History of St Barnabas

Not many years ago, the area where St Barnabas, Southfields now stands was open fields, containing watercress beds and a farm. The first houses to be built were those in the Longfield Street and Burr Road areas, and it was in the latter that the first St Barnabas’ church stood. This was a temporary ‘tin tabernacle’ that served as the church’s base while the houses in the Grid were being built up, following the opening of the District Line in 1889.

The Building


The foundation stone of the present church was laid in 1906 by Canon Scott Holland of St Paul’s Cathedral. It was opened and dedicated on May 9th 1908 by the Bishop of Southwark. The design was by C Ford Whitcombe, following the perpendicular style like many churches in East Anglia. In the early days St Barnabas needed as many as 800 seats for the regular worshippers, and 2,000 copies of the parish magazine were distributed.

The Parish

Once the houses on the grid, and the streets either side of Penwith Road had been built, the area of St Barnabas’ church was ready to become a parish on its own. The parish boundary was finally agreed as the River Wandle, the borough boundary along Ravensbury and Revelstoke Roads, the District railway line and finally a line from Wimbledon Park Road back to the Wandle via Smeaton and Kimber Roads. It remains so to this day.

St Barnabas’ district finally became a parish in 1922, and the priest in charge (The Revd J W Warren) became the first Vicar. The parish has changed a great deal since those days, when people often stayed here all their lives.

Hall Bookings

Our halls are open for hire.

We are delighted to be welcoming back regular group activities, both for children and for adults.

As of April 23, 2022, we will have limited availability for party hire.  For the time being, we are prioritizing users who live in the parish of St Barnabas or are church members, as we want to support our local community as we come out of Covid restrictions.  Click here for details.

We run the halls as part of our commitment to the community.  Although they raise revenue for us, they are not profit making, so we ask all hirers to respect them and look after them so that they can be enjoyed by local residents for many years to come.

NB: all hall names are merely working titles, and all prices are open to revision!

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Patio Room