Mitcham: St Olave
The Revd Robert Wright
(Priest in Charge)
20 Hatton Gardens
Tel: 07909 043811
10.00am Parish Mass
Facilities: Parking, wheelchair access, wheelchair-accessible toilet, large print books
Further details of all Sunday and weekday services and activities may be obtained from the parish contact and the parish website
Catholic (Resolutions A, B and C in place)
Patron: The Crown
Urban Priority Area: No
Episcopal Area: Kingston
Lying in Streatham Vale between Pollards Hill and Norbury, the parish of St. Olave, Mitcham, is part of the Merton Deanery within the Kingston Episcopal Area of the Diocese of Southwark. The parish roughly corresponds with the electoral ward of Longthornton in the London Borough of Merton. The area is mainly "owner occupied" with some rented and/or Council accommodation. Remaining industrial premises have recently been demolished and there are substantial developments of new housing in progress. The area is ethnically diverse and multi-faith, and the congregation is predominantly a local one.
The church is set well back from the main thoroughfare of Rowan Road in the cul-de-sac of Church Walk, which turns off the main road just along from the South London Cemetery and Crematorium.
The parish has accepted the episcopal oversight of the Bishop of Fulham.
Architect: A C Martin
Listing: Not listed
St. Olave’s in Mitcham took its dedication from the redundant church of St. Olave’s, Tooley Street, once sited at the southern end of the medieval London Bridge; that church took its name from Olaf, patron saint of Norway and once the saviour of London from the Danes.
The church building, consecrated in 1931, was never completed as its architect, Arthur Campbell Martin (1875-1963), intended: his proposed design incorporated a further bay at the west end of the nave, an Italianate bell tower and a Lady Chapel. The completed church would have seated about five hundred people.
The external aspect of St. Olave's can seem a little daunting at first view, but the plainly decorated interior, executed in orthodox Byzantine style, with a large central dome over the crossing, is a surprisingly open and airy space. The method of building was essentially modern, with brick walls, but the roof and vaulting of reinforced concrete.
The eighteenth-century pulpit and the composite font came from the closed church of St. Olave in Southwark, as did the two bells and some church plate. The organ is thought to have come from a house in Essex – hence the coat of arms and motto on the case.
From the 1950s come the remarkable Stations of the Cross and the figure of Christ in Majesty on the East wall. Since then the interior has been reordered to accommodate a nave altar.