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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of South-West London

by Peter Kessler, 5 June 2011

Merton Part 1: Churches of Colliers Wood

St Joseph's Catholic Church, Colliers Wood, Mitcham, South London

St Joseph's Catholic Church, Colliers Wood, is on the eastern side of High Street Collier's Wood, north of the Underground station. Discussions had been taking place in the parish of St Boniface, Tooting, since the early 1930s about dividing the parish, which was considered too large. This church was built in 1966 and was consecrated by Archbishop Michael Bowen in 1979. Behind it is a small shrine to Our Lady of Merton, based on the seal of the former Merton Priory.

Christ Church, Colliers Wood, Mitcham, South London

Christ Church Colliers Wood stands on the eastern side of Christchurch Road, opposite Priory Road. The church was built between 1873-1874, originally being named Christ Church Singlegate. It was designed in the 'early English' Gothic style by F and H Francis, built with yellow London stock bricks and Bath stone dressings. It was consecrated on Ascension Day, 14 May 1874. In 1875 it gained a district chapelry, and this became a parish at a point between 1875-1914.

Christ Church, Colliers Wood, Mitcham, South London

In 1944 a flying bomb fell in Fortescue Road, destroying six houses, the vicarage and the church hall, and severely damaging the church building. Reconstruction work included a new roof and ceiling, a new south porch, complete reglazing and a new east window. The work continued until 1953. More recently the name of the parish was changed to its current form to reflect changes in population. In 1884 a ring of six bells was installed in the tower; restored in 1934 and 2001.

Oasis Church, Colliers Wood, Mitcham, South London

Oasis Church is on the northern side of Fortescue Road, close to the junction with Christchurch Road (behind the camera). This international church is related to the Baptist Union of Great Britain and to Partners in Harvest. Oasis Church began in 1990, meeting in a local school and has gone from strength to strength, moving into the present building in 1996. The church is now thinking about significantly extending the size of the building as it has already been outgrown.

Rhema Church Ministries, Colliers Wood, Mitcham, South London

Rhema Church Ministries occupies a rather odd building which faces out over Crusoe Road but also backs onto Pitcairn Road behind it. The entrance, shown here, is on Crusoe Road, behind a rough security fence and next door to a car repair shop. Rhema Church London is a multicultural church whose headquarters are in Croydon, to the south-east of Merton, with a congregation claimed to be in excess of 2,000. The building is unlikely to have a long history of worship.

London Road Cemetery Chapel, Colliers Wood, Mitcham, South London

London Road Cemetery Chapel lies on the eastern side of London Road, opposite Figge's Marsh, a large open green space in the heart of Merton. The cemetery occupies 14.9 acres of land and opened in April 1929. It is run and maintained by Merton Council. The cemetery's chapel lies along the perfectly straight entrance road, deep in the heart of the grounds. Inside is an electric organ, sound system and an induction loop, plus seating for eighty people.

All photos on this page by P L Kessler.



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