036-st-andrewsA Brief History of Saint Andrew’s Church

Saint Andrew’s was built in 1831 in the neo-Gothic style on common land and known as ‘The Chapel on the Common’. It was designed by local architect Edward Lapidge and was roughly the size of the present nave. In 1857 the south aisle was added to accommodate the growing needs of the local population.

1896 saw the building of the chancel by the now famous Victorian architect and colourist G.F.Bodley. When the Archbishop of Canterbury delivers a sermon in his cathedral, he uses a pulpit designed by Bodley; when the President of the USA attends ceremonial events in the national cathedral in Washington DC, the setting is a building conceived by Bodley; when the Vicar of Saint Andrew’s celebrates Holy Communion he does so in a chancel designed by Bodley! Saint Andrew’s may not have the architectural importance of an older church but it contains a particularly splendid example of his decorative skills. The chancel is said to be one of his finest works – beautiful wood carving and decorated in a blaze of colour – brick reds, olive greens, black and gold, all used on the east wall surrounding the altar and ceiling. The four paintings surrounding the altar show, at the lower level the four Greater Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) and above the four Evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and their apocalyptic beasts. The central window depicting the Crucifixion was designed by Sir Ninian Comper and was a gift from Mrs Scott the great grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II. All this surrounds the beautiful pear wood carving of the ‘Last Supper’.

All but two of the memorials in the church date after its consecration in 1831. The two exceptions are the diamond shaped funeral ‘hatchment’ boards on the left and right at the rear of the nave. These are memorials of Lionel Tollemache, 4th Earl of Dysart and his wife Grace who lived in Ham House. The one above the font in memory of the Earl was probably painted in about 1770 and the one on the right in memory of his wife in about 1773.


Significant Events in the Life of Saint Andrew’s

1831   Built on common land from design by Edward Lapidge
1832   Consecrated in June 1832 of this year by the Bishop of Winchester
1834   Parish approved in Privy Council in William IV’s reign on May 4th 1834
1836   Vestry room added at east end & used as a schoolroom: additional pews added to balcony
1839   Vicarage built. Rev J Hough had lived at Ham Lodge, Ham Street until complete
1857   South aisle added, designed by R Brandon
1866   Gas lighting fitted
1867   A map at this time shows the vicarage marked as a parsonage
1877   Church transferred from Diocese of Winchester to Diocese of Rochester
1878   Bishop visited the church
1893   First church magazine. First meeting of the Saint Andrew’s Church Council
1898   Choir wore surplices and cassocks for the first time. Churchyard extended. Chancel & vestry by Bodley & Garner and built by Charles E. Sims, local builder
1901   Chancel decorated by G.F. Bodley, architect and colourist
1903   Dedication of the organ
1904   Choir stalls designed by Bodley fitted in the chancel and hangings behind the choir stalls.
1905   Pulpit and pulpit hanging installed. The Diocese of Southwark created and Saint Andrew’s moved from Diocese of Rochester
1906   Chancel roof painted marking completion the end of the chancel building
1908   Lych gate built in memory of Queen Victoria. New font and cover donated by Hill family
1910   Last Supper reredos donated anonymously
1913   Electric light installed by the Twickenham and Teddington Electric Supply Company
1920   War Memorial consecrated, made of Red Corsehill stone
1922   The balcony at the west end taken down and reduced to a single walkway
1932   100 year anniversary
1933   Faculty granted to remove pews in the south aisle and replace with an altar
1945   South aisle window damaged as the result of bomb damage
1946   West window installed, designed by Hugh Easton
1948   St Nicholas south isle window given by Sir Phillip Game, designed by Warren Wilson
1949   St George window north side of the nave designed by Warren Wilson
1954   Extended vestry and boiler room changed from coal to oil
1958   Oil-fired boiler replaced by gas
1962   Separate vicar’s vestry and choir vestry built
1968   Introduction of planned giving
1969   Major overhaul of the organ. First visit by Bishop since 1879: 90 years!
1971   Church hall built
1974   Chancel and the reredos cleaned and re-gilded
1982   150 year anniversary
1984   New organ installed
1989   Children’s corner built
1990   New gates for the lych gate
1993   Restoration of the church clock
1999   Improved access completed
2000   Burials discontinued in the graveyard by order of the Queen in council
2001   Garden of Remembrance built
2002   Roof refurbished and winding light mechanism fitted. Organ refurbished. Decoration of the Lady Chapel
2005   Victorian railings from the lych gate to stable replaced