Our History

 

In 1891, Rev George Marsh Clibborn was appointed as a ‘home missioner’ to take the Christian gospel to the people scattered in the ‘country’ between the Edgware Road and the Metropolitan Railway – a population of some 500 people.
 
The first service was held in a Milliner’s shop in Oaklands Road, and later in a local school room. A large field was obtained on Chichele Road, and a building known as the ‘iron church’ was erected and opened for worship in 1891. Then a new church was constructed alongside this building, with room for the whole parish. It opened in 1897, but just three years later, the roof was destroyed in a fire, following a lightning strike. The total cost of the new building, completed in 1906, was declared to be £16,978!
 
 
 
Old St Gabriel's
 
 
In these early days, the church adopted a middle-of-the-road style, with Sunday services at 7am, 8am, 11am, 12.15pm and 7pm! The church grew in life and numbers and a large church hall was built to help this along (it was sold to the council for community use after the second world war, and they in turn sold it on to an Islamic Group). The present church hall is the much smaller building next door on Chichele Road. 
 
In 1912, the vicar was tragically killed in a railway accident, and the present triptych, east windows and screen were put up in his memory. His grave can be seen on the south side of the church, outside the present kitchen.
 
In the first world war, many young men from the local community were killed. The church life continued, although in the following decades there was a general decline in numbers attending services.
 
In more recent years, the life of the church has turned around to become the vibrant multi-cultural Christian community that you can see today. 
 
 
Here are some views of our church building..