Sutton church celebrates 150th anniversary

This Is Local London: St Nicholas Church St Nicholas Church

A church that narrowly survived bombing during World War Two is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

St Nicholas Parish Church, in Sutton, will host an exhibition and public talks to celebrate its history and mark its construction in 1864.

The talks will explore the dramatic events that befell the church during the two world wars.

The church, in St Nicholas Way, also has a long tradition of promoting the roles of women in the church and current rector, Justine Middlemiss, is the latest in a long line of women who have led the church over the years.

Church warden, Richard West, 67, has been with the church since 1973 and was initially drawn by its liberal principles.

He said: "Right from the beginning we have always embraced it [women in the priesthood] at this church.

"At one time we were probably unique in that all our clergy were women."

The church has remained largely unchanged despite barely surviving the destruction of the Second World War when a bomb exploded in the north side of the grounds, in 1940, shattering the original stained glass windows on one side.

The Domesday book shows the site of the church is even older than the current building as records show a church existing there as early as 1087.

The church’s team are also appealing for anyone who was baptised, confirmed or married in the church and has any photos of the church in previous years to donate copies for a display on September 21.

Guest speaker Valary Murphy, Sutton Council’s Museum Officer, will also host a talk on Wednesday, July 16, at 8pm, which will focus on the history of the church and Sutton’s growth over the years.

The free exhibition will run on September 20, 11am to 4pm, and September 21, 2pm to 4pm.

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