A little history:
In 1841, Hatch End's population showed some 350 people living in over 50 dwellings, but by 1861 this number had trebled, for by then the railway had arrived. Hatch End Station was opened in 1844, and having made Hatch End easily accessible from the smoke of London, the railway encouraged the building of homes, the first ones being the Woodridings estate. No shops appeared until the 1920s, but in 1895 the parish church of St Anselm was dedicated.
In the 1930s Messrs Comben and Wakeling developed the estate between The Avenue, the Uxbridge Road and Rowlands Avenue, and to meet the needs of the new residents there, the Hatch End Free Church was established at its south-eastern point.
The church was formally opened in 1936, but that was the culmination of much work that had gone on for many years. In 1924 some members from Wealdstone Baptist Church would carry a portable organ across the fields by a footpath from near the Whitefriars School to Headstone Lane. The place chosen was the only gas lamp by a building opposite the Letchford Arms, now the entrance to Hatch End High School.
Mr Cyril Black, later Sir Cyril, M.P.
for Wimbledon, a distinguished Baptist, ably assisted by his brother, was of
both inspirational and practical help in establishing the Baptist Church at
Hatch End. He helped with the site, in gathering potential members together,
and with the actual building of the hall, which he gave to the church without
any charge. He later provided extra internal fittings, such as chairs. It is
true to say that without his strong support it might have been several more
years before the church actually took shape. Mr Black continued to support it
once the building was open, travelling every Sunday from his home in Surrey to
conduct the services until the first minister was appointed, and ever after he
was generous in his advice and help whenever we needed it. As a church we owe
Sir Cyril Black a very great debt of gratitude.
The church hall was dedicated on 2nd May
1936, the doors being formally unlocked by Mrs Black at 3.15 p.m. The Opening
Ceremony was presided over by Dr Gibbons of Wealdstone. The Rev. Henry Cook
(President of the London Baptist Association) preached, and greetings were
given by six local ministers, the first one being the Vicar of St Anselm's, the
Rev. F.T. Lewis. In good church style, the day's celebrations ended with a tea.
So the hall was officially
opened in May and the Hatch End Baptist Church was constituted on 6th September
1936 with 24 members. When the church was founded in the 1930s it was envisaged that the hall
would be the first part of the complex, and that a "proper" church would
be built in due course. The 1970s were to see the fulfilment of this vision,
for in 1972 the new sanctuary was opened.
1936-1944 The Rev J D Raw
1944-1951 The Rev L C Wilson
1952-1963 The Rev P Savage
1963-1967 The Rev A Davies
1969-1976 The Rev D Bartlett
1977-1988 The Rev K King
1989-2008 The Rev S Quicke
2009-2016 The Rev L Clack
2020- The Rev L Pettersen
Information taken from "Seventy-Five Years On" © Hatch End Free Church (Baptist) 2011