Sunday 31 August 2008

The setting of this church is just - wow!

St John's Church in Downshire Hill, Hampstead NW3, is one of the loveliest urban settings for a church.

Built in about 1823 it is a proprietary chapel - privately owned - chapel - the last one in London (?).

The building was completed in 1823 with the first service on 26th October.

The churches website reads: "From its earliest history, St John's was founded within an Evangelical tradition to preach the good news about Jesus Christ clearly and faithfully from the Bible to all who might enter its doors and to those in the surrounding vicinity."

"As a proprietary chapel, St John's is recognised as a church within the London Diocese of the Church of England but has complete independence in financial matters. It receives no support from and makes no contribution to Diocesan Funds. It is entirely self supporting and all costs, including staff and building costs, are borne by the congregation which has owned the building since 2003 when they bought it from the family trust which had owned it and leased it to them since the First World War."

It is a Grade I listed building and in 2004 had a major refurbishment whcih included the provision of underpinning of the church and in the process adding an undercroft which extended the facilities of the church. But most of all is it's magical setting, against the heath and due to the nature of the landscape the sky arches over it magnificently.

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