A Short History of Harmony Hall

Marsh Street Mission

Marsh Street Mission

Harmony Hall started life in 1936 as the “Marsh Street Mission” set up to pursue “Christian social mission”. Back then, Walthamstow High Street was known as Marsh Street (because it runs down to the marshes). Marsh Street Mission was built in collaboration between The Shaftesbury Society and Marsh Street Congregational Church with monies from the closure of several Ragged Schools in London on the site of a previous Unitarian church. Marsh Street Congregational Church was the earliest Free Church presence in Walthamstow dating back to 1672 and was located on the High Street, opposite the Post Office/Natwest Bank.

During the 1940s, the Centre thrived providing outreach to many younger and older residents of Walthamstow. A large boys club called “The League of Three”, founded in 1906, moved here and provided activities for hundreds of local boys for many years such as a boxing club, badminton, tennis and woodwork. Also during the war years, an air raid shelter on the northern side of the Centre provided protection and refuge for many local residents.

Here is a link to the Walthamstow Guardian about a recent League of Three re-union. League of Three

Marsh Street Congregational Church merged with Trinity Church to become Marsh Street and Trinity United Reformed Church in 1965 who continued to manage it for several decades, passing responsibility on first to The Shaftesbury Society then a local neighbourhood group of churches.

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Since 1999 CREST Waltham Forest, a charity which has been serving local people since 1971, became managing agent for the Centre, renamed Harmony Hall. In 2013, a small amount of capital works were done to the Centre enhancing improving access, its art exhibition space and performance arts potential.