St Andrews Church in Open House Festival

The church of St Andrew of the Apostle is the jewel in the crown of the Catford Corbett Estate, and took its rightful place as a building worthy of inclusion in London’s Open House Festival yesterday.

Building commenced in 1904, and in the 1970’s it received Grade II* listing.

Open House visitors explore St Andrews

Here’s what the listing committee said to justify its high status: “… it is of very considerable interest as an early 20th-century church in an eclectic Gothic Revival style; it has features that are architecturally inventive such as the use of flying buttresses at the E end, the treatment of the passage aisles and the use of a continuous stream of arcading from the nave through to the E end of the church; there are fixtures of considerable quality and interest in the chancel woodwork, iron screens at the E end, the font, and the use of Art Nouveau motifs in various windows; it is particularly notable for its exceptional stained glass by the important designer Martin Travers installed during the interwar period.”

The Great East window – a memorial to those who gave their lives in the Great War

Stained glass designer Martin Travers was born in Margate in 1886 and became one of the country’s leading stained glass artists. He won the Grand Prix for stained glass at the 1925 Paris Expo – the exhibition that gave rise to the term Art Deco.

Detail from the Great East Window
Detail of David and Goliath from a window in the Lady Chapel

The church also boasts beautiful marble flooring in the Sanctuary (there’s a mosaic in the shape of a St Andrew’s Cross – the national flag of Scotland); ornate wooden carving and a huge Organ which visitors were treated to a demonstration of several times during the day.

St Andrews Cross mosaic
Pelican carving – a symbol of Christ sacrificing himself
Scottish thistle carving
Organ by Alfred Hunter & Sons of Clapham installed in 1908
Organ recital
Organ and ornate ironwork surrounding the Sanctuary

Many thanks to everyone at the church who worked so hard to make the day a success, and if you didn’t make it yesterday, why not drop in another time to see the fantastic interior? The ACS will also be doing a small tour on Sunday 5th November in the afternoon, so do get in touch if you’d like to join that.