In 1908 the ‘grey old church’ was threatened with
closure. The increasingly heavy traffic on the Kentish Town Road had
brought down part of the ceiling. The London County Council surveyor
certified the building to be unsafe for public meetings.
large sum was needed to make the building safe, and a total rebuild
was really necessary. The diminished congregation with an annual
income of only £74 could not provide the money. The discussion in
Presbytery resulted in a proposal to close the church and sell the
North London Presbytery is faced with a difficult position in regard
to the affairs of the church at Kentish Town. A committee has
recommended that the services should be discontinued unless some
strong congregation will work the station as its mission. The
building is too dilapidated for use, there is no minister, and the
congregation numbering 60 members can only raise £74 per annum.
Very generous assistance has been given in the past by the
congregations at Hampstead and Frognal, and friends have promised
£3,500 toward the estimated cost of rebuilding the church - £5,000.
Many hundreds of pounds have been spent from time to time on the
renovation of the buildings, and the committee is frankly of the
opinion that the church should be closed. Many members of the
Presbytery dissented from this view, more especially on the ground
of deserting the working classes. In the end it was agreed to
consult with the Sessions at Hampstead and Frognal before taking any
[from a cutting dated 14 September
1908, origin unknown]
at a Presbytery meeting,
Principal John Skinner
Westminster College Cambridge urged the importance of holding on to
the church in this central industrial and residential area. Four needs
– it was agreed - had to be met.
A temporary meeting place for the congregation.
Plans for an entirely new type of building to be drawn up.
funds to be found to rebuild and to maintain the congregation for a
A minister suitable to the task to be found.
building would be on the site of the old one.
February 1909 a meeting of Session (Elders) was held, attended by Dr.
Skinner, Prof. Oman, Sir Henry Robson and local Elders. Sir Henry
Robson submitted plans prepared by Mr. George Lethbridge the
Presbytery Architect. The meeting was adjourned to allow the elders to
inspect two possible meeting
places during the period of
rebuilding – the Turkish Baths in Kentish Town Road and the Y.M.C.A.
in Camden Road
(on the present site of Sainsbury’s). On resuming the meeting, it was
decided to hire the Y.M.C.A. premises, the large hall for meetings on
Sundays and the upper rooms for evenings during the week.
LETHBRIDGE - Fellow of
the Royal Institute of British Architects
Mr. George Lethbridge died, in his seventy-seventh year, on the 27
February. He was educated in the house of the Rector of Beaworthy,
Devonshire, and was articled to Mr. W H Reid at Plymouth. He came to
London at an early age, where he practiced architecture for more
than half a century. He designed and carried out several churches in
the Gothic style, amongst which are included the Presbyterian Church
at Redhill [St Paul’s, Shaw’s Corner, Ed.], the Presbyterian Church
at Camden Town and the Presbyterian Mission Church at Somers Town.
He designed the Hornsey Cottage Hospital [later to become the
Hornsey General Hospital], which he won in competition, and added
the Hornsey Borough War Memorial in the form of an entrance hall, paneled in oak, on which arc inscribed the names of the fallen: to
this he had recently designed a new War Memorial Extension, which is
now in course of erection. He was architect to the Warehousemen,
Clerks and Drapers' Schools, Purley, and had been for some years
engaged in the reconstruction of these schools - including several
extensions, a recent one being the new science block which is also
now in course of erection. He designed some large office buildings
for the River Plate Trust, Loan and Agency Co., which were erected
in Buenos Ayres, and also the Telegraph Exchange Offices in the same
city. Amongst his domestic works is the mansion, No. 18, Park Lane,
[now demolished] which he carried out at a cost of over £40,000.
Obituary, RIBA Journal
vol. 31 1924, p. 365
1909 a further meeting was held, attended by Principal Skinner, Dr.
Oman, Sir Henry Robson and Rev. Thomas Lindsay, the minister in
temporary charge. The Architect's plans were approved, estimates from
different firms were presented and studied. The meeting then adjourned
to meet later on the same day at Regent Square at 1.45. On a further
adjournment to 5 p.m. the meeting accepted the estimate for £3,187,
the work to be put in hand at once. Thus the church was rebuilt in
1909 in dual purpose form for worship and social work.
At this point Presbytery agreed
that Dr. Oman should take the place of Dr. Skinner as Moderator of the
Session at Trinity, and further appointed two assessors from Frognal
and Hampstead. Both these congregations undertook to make generous
annual grants so that the necessary minimum basis for receiving the
minimum stipend might be assured.
College Dr. Skinner described the position and plan for Trinity. The
senior student, David Anderson, was found willing, if
invited, to accept a Call. At the Presbytery meeting in October 1909,
the Call was presented by the congregation for a period of three
years. David Anderson began his ministry at once. A house at 25
Lawford Road, NW5 was made ready.
building of the church was advanced enough by the end of the year for
the small congregation to use it. A special service was held in
February 1910. A procession of adults and children was led by Mr.
Anderson from Camden Road to Kentish Town Road, and the new church
premises were opened. It was during Mr. Anderson's ministry and
largely by his efforts that money was collected to install the present
the winter of 1913 Mr. Anderson suffered severe shock owing to an
accident in the street. Though he fully recovered it was considered
right for him to accept a Call to the country charge at Falstone,