St Michael and All Angels

Beaconsfield Historical Society

St Michael and All Angels Church
Beaconsfield Historical Society
St Michael's parsonage
Butler, P
St Michael and All Angels Church in 2023
Sturdy Tom

In 1906 the railway came to Beaconsfield and a township grew up around the railway station which became what is now known as “the new town”.  As a result there was a need for another church in the area and the plan was approved at a public meeting in 1912.  The land on which to build the church, together with a gift of £500, was donated by Colonel William Baring du Pre of Wilton Park.  Mr G H Fellowes Prynne, a well known church architect, was commissioned to design a large and imposing building to seat 650 people in an elaborate gothic style.

The foundation stone was laid in 1914 but the war caused delays and so the original plan was never put completely into effect. By 1916 a modified structure was completed; the western end of the church facing the road exactly to plan and a temporary east end made of asbestos.  In 1936 it was decided that the original plans were too ambitious and a modified design was produced.  WW11 caused further delay and it was not until 1954 that construction began to a plan more in keeping with modern ideas; £14000 having been raised by a Building Fund set up in 1949.  The building was consecrated by the Bishop of Oxford on 8th July 1955. The Lady Chapel was added later in 1963 as a result of a generous gift by a member of the congregation.

As the priests had great difficulty in finding accommodation, in 1922, after another public meeting, a parsonage was built next to the church and a memorial garden for the internment of ashes.  During the earlier years there was a close link between St Michael’s and the benedictine community at Nashdom Abbey, Burnham.

In 1996 Kathryn Lockyer had the idea of handmade tapestry kneelers for the church and in 1998 work started.  The kneelers were to be red and gold and the theme was to be crosses and architecture in the church. 150 were needed as well as 21, in blue and gold, for the Lady Chapel.  In 2001, whilst their own church was being refurbished, St Theresa’s church used St Michaels and, as a thank you, 25 kneelers were made by the congregation.  By May 2002, 72 kneelers were dedicated in a special service.

References:  History of Beaconsfield (2009) Beaconsfield Historical Society

Beaconsfield Historical Society Archive B-SMWR

 

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