Kingston Vale: St John
(within the Kingston Team Ministry)
Revd Amanda Beck
St John's Vicarage
Robin Hood Lane
London SW15 3PY
Tel : 020 8546 4079
Parish website: www.inthevale.org.uk
8.00am Holy Communion (said) (BCP)
10.30am Morning Worship
(with children's and young people's activities for all ages)
6.30pm Choral Evensong
(1st Sunday only)
Facilities: Disabled access, toilets, disabled toilet, crèche, iInduction loop
Further details of all Sunday and weekday services and activities may be obtained from the parish contacts
Patron: Bishop of Southwark
Population (2001 census): 3,919
Urban Priority Area: No
Episcopal Area: Kingston
Diocesan Record Office: Surrey History Centre
Created from the Parish of St Andrew's Ham in 1847, this delightful Victorian church is located on the southern side of Richmond Park. Within its boundaries are the Putney Vale estate, the Kingston Vale Estate and the Eastern Side of Kingston Hill, including parts of Kingston University. The Parish is community orientated with strong links with local schools, residents' associations and other voluntary bodies. It has a monthly news letter that is distributed, free of charge, ten times a year to all residents. There are numerous activities that take place in its Parish Hall catering for all ages.
Architect: Ewan Christian
Listing: not listed
St John the Baptist Church was built in 1861 and designed by Ewan Christian. an ecclesiastical architect, who spent most of his career between 1862 - 1892 building, altering or restoring churches in South London and Surrey.
It is not mentioned in Pevsner's "Buildings of England", but this building, although designed in a Victorian decorated Gothic style (as were many of his buildings) looks very much a small rural Surrey church. The organ loft (on the north side) and the choir vestry (on the south side) were built later and a small WC block has been added to the vestry extension since then.
The arrangement consists of a double-pitched nave, without clerestory, but with lean-to aisle roofs on either side. The nave terminates at the east end in a polygonal apse, near the apex of which is a timber-framed bellcote housing a single bell. The organ loft, vestries and WCs have been described above. The principal entrance is on the north side via a decorated porch.
Although a small building, the interior feels spacious and the proportions are good. Externally, the setting is charming and rural in feel, being a garden with large conifers, and although the Kingston Bypass (A30) runs only a hundred metres away, the atmosphere around the church remains what it must have been in the 1930s - or even the 1860s.
The church is constructed of yellow stock brickwork. with red brick and ashlar dressings. Window tracery is dressed stone in the 'decorated' style housing leaded glazing, and all roofs are clad in Welsh slate with terracotta ridges and lead valleys and flashings.