Tottenham Tabernacle is the home of Christ The King Dominion Place, a pentecostal church located on Forster Road, N17 6QD in Tottenham, North London.

Inside Tottenham Tabernacle

The History of Tottenham Tabernacle

In Tottenham in 1882, Churchmen, Nonconformists, Catholics; and temperance supporters of all political opinions, united in an effort to fight the evils of the drink traffic. A strong committee was formed, with Samuel Morley, Esq., president, Rev. G. Turner, chairman, and Mr. J. G. Armfield and Mr. J. P. Beaven secretaries. It was decided to hold a mission on unsectarian lines, and to hire a corrugated iron building to hold 2,000 people, at a cost of £260 for a month. This was erected in Bruce Grove Road,-abutting on Sperling Road. The first meeting of the mission, which was called the Blue Ribbon Gospel Temperance Mission, was held Nov. 16, 1882, when the principal speaker was Mr. Wm. Noble, the founder of the Blue Ribbon Movement; Arthur Pease, Esq., M.P., occupied the chair. Sometime before the meeting commenced the streets of the district were paraded by a body of Good Templars wearing the regaIia of the order, supported by many well-known gentlemen of high social standing, accompanied by two bands. A report states that long before the commencement of the meeting, the hall was literally crammed within, and besieged without. The object of the mission was summed up by Mr. Noble; he said ” he had not come to Tottenham to fight the publicans, he had come to combat a great evil-drink.” During the first fortnight of the, mission the number of pledges taken was, 2,451 adults, and over 500 children. So successful was this mission that many months passed by without any abatement of the interest ‘in the work. The first year’s subscriptiot1s and donations (including £180 from Samuel Morley, Esq.) amounted to over £720; the iron hall was purchased for £250.

While the mission was conducted in the iron hall, most of the noted temperance reformers of the country attended and gave addresses; the following may be mentioned: Rev. Dawson Burns, Mr. Thomas Whittaker, Mr. Charrington, Dr. Ridge, of food fame, Mr. J. Rae, Rev. F. W. Horsley, Mr. Bramwell Booth, and Sir Wilfrid Lawson, Bart, M.P., at a meeting on local option, When the chair was taken by the Rt. Ron. Lord Claud Hamilton. On one crowded occasion the Rev. H. McSorley (St. Paul’s, Park Lane) had a discussion with the Rev. Dawson Burns, advocating moderate drinking, and trying to prove it to be Scriptural. The cheers and hisses which greeted both speakers in turns showed that the sympathies of the hearers were about evenly divided.

The marvelous success of the mission for such a 1ong time induced the committee to take steps to found a permanent mission; the committee was re-organised; a site was secured for £312 10s, in Forster Road, and an appeal was made for funds for the erection of a brick building”; the response to the appeal, although not satisfactory! was thought to be sufficient for a start, and the structure known as Forster Hall was erected; in this services were held on Sundays with attempts, more or less successful, during the week. Disputes soon arose among, the committee, then there was a lack of workers, and financial difficulties came along! which could not be wondered at,-as the original mission was worked and supported by workers in various churches and chapels in the neighbourhood, who, naturally, returned to their old work.

The downfall of the mission was hastened by bitter controversy, and the building at one time nearly fell into the hands of a brewer. The committee were called upon by the mortgagees, but as they could not get the money, pressure was put upon the guarantors to pay their liability of £250 each. The only one that met this demand was Mr. J. P. Beavan who, not wishing to lose the money he had paid, met the mortgagees’ claim, and law costs, and as the other guarantors would not make any terms, Mr. Beavan became the mortgagee in possession in 1891. Actions at law followed but Mr. Beavan still holds possession.

The building has since been used for many purposes. At one time the Tottenham P.S.A held meetings in it. A stage was erected, and the hall let as a theatre; then as a music-hall; and at the present time as a picture palace called the Peoples Palace

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

LORDSHIP LANE, TOTTENHAM, LONDON N17

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FRED FISK, FORSTER HALL, The History of the Ancient Parish of Tottenham, 1923, pages 187-188