Random thoughts from Pencefn

…. an engineer, singer and photographer living in Scotland

The Church of St Christopher, Walworth

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Statue on the sanctuary wall

Statue on the sanctuary wall

The last Saturday in January 2011 saw another visit to a church. Although contemporary with Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist Church visited last week, its founding and architecture is totally different.

St Christopher’s grew out of the Pembroke College Cambridge Mission, which was established in 1885. However it has only been a parish in its own right since 1995. Upon entry to the church it exudes a certain un-stuffy freedom and freshness, that is sometimes present of churches built in the late 19th century.

The church is on the first floor, and accessed from corner of Tatum Street and Huntsman Street. Upon entry, the first thing that is noticeable is the gallery at the south west end of the church. However upon turning right, the sanctuary becomes visible. The most striking item is the golden statue on the “east” wall behind the altar, above which is the only stained glass window. The church has recently undergone a major refurbishment, which includes disabled access. A lift is provided from street level, and additional handrails are provided from the lobby to the sanctuary to provide assistance.

As befits an area that that has multiple uses, the left side has glass partitions, in which provides two small rooms (or storage). One contains the grand piano. The sanctuary is provided with iron gates which can be closed (access then being via the side door from the lobby).

The church is part of Pembroke House which was founded in 1885 by students from Pembroke College, Cambridge to be a centre for social action in Walworth, south east London. It fulfils that role in recently refurbished premises, comprising an upper (church space) and a lower hall, a training kitchen, various meeting rooms and a garden. Pembroke House provides a light, attractive space where people build bridges with each other and with the world beyond Walworth. Pembroke House is one of the few college Missions that still exists.

Author: Stewart

An instrumentation engineer who enjoys photography and singing. Working in the West of Scotland; a member of St Mary's Cathedral Glasgow and Southwark Cathedral; and a volunteer guard/signalman on the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales.

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