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St John's Church, Wimbledon

Spencer Hill, Wimbledon  SW19 4NZ

In the mid-19th century the arrival of the railway and the consequent expansion of housing south of the Ridgway created a demand for a new church.  The land was acquired for £20 in 1867 and architects submitted their plans for £6000 building.  However, insufficient funds were raised and a temporary ‘iron Church’ was purchased from St John’s, Battersea for £1,200.  Made of corrugated iron on brick foundations, and seating 500, it came complete with altar and font.

In 1873 the architect Thomas Jackson was appointed, and he oversaw the construction of the present building in Victorian High Gothic style.  The foundation of the new Church was laid on St John the Baptist’s day, 24th June, in 1873 and today the resulting building is Grade II listed.

Unusually, the Church grounds were excluded from the consecration as the original conveyance of the land specified that the land be used neither for burials nor for schools.   The Church is normally entered through the north door, and conforms to the tradition for churches dedicated to St John the Baptist where one descends into the nave via steps, symbolising descent into the waters of Baptism.


How to get to the venue

The church sits in a residential area at the three-way junction of Murray Road, Spencer Hill and St John's Road and is sandwiched between Worple Road at the bottom of Spencer Hill and Ridgway further along Murray Road.   Parking is residential with limits so not plentiful.   The church is about a 15-20 minute walk from Wimbledon station (national rail out of London Waterloo, Thameslink, Tramlink and District Line underground services) but bear in mind the last part of Spencer Hill leading up to the church is quite steep.   Bus stops for route 57 & 131 (stop is called Spencer Hill) are on Worple Road and route 200 goes along Ridgway (use stop for Wimbledon Telephone Exchange).

See location on the map and get directions
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