (£10), Samuel Mitchell of Great Newbury Farm (£20) and John Davis of Cranbrook House (£25).

The leaflet also records that the Endowment Fund was started off with a sum of £22.18s.0d.
‘received in Compensation of an Injury received' (although it does not tell us who sustained the injury nor where it took place!).

Until the early 1930s, a church stood at Little Heath to the south of Little Heath House on the corner where the A12 meets Hainault Road. Some links remain with St. James's Church - the two wooden chairs with arms that stand in St.Peter's Sanctuary, the panelling at the rear of the Altar (which had to be modified to fit) and the brass processional cross.
 

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The New Chapel at Aldborough Hatch, from an appeal leaflet published in 1863.
 

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St. James'S Church, Little Heath, was built in 1862 by Major G.E. Ibbetson as a Chapel beside his residence at Heath House, Little Heath. Services continued until about 1930; the building was demolished in 1933.
 

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