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Gallery: Churches of South-West London
by Peter Kessler, 5 June 2011
Merton Part 2: Churches of Colliers Wood & Mitcham
The Parish Church of St Barnabas Mitcham
stands proudly on the northern side of Gorringe Park Avenue, on the
corner with Thirsk Road in Colliers Wood. In 1906 the mission district
of St Barnabas was formed as an initiative of Christ Church Colliers
Wood. An iron room was built to accommodate services, one of the
mass-produced tin churches of which many examples can be found across
the former British Empire. St Saviour's in Faversham is a rare survivor
With the construction of the church hall in 1908
and its opening by the bishop of Kingston on 23 January 1909, services
were transferred from the tin church to the hall. A mission was
established in 1912. On 17 May 1913 the foundation stone for the church
itself was laid and on 14 November 1914 the building was consecrated by
the bishop of Southwark. A month later the church gained its own parish.
The building is in the Gothic style, designed by H P Burke Downing.
The Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Assumption
is on the northern side of Links Road, very close to Streatham Road, on a
site donated in 1908. During the Second World War an air-raid shelter
stood here. A wooden church later replaced the Scout hut in which Mass
was celebrated and a new parish was formed. The wooden church was severely
damaged in the 1987 hurricane and the foundation stone for the present
building was laid in 1988. The work was completed in 2005.
Mitcham Baptist Church is tucked in behind the
High Street shops on the eastern side of London Road, opposite Holbourne
Road in Mitcham. The main direction of the old village of Mitcham was
north-east and south-west along the main road from London to Sutton,
although by 1912 Mitcham was practically a suburb of London. There were
Baptist, Congregational, Primitive Methodist and two United Methodist
chapels in the parish, although details are unavailable.
The Parish Church of St Mark Mitcham is at
the south-eastern corner of St Mark's Road and Baker Lane. Designed
by R M Chart, the church consists of a chancel, north transept
with vestry and organ chamber, south chapel, nave, north and
south aisles, west baptistery, and north porch. A mission district
was established in Upper Mitcham in 1891. The nave and aisles were
built in 1899. The parish was created out of that of St Peter and
St Paul Mitcham in 1905.
The chancel, north transept and south chapel were
added to the building in 1910, by which time it was known as the
Church of St Mark Upper Mitcham. The style of construction is
approximately that of the thirteenth century, and the materials are
red brick with stone dressings and tiled timber roofs. A new organ was
installed in 1931. By 2010, half the church building was being used as a
family centre during the day, supporting people of all ages in different ways.