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Church of St John the Evangelist

A Grade II Listed Building in Plaistow and Sundridge, London

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Latitude: 51.4087 / 51°24'31"N

Longitude: 0.023 / 0°1'22"E

OS Eastings: 540796

OS Northings: 169685

OS Grid: TQ407696

Mapcode National: GBR M1.4G9

Mapcode Global: VHHNX.CV0G

Entry Name: Church of St John the Evangelist

Listing Date: 8 August 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1400592

Location: Bromley, London, BR1

County: London

District: Bromley

Electoral Ward/Division: Plaistow and Sundridge

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Bromley

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Bromley St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

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Parish church. Designed by George Truefitt in Early English Gothic style and completed in 1880.


The church is in Early English Gothic style built of squared snecked uncoursed Kentish ragstone with Bath stone dressings and bands. The roof is covered in C20 tiles. It consists of a combined nave and apsidal-ended chancel, which has an organ loft to the south and vestry to the north, with aisles, transepts and a south porch. The gabled west end has four elongated lancets between deeply projecting buttresses and on the south side is a projection under a hipped roof with small trefoil light. The three-bay nave has paired lancets and a gabled south porch with cinquefoil-headed arch, plank door and trefoil lights in the side walls. The western end has a further doorway with similar arch. The transepts are in line with the nave and the north transept is gabled with three elongated lancets, the central one higher than the others. However the south transept is heightened, has two elongated trefoil-headed lancets with quatrefoil windows and a octofoil window above. At the apex is a hipped bell turret supported on wooden brackets containing a bell of 1674 by Anthony Bartlett, originally made for a Hampshire church. The eastern end of the south transept merges into a narrow octagonal stone turret with spire surmounted by a metal cross finial. The chancel has a curved apse with seven lancet windows and quatrefoil lights above. In the centre below is the foundation stone. To the south the curved projection forming the organ loft has a triple lancet to the south and a single lancet to the east. To the north the square projection of the vestry has a triple lancet to the east.

Internally the three bay nave and the transepts share arcades with pointed arches and piers in the shape of a Greek cross. The roof, which continues without a break into the chancel, is boarded and of arch-braced type, with tie beams supported on curved braces and stone corbels and, above the tie beam, are arches with kingposts and raking struts and two tiers of purlins. Two trusses have extra supports following war damage. The C19 font is of Caen stone with a mid C20 wooden cover. In the centre of the west wall is a stone wall monument in mediaeval style to the first incumbent. The south aisle retains two 1931 stained glass windows depicting St John the Evangelist and St Cecilia, to the memory of Canon Barker and Mrs Evaline Clark. Two further windows to the south aisle have C20 stained glass, one depicting Dorcas. Two windows in the north aisle retain some replaced parts of C19 stained glass. The north transept has the three window 1951 Te Deum stained glass by Francis Spear depicting Christ in Glory. Below is a brass wall war memorial. There are a number of C19 wooden benches and the octagonal-shaped carved wooden pulpit, the lectern and the organ are of 1882. The apse contains an aumbry on the north side and the seven stained glass windows depicting Christ and saints are of 1950 by Francis Spear.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 30 October 2017.


Following the rapid expansion of Bromley in the second half of the C19, Bromley Parish Church was no longer large enough to hold the expanding congregation. In the 1870s it was decided to provide a chapel-of-ease in Park Road. First an iron church in Ryde, Isle of Wight was purchased and re-erected here to provide a temporary church and then a competition was held to provide the new church. Five architects took part, the winner was George Truefitt and the foundation stone was laid on the 19th July 1879 by the Bishop of Dover. The consecration of the church took place on 8th May 1880 and in the same year St John’s became a separate parish. During the Second World War the church suffered bomb damage on three separate occasions. This included damage to the roof, including the principal rafters and purlins, the guttering, the foundation of the porch and part of the aisles. All the windows were blown out and the rood screen was destroyed except for the crucifix. Following war damage the church could not be used between 1944 and 1950, when it re-opened after restoration. The internal brick walls were now painted, some original stained glass had been saved and was reinserted but the artist Francis Spear was engaged to design seven new windows for the chancel apse, completed in 1950, and a Te Deum window in the north transept of 1951.

Reasons for Listing

The Church of St John the Evangelist is listed for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural merit: it reflects the architect George Truefitt's belief that the Gothic Revival should be about original conception rather than a mediaeval copy and its swept down roofs and elongated transepts and lancets anticipate the Arts and Crafts movement.
* Artistic merit: good stained glass of late C19 and 1930s date, and particularly of 1950-1 by the distinguished artist-craftsman Francis spear (1902-1979).
* Intactness: although some original stained glass and the rood screen were destroyed by bombing in the Second World War and the internal brick walls were painted after the war the roof structure is substantially intact and there is good survival of the original fittings including the Caen stone font, organ, pulpit, lectern and benches.

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