The Building; History
The History of St Michael’s
In the early 1880s, following the construction of the railway, the farmland of this part of Battersea was re-developed as a residential neighbourhood. The Vicar of Battersea, Canon John Erskine Clarke, worked hard to raise the funds to build a number of churches to serve the area. He also commissioned the Bolingbroke Hospital.
St Michael’s began as a temporary mission church in 1872. The present building was dedicated in 1881. It was built in memory of two people – Philip Cazenove, a major benefactor of work in the parish; and the Revd H.B.Verdon, the first Vicar of the church.
The church was designed by William White, one of the leading church architects in Victorian times. Although the cheapest materials were used, the interior of the church is both gracious and beautiful. The architect H.S.Goodhart-Rendel, a keen advocate of the Gothic revival, once commented of St Michael’s, “Everything very honest and thoughtful.”
Special features include the font, the clerestory windows, the reredos, rood screen and pulpit. The angels on the wooden pulpit were carved by Hems, and the stained glass windows were designed by Lavers, Barraud and Westlake. The organ is a particularly fine example of Henry Jones’ work.
A school was added to the building in 1887-88, which is now used as the church halls.
St Michael’s Restoration Appeal