Fashoda Road, Bromley Common, Kent BR2
A small Romanesque Revival church of 1910, one of several nearly identical churches by Rev. Benedict Williamson, built with funds provided by Miss Frances Ellis. The interior is much altered.
The Bromley Common mission was founded in 1910, from Bromley. At that time the area was developing and the original congregation included people working in the local gasworks and brickworks, as well as agricultural labourers, mainly immigrants from Ireland or continental Europe. The new building opened on 5 June 1910. The church was built from a legacy from Miss Frances Ellis which paid for several nearly identical churches. Another one is St Benet’s church in Abbey Wood (opened 1909), which was built to a design by Rev. Benedict Williamson (see report on St Benet’s, Abbey Wood). Therefore, it can be safely assumed that Williamson was the architect here too.
In 1972 the church was re-ordered and a choir gallery was added at the west end. The timber panelling of the walls probably also dates from this period. Until its erection as an independent parish in 1977, St Swithin’s was served from Bromley. It was consecrated on 28 May 1985. On 15 July 2010, St Swithin’s Day, the church celebrated its centenary.
The church is facing southwest; however, this description uses the conventional liturgical orientation.
The church was built in 1910, probably to a design by Rev. Benedict Williamson. It is in a simple neo-Romanesque style, built of yellow stock brick laid in English bond, with a tiled roof. The windows are of metal. The plan is rectangular, with an attached sacristy at the southeast. The west facade has a recessed round-arched doorway below three round-headed windows, separated by two sturdy columns. The north elevation has four round-headed windows.
At the west is a gallery above the entrance lobby. To the south of the lobby is the Lady Chapel with an etched glass screen and a statue of the Virgin. The interior has four bays and a king post roof. The lower walls are panelled in timber, matching that of the gallery. An elegant spiral staircase at the northwest leads up to the gallery. The sanctuary furniture is modern and of timber, with matching candlesticks and tabernacle of metal.
Architect: Benedict Williamson
Original Date: 1910
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed