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St Andrew's Church

The Parish of Carshalton used to have a daughter church in Wrythe Lane called St Andrew's (not to be confused with Bishop Andrewes Church in St Helier Parish) founded by Revd Lord Victor Seymour and consecrated on 28 October 1883, and paid for by Mr Gassiot who made his fortune importing wine from Portugal. It served the northern part of the extensive parish. It was a brick-built structure with an external bell, and stood on the corner of Brookfield Avenue and Wrythe Lane, at postcode SM1 3QP.

In the middle of the 20th Century Fr Harris served there, using the rites of the Roman church, and the services were conducted in Latin. The Rector seemed unwilling or unable to make Fr Harris use Church of England rites, and in 1959 the Diocesan Bishop, Rt Revd Mervyn Stockwood, took matters into his own hands.

There are several accounts of what happened next which are hard to reconcile. Apparently the Bishop confronted Fr Harris in the Rectory and demanded before witnesses that he conform, whereupon Fr Harris resigned. The Bishop dispatched the archdeacon and two policemen to change the locks on St Andrew's church.

Fr Harris was popular; consequently the bishop's action was not. S.J. Forrest said:


So call the bobbies, bar the door,   
raise high the churchyard wall,
for those who won't be C of E
shan't worship God at all.


Services were taken for a short while by Fr Cole, but when he died the church closed and was demolished in 1964. It appears that this was triggered not only by questions about the church­manship, but also the roof and organ needed repair. Echoes of these sad times can be seen in reports in:

Some photographs and documents from St Andrew's Church are shown below. Click on a photo for more information.

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