St Barnabas Church

Temple Road, Epsom KT19 8HA

Building the Church c1908
Building the Church c1908
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum (Opens in a new window)

St Barnabas Church in Temple Road Epsom is part of the Church of England and lies within in the current day Diocese of Guildford.

History

Revd. Archer G. Hunter who held the parish of Christ Church, Epsom Common had found his parish to be large and sparsely populated. This changed with the development of Epsom to cater the needs of the staff and inpatients of the cluster of 5 mental hospitals established in the area. Revd. Hunter was therefore the prime mover for the dedication of a new church in Hook Road, to be named St Barnabas.

The first St Barnabas church, a daughter church to Christ Church, was a corrugated iron structure in Hook Road on land given by Mr Hesketh and was dedicated on 16 June 1899 by Bishop Littleton on a very hot day and in the presence of 390 people.

The original West End of the 1909 St Barnabas Church
The original West End of the 1909 St Barnabas Church
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum (Opens in a new window)

By 1908 the church had become too small and so a new building was started in 1908, on land donated by Basil Braithwaite, using the 'rather handsome' high quality red bricks locally produced at the Nonsuch Brick Company in East Street. The foundation stone was laid on 24 October. Because of lack of funds one of the bays at the building's West End was omitted and replaced by a simple common brick wall which was not in keeping with the locally made bricks. The church was dedicated on 19 June 1909 by the Bishop of Winchester but it could not be used for marriages until 1912.

In 1917 St Barnabas became a church in its own right with the parish carved from that of Christ Church. Its first vicar was Revd. A E Fraser an ex naval officer. In 1920 an organ was installed and by 1921 the vicarage had been built. The Parish hall was completed in 1925. During the Second World War the church hall became an emergency shelter and feeding station, but was not much used.

An undated photo of the 1968 West End
An undated photo of the 1968 West End
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum (Opens in a new window)

In 1949 a fund to complete the West End was started but building work only began in 1965. It was completed in 1968 at a cost of £26,000 to designs of one of the church wardens, Bernard Dowland ARIBA, who was an architect with the Church Commissioners.

The 1968 West End was modified with the addition of a very distinctive modern glass extension built in 2004.

The latest West End taken in 2009
The latest West End taken in 2009
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum (Opens in a new window)

For our online parish records please see our Family History Page.


This article was researched and written by Pat Reed 2010
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