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St. Matthias' Church, Stoke Newington

St Matthias Church is a Grade-1 listed Anglican church in Stoke Newington, north London, England. Since it opened it has been known for its distinctly ‘High Church’ forms of worship.[1]

St Matthias Stoke Newington
St Matthias Church, Wordsworth Road, N16 - - 397192.jpg
St Matthias Stoke Newington, London N16
St Matthias Stoke Newington is located in Greater London
St Matthias Stoke Newington
St Matthias Stoke Newington
51°33′09″N 0°04′46″W / 51.5526°N 0.0794°W / 51.5526; -0.0794Coordinates: 51°33′09″N 0°04′46″W / 51.5526°N 0.0794°W / 51.5526; -0.0794
LocationWordsworth Road, Stoke Newington, London N16
CountryUnited Kingdom
DenominationChurch of England
WebsiteThe Church of England: A Church Near You. 'St Matthias Church Stoke Newington'
Dedicated1853 & rededicated 1954
Architect(s)1/. William Butterfield; 2/. Nugent Cachemaille-Day
StyleFree Gothic
Years built1851-53-83 & c. 1952-55
ParishSt Matthias Stoke Newington
Episcopal areaStepney
DioceseDiocese of London
Vicar(s)Fr David Lambert (July 2005)
Organist(s)Stephen Jasper BA AMus (September 1987)



The parish of St Matthias Stoke Newington was created in 1849, out of the parish of Stoke Newington and a parcel of 'detached' land belonging to Hornsey parish. The patron of the new parish - responsible for appointing the clergy - was alternately the Crown and the Bishop of London.[1]

The impressive church building was designed by William Butterfield (1814–1900) and completed and consecrated in June 1853. The cost of the building was substantially met by a wealthy local surgeon named Robert Brett (1808–74). Brett was concerned at the flourishing of local Dissenting chapels such as the Newington Green Unitarian Church at the expense of the Established Church whose local buildings simply could not accommodate the area's rapidly growing population.[2]

The building suffered from aerial bombing during the Second World War when all the interior surface decoration, stained glass and furniture was destroyed, as too the brick and stone vaulting of the chancel. The rebuilt church was reopened in 1954.[3] The architect was Nugent Cachemaille-Day (1896–1976).[4]

After the war the patronage of the living was transferred to the Corporation of London.[1]

Description of the current buildingEdit

The strongly individual building is of stock brick with Bath stone dressings and slate roofs. The tall nave of five bays has low, pent aisles and alternate octagonal and compound piers. The saddleback crossing tower with its very long bell openings is the most striking feature of the buidling creating inside a tall chancel arch with half-arches at east end of the aisles. The window tracery is a freely-adapted late Decorated type.[5]

A programme of repairs is ongoing, funded by the parish with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England.[6]


  1. ^ a b c A P Baggs, Diane K Bolton and Patricia E C Croot, 'Stoke Newington: Churches', in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 8, Islington and Stoke Newington Parishes, ed. T F T Baker and C R Elrington (London, 1985), pp. 204-211. British History Online, website, accessed 28 June 2019.
  2. ^ Alex Allardyce The Village that Changed the World: a history of Newington Green London N16. (London: Newington Green Action Group, 2008) p33.
  3. ^ Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner. 'St Matthias' in London 4: North (Yale University Press: New Javen and London, 2002), p.535. Series: The Buildings of England.
  4. ^ Royal Institute of British Architects Library. Church of St Matthias, Stoke Newington, London [... by N. F. Cachemaille-Day photographed by Halifax Photos Ltd and Wallace Heaton Ltd. - 12 photoprints: b&w]. Record control no.: P006073.
  5. ^ Historic England: Church of St Matthias, website, accessed 25 June 2019
  6. ^ Historic England: Church of St Matthias, Wordsworth Road, Stoke Newington N16 - Hackney, website, accessed 25 June 2019

Further readingEdit

  • T. Francis Bumpus. An historical London church. A record of sixty-five years' life and work in the church and parish of S Matthias, Stoke Newington. (London: Jonathan King, 1913)
  • T. Francis Bumpus. London churches ancient & modern. Second series: classical & modern. (London : T. Werner Laurie, 1908)