South Lambeth: St Stephen
Lambeth North Deanery
Rev William Wilson (Vicar)
St Stephen's Terrace
London SW8 1DH
Tel: 020-7564 1930
Tel: 020-7735 8461
Fax: 020-7735 7171
Parish website: www.stschurch.org.uk
Praise / Parish Communion (with children's and young people's activities)
6.30pm Evening Worship
Facilities: Disabled access, toilets, disabled toilet, crèche, induction loop, large print books
Further details of all Sunday and weekday services and activities may be obtained from the parish contacts
Patron: Church Pastoral Aid Society
Urban Priority Area: Yes
Deanery: Lambeth North
Episcopal Area: Kingston
Diocesan Record Office: London Metropolitan Archives
St Stephen's, South Lambeth is an inner city church with about 90 adult members and 50 teenagers/children. The church membership reflects the diversity of the local community.
Our morning services are lively, child-friendly and relaxed. They include age-specific groups for the children and teenagers. Our evening services are more quiet and reflective.
The church is home to a Fegans Family and Community worker and to SNAP - St Stephens Neighbourhood Action Project - which supports older local people.
The church has four "Friendship Groups"; a large parents & toddlers group; an afternoon fellowship; a "Tots on Tuesday" service; and a youth group.
Details of church
Architect: Norman Ashley Green
Listing: not listed
St Stephen’s Church, built in 1969 to replace a crumbling Victorian structure, had innumerable problems of access. The building was ‘invisible’ as a church: made of high brick walls with only slit castle-like windows, themselves obscured with plastic coloured sheets. The reality was that no-one could see in or out of the building. All facilities were subterranean and the only access was external and via a dangerous concrete ramp and steps. Water supply and toilets were only available to the fit and daring!
In his judgement on the faculty petition for the recently completed renovation project, the Diocesan Chancellor described the existing church as follows:
"The church was built in 1969 in a distinctively modern style by Norman Ashley Green, which (without criticism of its aesthetics or functional efficacy: for the design has many merits) could be categorised as "ecclesiastical warehouse". The base plan is pentagonal, and the roof soars to the north (ecclesiastical west), with striking use of brick and concrete. At present the church is dark inside, and has a gloomy appearance when approached from the north, mitigated to some extent by the presence of two lime trees which will be removed by this proposal. It presently appears uninviting, not least because its main entrance is scarcely visible."
The Living Stones Project sought to turn this dark, cold, uninviting space, of limited use, into one that said "Welcome, Come in". Large windows have been inserted, including a totally new glass entrance with disabled access and canopy. A new light-reflective suspended ceiling, ‘warmer’ floor surface and new heating have been installed and a new parish room has been built as an annex/entrance lounge attached to the church. This latter is mainly of glass and equipped with comfortable chairs, accessible toilet and a coffee-bar servery.
St Stephen’s is now warm, light, accessible, useable and welcoming.