Church of the Annunciation - High Street, Chislehurst, Kent, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 25.143 E 000° 04.022
31U E 296074 N 5700508
Quick Description: The Church of the Annunciation is a Church of England church located on the north side of the High Street in Chislehurst, Kent. The Grade II* listed building was built in 1868-70 by James Brooks in Gothic Revival style and is still in use today.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 2/21/2020 5:42:16 AM
Waymark Code: WM123YA
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin
Views: 0

Long Description:

The church's website tells us:

In the 1860s, small houses were being built for workers in the village of Prickend, or West Chislehurst. Canon Francis Murray, Rector of Chislehurst, realised that the area was rapidly developing and needed its own church. The church of the Annunciation was funded by the people of Chislehurst, designed and built by James Brooks, consecrated in 1870 and became a parish church in 1871. Some benefactors had argued that a simple brick building would be sufficient but Francis Murray was part of the Anglo-catholic revival and his vision was for a lofty building with beautiful stained glass and wall paintings designed to uplift and inspire the worshipper.

On entering the building by either door, the view is dominated by the screen at the far end with a representation of Jesus on the Cross, with Mary, his mother, and John who was one of his closest followers. This is often called the Calvary. It was given in memory of the parishioners who died during the 1914-18 war. Above it is the Great Mosaic of the Last Judgement, the work of Salviati, who made mosaics for Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and other churches.

Near the West door is the Font where Baptisms take place. The water used at baptism symbolises washing, death to sin and rising to new life in Jesus. This is also symbolised by the Paschal (Easter) candle that stands by the font as a symbol of Jesus’ resurrection.

Beneath the Calvary is the nave altar, with a lectern, a stand for a Bible, and the pulpit. Passages from the Bible are read from the lectern. The pulpit is used for preaching. The nave altar was added in 1986.

Behind the lectern is a wooden statue of Mary and the child Jesus. ‘The Annunciation’ recalls the Angel Gabriel visiting Mary to tell, or announce, that God had chosen her to be Jesus’ mother.

Through the iron gates behind the statue of Mary are the organ and piano. The digital organ was built in 2010 by Phoenix Organs.

The Lady Chapel is used for some services and has a picture of Mary and Joseph presenting Jesus in the temple to Simeon and Anna who recognised him as the light for the whole world.

The door beside the altar leads to the Capella, which was built in 1922. Here the bread and wine of Holy Communion is reserved in the aumbry on the altar. The windows by Geoffrey Webb depict the seven sacraments and are signed with a spider’s web!

At the East end of the church are the chancel and sanctuary. The walls are covered with paintings of people from the Bible and Saints by Westlake. The paintings on the Reredos behind the High Altar are about sacrifice as a reminder that the Altar is where the Christian sacrifice of the Eucharist is offered every day.

The stained glass window is of the Triumph of Christ. Other stained glass windows and paintings include the huge wheel window over the West door and Stations of the Cross around the walls.

The eight Bells in the Tower were dedicated by the bishop of Rochester in 1935.

The Almshouses stand beside the Churchyard and were built to provide homes for twelve aged parishioners of Chislehurst.

The church is Grade II* listed with the entry at the Historic England website advising:

Church. 1868-70 by James Brooks. Ragstone with ashlar dressings, slate roof. Rectangular plan of tall, four-bay nave with clerestorey and small, lean-to side aisles; chancel expressed externally with lower roof, bellcote at south-east corner; Lady chapel, and vestry with prominent chimney.

Gothic Revival style with singular flying buttress at north-east corner. Plate tracery to most windows of circle over two lancets. Large 'wheel' window in west gable with plate tracery, whilst the east window has five lancet lights, with three roundels above and bar tracery. Churchyard walls also of ragstone with ashlar dressings.

INTERIOR. Nave has high timber roof with pierced ties. Four-bay arcade with pointed arches delineated by moulded strings above. Squat piers, round on south arcade and square on north arcade with square carved vine-leaf capitals. Octagonal font of pink and green marble on stone base with flat, carved wooden cover. Pulpit of carved wood on base of pink marble and stone. Original radiators and draft lobby screens at west end of nave. Chancel is richly decorated. Reredos of 1877 by Brooks, executed by Westlake, has gabled centre flanked by tiers of roundels. Base of chancel screen also by Brooks, 1877, with figures of the apostles by Westlake. Remainder, including rood, added in 1928. Wall paintings of 1882 and 1892 by Westlake. Mosaic over chancel arch designed by Westlake and made by Salviati in 1890. Stained glass in east and west windows, 1870 by Hardman to Brooks's design. Original Gothic Revival carved wood pews; patterned encaustic tile pavement, Ornate wrought-iron screen to Lady Chapel designed by Brooks.

Active Church: Yes

School on property: No

Date Built: 1/1/1870

Service Times: Sunday: 8am and 10am

Website: [Web Link]

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