Our History

We trace our history back to 1865 when a Mr Rides, a local farmer started open air meetings on Wandsworth Common. Due to oposition, he moved the meetings to his home but before long it was obviouse that a purpose built chapel was required. In 1875 a new chapel was opened in the eastern arm of Chatham Road, at a cost of £1,000. It was opened by Rev C H Spurgeon and his two sons helped to run the church for a while. The first pastor, Rev A A Harmer was appointed in 1877. The first deacons and elders were appointed in 1881 by the next pastor, Rev Mummery and a democratic leadership was introduced. Rev C E Stone was appointed Pastor in 1883 and due to increase in membership, the church found it needed larger premises. A vacant site on the corner of the new Wakehurst Road and Northcote Road had a sign erected saying "Site for new pub". The church saw this as a challenge and after much local oposition, the sign was eventually changed to "Site for new chapel". The new church was complete in 1888 for approximately £3,000, much of that donated by the generous benevolence of a Miss Bell of Tooting. The architect was E W Mountford who was also archirect for Lavender Hill Library, Battersea Town Hall (Arts Centre) and the Old Bailey central Criminal Courts. C H Spuregeon preached at the opening service and the Foundation Stone contains the foundation trowel, newspapers of the time and accounts of Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebrations. Considerable increase in children attending, a new Sunday School hall was built next door at 53 Wakehurst Road which also contained a caretakers flat. Again, financed by Miss Bell. At the time, it was a state of the art building. The two World Wars were trying times for the church and fr most, it was run by the women of the church while the men served in the armed services. In World War 2 an unexplded bomb crashed through the roof and landed where the piano and organ are currently located. The building was only saved because fire watchers slept on the premises overnight and were vigilent.

After the 2nd World War, the men returned and the church again started to flourish with Boys' Brigade, Girls' Brigade and Christian Endeavour. Rev A S Bell arrived after the war and in 1948 the building celebrated its Diamond Jubilee. At the end of the 1950's the church was thoroughly redecorated and refurbished and a new Communion table and chairs d were donated by The Boys' Brigade, the inscription on the table reading "Do this in remembrance of me". After Mr Bell left.  Rev A Price took over the reins, who had a great burden for mission, and for Welsh hymns In 1967 Rev Leslie Gregory arrived and soon after suffered a heart attack, rendering him incapable of work for some time. During this time the church steeple was condsidered a danger and taken down on the orders of the Fire Brigade.  Malcolm Love became pastor in 1979 and the current manse in Alfrison Road was purchased. |Also during this time the church purchased 102a Northcote Road to house our Youth Ministers. Andy Pilcher joined the team as Youth Pastor and took up residence at 102a. The old pipe organ was by now a considerable burden and a decision was made to purchase a new electronic organ  at a cost of £2,900 which is still currently serving the church. Rev David Austin arrived in 1989. Times were changing and the Boys' and Girl's Brigade and Christian Endeavour were closed. While we were considering the renovation of the crumbling Lecture Hall, we were approached by a Christian School, Dolphin School to move into lower hall. The Wakehurst Playgroup had taken residence in the Lecture Hall. Soon after the arrival of our current Pastor, Nick Morris it was clear that Dolphin School were fast expanding and needed more space. Agreement was reached for the Lecture Hall to be completely redeveloped, complete with a second floor,  with Dolphin finance and the school currently occupy the builling during the week. A strong link has been forged with Dolphin and we also have links with the Games Maker Choir which was founded after the London Olympics. We are now a small but strong fellowship and firmly believe that God has a plan for us for the future. We continue to seek His will as we go forward in His Name.

Les Rees-Partridge

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Page last updated: 16th December 2016 8:09 PM