Newsletter 117 – February 2020



            Open Day: Saturday 9th May, 10am – 2.30pm – CANCELLED

            Annual General Meeting: Thursday 11th June, 2pm – Postponed until the autumn – details to follow. 

            Open Day: Saturday 11th July, 10am – 2.30pm

            London Open House:

                        Sat 19th September 10am-4pm &

                        Sun 20th September, 11am – 3pm

            Christmas Bazaar:

            Saturday 21st November, 1pm –4.30pm

Current members know all about our Open Days, and the chance to get away from the crowds and the traffic outside, to have a look around our precious piece of heritage, and to sit down with a cuppa in the calm and beauty of Ilford’s oldest building. So why not spread the word this year and persuade someone new to join you on your visit? Everyone is welcome to share the special atmosphere of our Open Days.

AND : Eucharistic Service every Thursday – Suspended until further notice

The Chapel offers a weekly Eucharist Service every Thursday between 12.35 and 1.15pm. We are here from 12 noon until 2pm and you are all welcome to join us.


The AGM, the London Open House Weekend and the Christmas Bazaar are events that are still a long way off, and fuller details will be given at a later date. However, yet again we should mention the possibility of some changes to these dates because of the planned installation of a new central heating system inside the Chapel. Those members with good memories will recall we announced in September 2018 – eighteen months ago! – that we had the funds, and the provisional go-ahead from the Trustees of the Chapel to install new central heating. At that point we submitted application and outline plans to English Heritage, to Redbridge Council, and other interested parties, seeking detailed preservation, safety and historical-building approval. Once that was acquired, we would need the final go-ahead from the Trustees and so get the work done. Well, eighteen months on, and we’re still waiting for the “T’s” to be crossed and the “I’s” to be dotted ! The poet George Herbert wrote “The mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small”. I wonder what he would say of the grinding mills of Planning Approval Officials?



Transport for London has announced that Ilford Train Station will be completely closed every Saturday and Sunday from now to the beginning of April. The Station itself is undergoing major re-building to prepare for the introduction of services on the Elizabeth Line (the new name for Crossrail).  However, there will be a train service for all our Thursday Services, with the Station having a new entrance and exit – in Ilford Hill, immediately facing the Chapel. (Except it is too dangerous to cross the road at this point – please walk up to the traffic lights!) You may find helpful the following extract from our Chapel Leaflet:

How to Find The Hospital Chapel , 48 Ilford Hill, Ilford, IG1 2AT

Access by car: Close to the A118 junction of the A406. Meter parking is available in Reads Close off the one-way system to the South of the Chapel. Otherwise use town centre car parks.

Access by public transport: Adjacent to Ilford rail station

Train: TfL rail Liverpool Street to Shenfield line.

Buses 25, 86, 123, 128, 145, 147, 150, 167, 169, 179,

296, 364, 366, 396, 462, EL1, W19 all stop close by.

Underground: Gants Hill station on Central Line then local bus to Ilford (about 10 minutes).


While the TFL staff at Ilford Station are having to cope with all the upheaval of the building works, it might be a good moment for the Friends of the Chapel to say a big thank-you to the TFL’s Community Champions. They can apply for financial assistance from their local Ambassadors if their chosen charity needs specific items, and MTR Elizabeth Line is happy to support the Ilford Hospital Chapel with future Open Days. We are most grateful for their support.



We were recently asked if we could help with a family history query concerning the unusual name of Matilda Wizard. As Miss Matilda Carter she married Charles James Wizard in 1899. In 1924 the Wizards are first shown as living in the Chapel’s almshouses – ‘4 St Mary’s Chapel Square, Ilford UD’ – and, after Charles died in 1933, Matilda continued to live there until at least 1939. The election registers show that Matilda died, age 86, in January 1945 at Stisted Hall, near Braintree.

Stisted Hall, a Grade II* listed building, became a care home in 1939 and is now known as Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court. It appears to have Masonic connections. Matilda and Charles would have lived both in the pre-1927 and the current almshouses. During most of that time the Chaplain was the Revd. W J Sparrow Simpson. As the Chapel had no medical care facilities I wonder if there was a regular link between it and Stisted Hall, to which people were transferred if they needed extra care?

Thanks to the Redbridge Heritage Centre for providing some of this information.

Martin Fairhurst



Newsletter 115 2019

WE NEED A NEW TREASURER ! – And we need one urgently!

This is a most important role. For someone with a bit of background in book-keeping, it is, according to Pamela, a straightforward, uncomplicated task.  (For many of the rest of us the very sight of a balance-sheet causes us to glaze over!)  Ideally our Hon. Treasurer should be someone able to attend our Thursday afternoon committee meetings (every eight weeks or so) and ideally able to attend the occasional Saturday Open Days (around four or so a year).  Perhaps someone self-employed, working part-time, or recently retired?  PLEASE spread the word amongst any suitable people you know.


The existing Committee:

Vivyan Ellacott (President);  Barbara Westcot MBE (Chairman);

Martin Fairhurst (Vice Chairman/Hon Membership Secretary); Barbara Newman (Hon Secretary); 

Vacancy (Hon Treasurer);  Committee Members:  Muriel Masters, Sheila Leake, Ian Patience,  Stephen Romaniuk, Christine Willett,  Vacancy


Grand Summer Draw

The Summer Draw will take place at the end of the AGM.  We’ve taken the liberty of enclosing two books of tickets and an addressed envelope to return the stubs and the money.  We’d like to thank you in advance for your help. If you happen to object to this kind of fund-raising, then our apologies for sending you tickets.  Just rip them up (and re-cycle, of course!) or, better still, hand them to someone who’ll be happy to support us in this way.  (Incidentally, tickets must not be purchased by or sold to anyone under the age of 18 years.)


OPEN DAY – 11th May

Our next Open Day will be on Saturday 11th May from 10am – 2pm. Our Members are clearly aware of the attractions, delights and fascinating details to be experienced and discovered on a tour around our Chapel. And that’s not to mention the sheer delight of a cup of tea or coffee in the peaceful calm of our lovely building, knowing the roar of the traffic and the frantic pace of modern life is just across the courtyard.   Our Members know it, but there are still many residents of the Borough who have no idea this historical little gem exists.  So, spread the word!  Tell those not in the know that our Open Day is well worth a visit.


Setting up the Chapel for the occasional Open Day, helping in the kitchen when the teas and coffees are in demand, clearing up afterwards, occasionally flicking the feather duster around, whooshing away the fallen leaves, tidying the garden at the back of the Chapel,  and coping with the many little tasks that crop up before and after our visitors arrive  –  we really would appreciate some help.  It’s just a few Saturdays each year, a few Thursday afternoons – every little helps. If you can help, then contact Father Martin on 01708 741 460.  He’d love to hear from you.


SOME FUTURE DATES (Provisional!)

As you already know, thanks to a number of generous bequests, the Friends of the Hospital Chapel have started the ball rolling to replace the entire heating system inside the Chapel. This requires much consultation between the interested parties:  obviously the fabric of the building is of the utmost historical importance – we can’t just knock a few holes in the wall to take hot-water pipes or run lengths of electric cable or gas pipes across the ceiling! With so many factors involved, it is proving difficult to fix exact dates for the work, or even, at this stage, to know how long the process might take.  We are planning a number of our usual Chapel events, with the major ones listed below – but please double-check in advance, just in case the work has begun.

Saturday July 13th                    Open Day

Sat & Sun September 21st /22nd            London Open House

Saturday 30th November                      Christmas Bazaar


Newsletter 114

Welcome to out latest newsletter. We are still waiting for more details of the new heating system. It has been approved by the Trustees, now we have to wait for the approval of English Heritage.
Unfortunately these things take time which we are unable to speed up, but with patience we will get new heating in the Chapel.

By the time you get this newsletter Open House will have taken place and that leaves two more events this year. A concert by our friends from the Kenneth More Theatre and our Christmas Bazaar. Another year gone—it is true what they say the older you get the quicker the years seem to go by.


Volunteers Wanted

We urgently need volunteers to help look after the chapel. We need a cleaner or cleaners to sweep the dust and odd leaf and feather that blow into the chapel. Keep the toilets and kitchen clean. All equipment provided.

We need volunteers to look after the garden at the back of the chapel. We are trying to get a firm to do an initial clear, but we need volunteers to keep the hedges cut back, the flower bed looked after and the weeds kept clear of the cobbled pathway.

If you or anyone you know would be willing to help can you please contact Father Martin on 01708 741 460



Newsletter 113

Things have been very quiet at the Chapel since Christmas. We have had our first Open Day of the year on 10th March and although not rushed off our feet, there was a steady stream of visitors and we made a grand total of £244 for which we are very grateful.

Our next Open Day is on Saturday 12th May and we hope that many of you will come and visit us. We will have all the usual stalls as well as light refreshments and look forward to seeing you.

The membership secretary has been having a clear out of membership and taken off the list any who have not renewed their membership fee for two or three years which brings our total to about 260 members.

If you know of anyone who is interested in preserving the gem of Ilford and becoming a member please put them in touch with Martin Fairhurst.

May is for Mary

May is Mary’s month and no it’s not just because the month is Mary without the ‘r’. Mary gave herself unquestioningly into God’s hands, she was as pure as it was possible to be and did not seek to promote any interests other than those of her love of God. I read somewhere that Mary does not seek to push her way into peoples lives, but waits to be invited, she has been described by many as ‘a woman wrapped in silence.’ someone who waits to be called rather than calling.

In Africa there are many languages and dialects but one translation of the word mother is ‘she who hears when I call’. Given how a mother reacts instinctively to the cry of her baby or the call of her children I can see the logic behind this idea. Mary was certainly there for Jesus when he needed her and indeed in the fullness of time she was assumed into heaven, there to be with her Son. Mary gave herself wholly to God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, and in turn God rewarded Mary for her trust and faith.

In granting Mary this special place God also made her the spiritual mother of us all, for by her example of obedience and loyalty, her willingness to say YES to God’s plan she gives us all an example of how we must surrender humbly all that we have and do to God, who also loves us with such mercy and compassion.

Mary’s spiritual motherhood is constantly active, even if we ourselves do not see or understand it. A mother never ceases to be a mother, she never forgets her children. Mary is still working so that Jesus can be born in the hearts of all people. Her heart’s desire is that everyone should come to know the fullness of the love of God; a love so graphically illustrated in the sacrifice of her Son Jesus on the cross.

Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, Mary welcomed him in herself so that she could in turn give him to the world. On the day of Pentecost, Mary was praying along with those gathered in the upper room so that the Holy Spirit could blow powerfully into the lives of all Jesus’ disciples. On that day, Christ was born again in his body, which is the church.

God calls us to join with Mary’s yes. In so doing, we welcome the grace and power of the Holy Spirit into our lives. As we learn to enter into a more open and dynamic relationship with Mary, so we participate more fully in her mission to bring the light and life of Jesus to the four quarters of the world.

So why is May Mary’s month, well if you haven’t worked it out as yet then I suggest you look at the 31st of May. Not only is it the last day of the month, but it also the day that the Church celebrates the solemnity of the Visitation. The day when Mary arrived at the home of her kinswoman Elizabeth who was to be the mother of John the Baptist; it is Elizabeth’s greeting that identifies Mary’s special place for all of us. “Blessed are you among woman, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?” (Luke 1:42-3).


In the city of Oxford the start of May is heralded with many student balls running through from the previous night, but as the sun rises at around 5am the choir of Magdalene College climb to the top of their bell tower and sing the Regina Caeli, the Magnificat and various other hymns dedicated to Mary. It is really something rather special, and in England at least, unique although in countries like Italy and Spain, but then that’s a different matter.


Here at St. Augustine’s we shall keep the solemnity as we do all the churches great feasts, with the proper ceremony and respect, but if you want to come a little closer to Mary in a different way then look out for one of the sessions of the Rosary that I hope to begin very shortly. Instruction will be given and I have a few rosary’s that can be borrowed if needs be.



General Data Protection Regulations

In May the law changes regarding General Data. The only people who have your information is our Membership Secretary and the Treasurer (for Gift Aid forms)

In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we will store your data securely. We will only use this data for membership renewal and claiming Gift Aid and will not use your data for any other purpose. We will never share your data with a third party other than in connection with processing Gift Aid.

We will also remove and delete your data if you cease to be a member or cease to be in a position where we can claim Gift Aid.