A History of St Barnabas Church – introduction

The Parish of St Barnabas will celebrate the centenary of the church in June 2016. To mark this important milestone, here is a very brief history, with an emphasis on old photographs and drawings, so that they will be in the public domain and easily accessible.  All illustrations can be enlarged by ‘clicking’ on them.  My historical notes are based very largely on the excellent work of Richard Bowden, who was Parish Archivist, and organised the church archives in the 1990’s, and to whom I record my sincere thanks.  I am also very grateful to Dr John Salmon for information on Shearman and his many excellent photographs, and to the Clark family for information about the artist James Clark.  I hope it proves interesting, and that it helps to preserve the memory of the many people who contributed so much towards our beautiful church in bygone years.

Hugh Mather
September 2015

A very brief overview, with links to the relevant pages

Before 1900, the area known as ‘Pitshanger’ in North Ealing was largely farmland. The Brentham Estate was built from 1901 onwards. A small ‘tin church’ was built in 1907 at the junction of Castlebar Park and Pitshanger Lane. Plans for the definitive church were developed from 1911 to 1914, and the church was built by 1916 and dedicated on 3rd June. The principal architect was Edward Shearman, who built  6 London churches.   James Clark painted the Apse painting, the chief glory of the church, and which now needs urgent restoration.   The first Vicars were Walter Mitchell (1917-26), Harold Salter Barrett (1926-51) and Richard Nevill Hetherington (1951-76). The church suffered slight war damage in 1944, and an arson attack in 1962. A temporary Parish Hall was built in 1949, and replaced by the Millennium Hall in 1999. The Lady Chapel required major repairs in 1983 following serious subsidence.   The lighting of the church was transformed in 2004, and a new organ installed in 2011, replacing the 1916 organ. The church has notable stained glass windows and pictures. Old photographs of the interior and exterior, and of the choir and congregation are also included, and notes on the Upper Room, banners and War Memorial.

History pages

  1. North Ealing in 1900
  2. The Brentham Estate
  3. The ‘Tin Church’
  4. Plans for St Barnabas
  5. Building of St Barnabas
  6. Ernest Shearman – biography
  7. Shearman churches in London
  8. James Clark – biography
  9. Clark’s Apse painting
  10. Apse painting today – the need for restoration
  11. Rev Walter Mitchell 1917-1926
  12. Rev Harold Salter Barrett 1926-1951
  13. Rev Richard Nevill Hetherington 1951-1976
  14. War damage
  15. Arson in 1962
  16. Lady Chapel subsidence 1983
  17. Parish Hall – 1949 and 1999.
  18. Lighting of the church
  19. Organ – 1916
  20. New organ 2011
  21. Stained glass
  22. Pictures
  23. Old photographs of the church
  24. Photographs of choir and congregation
  25. Upper Room, banners and War Memorial