In the year 1906, the Mission district of St Barnabas’, Mitcham was formed as an initiative of Christ Church, Colliers Wood. An iron room was built to accommodate the services and meetings for those congregating in this area. That room became known as ‘the tin church’. However, with the construction of the church hall in 1908 and its opening by the bishop of Kingston on 23 January 1909, the services and meetings were held in the hall.
From the beginning, the church greatly benefitted from the aid of the South London Church Fund and the City of London School, whose members assisted the church personally and financially. On 17 May 1913 the foundation stone of the church building was laid and on 14 November 1914 the church was consecrated by the bishop of Southwark. According to the records of that time, ‘The church has been erected to meet the needs of that part of the parish of Mitcham which borders on Tooting and Streatham.’ Then, a month later St Barnabas’ became an independent parish.
The building is in the Gothic style designed by H. P. Burke Downing, ‘who by giving us such a beautiful and uplifting church has earned the gratitude of all those responsible for its erection, and of those privileged to worship in it.’
We have a wonderful example of faith and action in the life of St Barnabas, and a beautiful temple that reminds us of this. Our desire is to be as self-giving and inclusive as St Barnabas, and as confident in our faith as those who built this building to the glory of God and for the well-being of the community.