HISTORY OF OUR BUILDING

The church was built in 1934, as First Church of Christ, Scientist, in the Arts and Crafts style with some Modern features. The architect was Herbert G. Ibberson and the constructors was Carter of Norwich.

 

Previously, the site was occupied by Hills and Underwood’s Vinegar Works. Production by the company ceased in 1911. The main building of the Works was later demolished. (pic1)

 

In the years followed until the late 80s this part of Recorder Road (and the adjoining area of Prince of Wales Road until today) used to be the city’s area of garages and had a petrol station across the church. (pic2) (pic3)

 

The Scientist movement congregation had dramatically declined, and on the 21st of March 1995 had officially ceased using the building as a place of worship, with an official announcement at The London Gazette on the 24th of the same month. (pic4)

 

The freehold of the church was subsequently purchased by the Greek Orthodox Community of Norwich, who have been worshipping, since 1987 when the community was created and established, at the church of Saint John Maddermarket on a lease. 

The church was dedicated to the Mother of God, celebrating the Annunciation on the 25th of March. Minor alterations were made, such as the addition of an altar screen (iconostasis), with respect to the history of the building and trying to preserve as many of the architectural and historical features as possible.

 

The church was listed as a Grade II building on the 6th of December 1991 under the entry number 1319720. It still retains the original parquet floor, the electric radiators, much of the original seating and almost all the architectural features. https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/photos/item/IOE01/11611/11

 

A Congregational Church, almost identical to this one, was built on the design of Herbert G. Ibberson in 1931 in Goddard Road, Bechenham, London. The church is now known as Elmers End Free Church.