7 March 1897
The 'Builder' magazine said, "Bow Church is certainly not a noble example of medieval architecture, or a specially brilliant piece of design, but its grey, weather-beaten, tower comes upon us like the face of an old friend."
All through the 1800s, there were calls for the demolition and rebuilding of the dilapidated old church. Then, in 1896, the chancel ceiling collapsed and the local paper announced, "BOW CHURCH IS DOOMED!" The Chair of the Parish Council suggested that "demolition would entirely raise the tone of Bow Road and bring trade to the parish." Fortunately, other voices prevailed, and the church was massively restored in the next three years. The "old friend" had survived!
15 March 1844
On 15 March 1844, George Townshend Driffield became Rector of the parish. He had been the curate at St Philip's, Stepney. He established a choir in the church. We wonder how this was received. When All Saints, Poplar introduced a choir, there was "much opposition and abuse." He was involved in housing development north of Roman Road, and Driffield Road is named after him.
24 March 1729
On this day, an Act of Parliament was passed, following a petition by local people, that separated the parish of St Mary's from St Dunstan's. The Act provided £3,500 from public funds for an endowment. Bow Church was finally the parish church of an independent parish.
25 March 1551
"A poore man that died in Thomas White's barn was buried ye 25th day of March."