Wood Lane Baptist Church
Psalm 16:11


The Becontree estate is the largest council housing estate in the world. The London County Council built it after 1921 to reward the families of soldiers who had served in the First World War.

Between 1921 and 1932 over 25,000 houses were built within the Essex parishes of Barking, Dagenham and Ilford, and over 100,000 people moved to the area. Farms were compulsorily purchased. The estate initially consisted of over 25,000 homes and was completed in March 1934.

Later the building programmes extended the estate to nearly 27,000 homes with an estimated population of 90,000. The estate provided affordable housing for the better-off working class Londoner. The new houses had gas and electricity, inside toilets, fitted baths and front and back gardens. In return the London County Council had strict rules on housework, house and garden maintenance, children's behaviour and the keeping of pets. The estate was the catalyst that led Dagenham to become first an Urban District and later an Essex Borough.

By the Second World War, Becontree and Dagenham were almost interchangeable and Dagenham Borough was well on the way to being known as one of the most modern and forward looking in the country.

Wood Lane Baptist Church was established in 1932 to minister to the growing town of Dagenham. When the town was completed it was largest council estate in Europe. The Church has always had a heart for Youth Ministry, which is reflective in the number of young people.