Bermondsey South - St Gertrude

Debnams Road, Rotherhithe New Road, London SE16

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One of a large number of utilitarian church designs built in the early 20th  century under the patronage of Miss Frances Ellis. Its brick industrial character sits well in its railway-side setting. The building has the trademark Miss Ellis circular window and, like other Tasker churches at Stockwell and Catford, is built on a Greek cross plan. There are no furnishings of particular note.

The building is very similar to Tasker’s church at Catford (qv), also built under the patronage of Miss Ellis. On plan it is a Greek cross within a square, with chapels in the re-entrants on the east side and entrance lobbies on the west. The building is in a utilitarian sub-Romanesque style, incorporating a circular window, which seems to have been favoured by Miss Ellis and her architects. It is faced in London stock brick, with slate roofs. The contemporary presbytery is attached to the church to the north There are two entrances to the church on the street frontage, one in each of the re- entrants. Each entrance has recessed modern doors with a segmental pediment over. The main feature of the front elevation is the large circular window in the centre, with mullioned and transomed subdivisions.

The interior is a single space, with the sanctuary located on the eastern arm of the Greek cross, and with arched openings into the chapels in the re-entrants on either side. A gallery runs across the western arm, again with arches leading into the entrance areas in the re-entrants. There are high level windows with leaded panes in the corners. The walls are faced with a coarse screed and rise up to a chunky timber modillion cornice and a pine boarded groin vaulted ceiling. The floor is of parquet, and the seating is pine benches. There is a modern green marble forward altar and tabernacle plinth; the furnishings generally are not of particular note.

The church was opened in 1903, having been built with financial support from Miss Frances Ellis. The architect was F.W. Tasker and the builder Mr Romaine. The presbytery was built at the same time. The church was dedicated in September 1980.

Diocese: Southwark

Architect: F.W. Tasker

Original Date: 1902

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed