Stop 26: Chislehurst Methodist Church
The Methodist Church from the commons
No longer possible to get a full landscape picture!
A large and impressive ragstone church facing the common. The church was built thanks to the generosity of Nathaniel Strode, who donated the land, and of George Chubb (1st Baron Hayter), whose family had founded Chubb & Sons Lock & Safe Co. who largely covered the costs of construction. Work began in 1868, and after a disaster when a violent storm all but destroyed the tower, and the main body of the church and its steeple were completed in 1870. The original construction cost was £5,800.
To provide extra seating the gallery or balcony was built in 1881 and owing to the growth of the church the side chapel was completed in 1883, including the vestry. Further rooms behind the Church were added later. Next door to the church was the Manse, a three-storey mansion for the minister, now replaced by a smaller modern house and adjoining apartments. More detail about the church can be found here...
The style of the church is a mix of gothic revival and arts and craft, and its very tall circular spire and the many different stained glass windows on all sides of the church make for a pleasant surprise.
The interior of the church has recently been splendidly remodelled so that it can serve as a community and arts space when not in use as a church. The old pews have been removed, and the entrance moved to the west via a new atrium, while the most attractive features of the church have been retained (see image below).
Forster and Andrews of Hull, Yorkshire, built the church organ and installed it in 1883. The cost of the organ was £210 when first built. In 1900 the organ was altered and expanded, and it was given a major overhaul and refurbishment in 1923. It was again refurbished and overhauled in 1990. The British Institute of Organ Studies list the organ as being of Grade 2 significance and have included it within their register of historic Organs.
|The organ has 1600 pipes, many of them ornately painted. It was originally pumped by hand bellows.|
|Return to the High Street and turn left passed the Red Cross Car Park, formerly Hornbrook House.|
The interior of the church in 2012