Churches in Kensington and Chelsea

Brompton Oratory

Brompton Oratory, Brompton Road, Kensington was built in 1882. The Renaissance style buildings comprise:

  • a large Italian church, designed by Herbert Gribble
  • the house of the Oratorians, and St Wilfred's Hall
  • Cardinal Newman's monument, detailed in the Italian Style

Inside, the church is spacious and richly appointed. The general design follows that of the Gesu Church in Rome with a nave and side chapels instead of aisles.

Mazzuoli's 17th century marble statues of the Apostles were originally in Sienna Cathedral. One of the altars came from the Dominican Church in Brescia. Another came from St Servatius at Maastricht, and yet another from the original London Oratory. The High Altar has paintings of the life of St Philip Neri.

Chelsea Old Church (All Saints)

Chelsea Old Church (All Saints). A Norman church probably stood on this site in 1157, but in 1290 it was named All Saints' Church. In 1834, the new parish church of St Luke was completed in Sydney Street. The old church became the parish chapel.

Chelsea Old Church was very severely damaged by bombing in 1941. The More Chapel, a memorial to Sir Thomas More who lived nearby, escaped destruction.

In 1951 it became the church of the new All Saints' parish. Restoration work and rebuilding took place on the old foundations started in 1953. It was completed in 1958 when the whole church was reconsecrated.

The pulpit, altar and altar rails date from the 17th century. A new stem and staircase were added to the pulpit when it was adapted from its original form in 1908. The font dates from 1673, and its cover is a reproduction of the one destroyed in the bombing. The public garden next to the Old Church (Margaret Roper's Garden) commemorates Sir Thomas More's eldest daughter.

Holy Trinity Brompton

Holy Trinity Brompton, was built 1826-29 to designs by T L Donaldson with later extensions. The style is the plainest 'Gothic'. The church was partly paid for by a grant from the Commissioners for Building New Churches. The setting of the church is surprisingly secluded considering its position just off the busy Brompton Road.

Holy Trinity, Sloane Street, built 1888-90 to a design by John Dondo Sedding. It is widely regarded as one of the best examples of Arts and Crafts Movement architecture. It was described by Sir John Betjeman as a 'Cathedral of the Arts and Crafts'.

St Barnabas

St Barnabas parish church in Addison Road is one of Kensington's oldest church buildings. Built in 1828 to designs by Vulliamy, this stock brick building has four corner turrets and Perpendicular tracery. It has a flat ceiling, but there is a remarkable chancel, with two open perpendicular tracery bays. The galleries on three sides are supported on iron columns.

St Columba's Church

St Columba's Church, Pont Street, Chelsea, is one of the newest churches in the Borough. It was designed by Sir Edward Maufe to replace an earlier church destroyed during the war and was completed in 1955.

St Mary Abbots Church

St Mary Abbots Church was the ancient parish church of Kensington and until the early 19th century, the only one. The name was derived from the connection with the Abbey of Abingdon. At the beginning of the 12th century, Godfrey de Vere bequested the church and surrounding land. This land, the central part of modern Kensington, became a separate manor of Abbots Kensington.

Little is known of the medieval building which survived until the end of the 17th century. The present church, which is on the site of the earlier buildings, was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and was consecrated in 1872. Seven years later the 254 foot spire, the highest in London, was added. Some interesting 18th-century monuments and the pulpit which dates from 1697 have been retained from the old church.