Church_Black_and_WhiteThe church of St. Augustine, Rush Green, originated in 1946 as a mission of St. Andrew, Romford.

In 1948 a hut was erected at the corner of Birkbeck Road and Rush Green Road and in 1953 a conventional district was formed.  A dual-purpose church was built in 1958 with the Hall being added in 1965.

A separate parish, taken from the parishes of St. Andrew, Romford, St. Peter and St. Paul, Dagenham and Holy Cross, Hornchurch, was formed in 1969.  The advowson of the vicarage was vested in the bishop of Chelmsford.


In March 1993 there was a fire at St Augustine’s Church.  As reported in the Romford Recorder on March 19th 1993:

Distraught parish priest Father Bryan Whitaker could not bear to watch as fire ripped through his beloved church on Tuesday. Forth firefighters tackled the blaze as flames and smoke poured through the roof of the Church of St Augustine of Canterbury in Birkbeck Road, Rush Green.

Staff at the Rendevous Cafe, just across the road, raised the alarm around 1pm after they saw smoke pouring through the roof at the tower end of the building.

Firemen led by Dagenham station commander Wayne McCollin, an assistant divisional officer, had the blaze under control within 50 minutes.

A spokesman said it appeared to have started in the south end of the church, near the organ, and spread rapidly through the roof timbers.  The organ was burned “beyond repair”.

Metropolitan Police forensic experts went to the scene.  The brigade’s own fire investigation team quickly ruled out arson.  Fr Whittaker, who became parish priest a year ago, said later: “I have been told by the experts that the cause most probably was an electrical fault.  Arson by vandals is not a factor, and I am very pleased about that.

As he toured the smoke-blackened building with the Bishop of Barking, the Right Rev Roger Sainsbury, he added: “It will be business as usual on Sunday for my flock.”

Services will be held in the church hall; weekday services in the Vicarage.  A bazaar set for tomorrow goes ahead.  Furniture and sacred objects were saved.  But a treasured statue of the church’s patron saint was cut in two by falling roof timbers.

–  Report: Nick Smith


Since the fire, the church has been repaired and renovated to it’s current look with Father Martin now in the position of Parish Priest.