Welcome to All Saints’ Church Hampton
As you wander up the gentle paved slope and
through the beautiful glass doors welcoming you
to All Saints’ for the first time, you may wonder
“What is your story?” “Why were you built?”
So what is the story?
Until 1850 Hampton was a small country village
by the River Thames, bordered by farmland and
heath. The building of the railway linking Hampton
with London in 1864 encouraged both residential
development and the establishment of market gardens.
By the end of the century the need for a new church
in the northwest of Hampton as a place of prayer and
worship became clear.
Soon plans were underway: a site was
selected and a competition was held to
design a new church with a large
detached bell tower. The winning plans were
chosen and a variety of fund raising events
were held. In June 1908 the foundation
stone was laid by Princess Helena (a daughter
of Queen Victoria). It was a happy event
with bands, flags, processions, presentation of
gifts and tea parties. Finally the church of
All Saints’ was consecrated in November 1908.
However the church was not built to its original design! Why?
Quite simply the money ran out! Initially two phases of building were
planned. Phase1, which involved building the first two thirds of the
church, was successfully completed as scheduled and a temporary
plaster board wall was built at the west end. But the outbreak of the
First World War and the financial constraints of its aftermath put an
end to further fund raising and building. The west end wall and porch
were finally completed in 1970. The bell tower was not built.
The “new” church
After its consecration in 1908 All Saints’ began a life of its own,
and although not independent of the parish church for another 22
years, it had its own priest-in-charge, church council and
churchwardens. Set amidst fields, lanes, hedgerows, over 100 market
gardens and newly built houses, the church had its own special rural
charm. From the beginning it served the needs of its growing
population in a genuine but unpretentious way with Sunday services,
baptisms, weddings, funerals and a variety of social and pastoral
activities. It finally became a parish church in its own right in
Further change and growth
After the Second World War change came to the parish. The pressure
for residential development in Greater London increased dramatically
and between 1950 and 1970 the market gardens gradually closed. A
variety of houses were built on the vacated land catering for most age
groups and needs. Fortunately parks and open spaces were also
included in the plans so the area around the church today is a
pleasant and leafy area.
To provide for the further needs of the growing population the
congregation financed a new church hall which was built in 1965 and
extended in 1985. This is now a popular and affordable venue for many
community groups, social functions and church activities.
Also in the 1960’s the vicar and congregation decided it was time to
complete the church building (as mentioned earlier) so after a great
deal of fund raising a graceful west wall and porch were built in 1970
to replace the rough and ready plaster board construction.
In 2012 the front garden was completely re-modelled to provide
a gently inclined entrance facilitating access for families and those
with limited mobility.
Over the past six months, major changes have been taking place inside our church building: the floor has been repaired, the lights renewed, a new kitchenette installed, the altar screens restored and all the chairs replaced. One particularly exciting feature is a dramatic new wall-hanging, created from the church’s embroidered kneelers. At a service for our Patronal Festival on 1st November 2015, the Bishop of London will pray for God’s blessing on the re-ordered church interior and the assembled congregation.
All Saints’ is a small, rather simple, church building – but
nevertheless precious to its congregation.
But a church is not just a building: it is a body of people. Week by
week its congregation meet to worship God and learn more of his love
for us – a love that changes lives and calls us to love and serve our
neighbours. Over the years it has tried to reach out in a variety of
ways to meet the needs of the people living in Hampton. It is a
living church witnessing to the love of God and we hope you will feel
able to join with us at some of its services and activities.