Now you can add your own events

A new feature… The Wanstead Social Diary has long been a feature of this site, powered in no small measure by social secretary Stephanie Pettigrew. And now we’re trialling a new feature which will make it even easier to have your even featured on the events calendar. You can now submit details of your own events, directly into the system. We’ll check them (to make sure we don’t give a platform for Satanists who, though may need to plan events, will have to find another place to do it) and then publish.

It’s a beta feature which means it might not work, or might be a bit rough round the edges, but generally we hope you like it.

Submit your event here.

(Republished from 12 November because of technical issues.)

Armistice 2018 in Wanstead

(Republished from 11 Nov due to technical issues.)

800 years of Wanstead history to end

Picture: Geoff Wilkinson

Weekly church services which have been going on in Wanstead in the same spot since the 12th Century are to cease in the New Year.

The historic St Mary the Virgin church in Overton Drive will only be used for special occasions, following a decision by the parochial church council (PCC) on Wednesday. Weekly services are expected to stop at the end of January.

An application will be made for the building to become a “festival church”, meaning it avoids formal closure and can hold a handful of services over the course of the year at special times such as Easter, Harvest, Christmas and Mothering Sunday.

The decision came despite opposition from the congregation, who have been trying to find other uses to help attract people to the building. It followed a lengthy consultation process which took place over the summer and which more than 200 people took part in.

The PCC is made up of elected members and clergy from both St Mary’s and the larger Christ Church, both of which are part of the Wanstead Parish.

Weekly congregations at St Mary’s are between 30 and 50 members, and it is not clear where those people will now choose to worship. The parish is hoping they will transfer to Christ Church, and hopes that the two congregations will become stronger together.

The rector of Wanstead, Rev Jack Dunn, issued a statement saying: “We have listened carefully to all views and decided that St Mary’s should stay open and move to a Festival Church, allowing parishioners to worship there for significant and special services through the year.

“This move, which is subject to the approval of the Bishop of Chelmsford, will allow us to focus our mission and ministry on one central location at Christ Church in order to better utilise all of our resources  and reach out and serve our local community.”

The church, the oldest in Wanstead, is the only Grade 1 listed building in Redbridge. In her 1946 history  Wanstead Through the Ages, author W. V. Phillips writes about the St Mary’s churchyard:

“[I]t is here, surely, rather than anywhere else in the parish that the soul of Wanstead vibrates.”

She writes also that a print of a church on the site as it appeared in 1228 AD  is in the Guildhall Library, and there is roll of Wanstead rectors going back to 1207. The Christ Church site on Wanstead High Street was consecrated in 1861.

The decision is a landmark in the history of Wanstead and will be regretted by many, including in the wider community. The campaign group may continue its campaign – an appeal to the bishops may be mounted.

Below is a passage from Phillips’s book relating to the building of the church.

Views from Wansteadium readers on this subject are welcome. Please email

Wanstead comes under the Evening Standard’s gaze again

Photo: Kirsteen King (Click/tap to enlarge)

Wanstead has had its periodic healthcheck from the Evening Standard’s property pages. The verdict sounds a bit like an east London version of Trump’s ‘caravan on the southern border’:

“Young families, tired of the hipsterish delights of Hackney and Hoxton, are making their way to Wanstead.” 

Excellent local entrepreneurs Kevin (Wanstead Fish), Fabien (La Bakerie) and Emma (Wanstead Barber Shop) get generously featured, as does the Churchill portrait in the Manor House. Sadly on this occasion, Wansteadium does not, unlike in 2014 when the paper last profiled Wanstead.

So we now have three separate reviews, 2018, 2014 (below) and 1987 (bottom) which Wansteadium reader Marcus Tylor found underneath some carpet.  This gives us an opportunity for some serious data journalism, based on comparing the three sets of price points.

The 2014 verdict (Click/tap to enlarge)
(Click/tap to enlarge)
And the 1987 version as found under a bit of carpet by Marcus Tylor. (Click/tap to enlarge)