Event: Thursday 26th February 2015.Venue: Hope Church at St David’s, Westbourne Road, Islington.
New Church added - Rhoscrowther, St Decumanus.
The church of St John the Baptist (apparently once dedicated to St Peter) stands on a medieval site but is substantially a 19th century rebuild, the tower dating from 1848 and the remainder from 1854. At least one doorway of 14th century date, the tower arch of c1530 and the four gargoyles below the tower parapet may all have been reused from the former building. The chancel had already been demolished as in 1827 the church was described as consisting of 'a west tower and nave, both Perpendicular'.
The architect for the rebuilding was probably the then Rector, the Rev'd JH Sperling, a noted Ecclesiologist who introduced the striking chequerboard masonry that is such a feature of the exterior, but which is more commonly to be found further into East Anglia.
When the Friends took the church into care in 1979 it was largely derelict and facing demolition. The stained glass, designed by William Wailes, had been removed and the font thrown into the churchyard. The roof had been stripped of tiles and a demolition order published. Through the efforts of our founder, Ivor Bulmer-Thomas and the small local community, the Friends were able to obtain grant aid and bring the building back into use. The font was brought back into the church, major repairs carried out and a local Friends organisation was formed.