Building » Kidbrooke – St John Fisher

Kidbrooke – St John Fisher

Kidbrooke Park Road, Kidbrooke, London SE3

A brick church of 1964 by Bingham Towner & Partners, conventional in its planning and design. The campanile has landmark value.

The mission was founded from Blackheath and Fr Charles Jones undertook the building of the church. The architects were Bingham Towner & Partners and the church was opened by Archbishop Cowderoy on 30 April 1964. Kidbrooke became a separate parish in 1968.


The church is facing southeast; however, this description follows conventional liturgical orientation.

The church was completed in 1964, to designs by Bingham Towner & Partners. It is built in brick, laid in English bond, of two reddish shades, one lighter, the other darker. The plan is basilican, with side aisles, and side chapels flanking a straight- ended chancel. The nave roof has a shallow pitch which extends over the south aisle. The pitched roofs are covered in Roman tiles. The north aisle, the sacristy and the church hall have flat roofs. There is one entrance door at the west and three in a gabled porch at the southwest corner. A tall campanile with a saddleback roof (with a shallow pitch in the ridge) rises above the south eastern side chapel. The sacristy is located to the northeast, and the church hall to the east.

The south porch has three doorways, each below a shallow-pitched cantilevered porch. Above the central one is a stone statue of St John Fisher in front of Rochester Cathedral with his coat of arms below. Above the two outer doorways are panels of darker brick. Most windows have clear glazing and straight-headed mullioned frames whose individual lights have a shallow pitch. The south face of the campanile has a tall window, whose mullions extend over four storeys and the glazed areas alternate with blue mosaic panels; the uppermost has a red Latin cross. The upper storeys of the tower are accessed from a stair on the church hall roof. The east and west sides of the tower have the darker brick and louvre boards below the eaves. The east face of the campanile also has a large timber cross to the east. The west front has a doorway with a porch below a five-light window, with aisle windows on either side. The east elevation has a small stone-framed opening in the gable with louvre boards. (As there is no window or opening on the inside, this may be for another bell.)

Internally, the south porch has a shallow narthex lit by two tall windows of three lights. The centre light of each window has blue glass, the only coloured glass in the church. Between the two doors into the church hangs a ceramic panel of the Virgin with Child. The nave has a shallow pitched ceiling of tiles, while both aisles have flat ceilings. The nave has three bays, with an arcade of broad pointed arches on square pillars. The north side has a clerestorey of three windows with three lights each. Modern timber benches fill nave and aisles. The west end of the nave has a small lobby with a shallow pitched roof, with a small organ in a Gothic Revival organ case just to the north. The nave is separated from the sanctuary by a pointed arch, on either side of which are statues of St John Fisher and St Thomas More. The sanctuary is carpeted, while the rest of the church has linoleum. Its windowless east wall has wooden panelling, above which hangs a large Calvary. The high altar, forward altar, pulpit, lectern and presidential chair are all modern and timber.

In the south wall of the sanctuary there is a gallery with a timber balustrade, which can be accessed via a stair in the Lady Chapel. The north aisle has doors to a confessional and to the sacristy. The chapel at its east end is dedicated to the Sacred Heart whose statue stands on a modern timber altar of three square pedestals set on edge. In front of the arch leading into the chapel stands a statue of St Theresa. The south aisle has a repository at its west end, which might have been a baptistery originally. The cylindrical font currently stands just to the west of the Lady Chapel. It is made of Portland stone with a shallow carved blind arcade, St John Fisher’s coat of arms and the inscription ‘Ecce aqua quid prohibit me baptizari’ (Acts 8, 36). The timber altar in the Lady Chapel is of conventional design, above which stands a statue of the Virgin with Child. (Gallery and chapel are within the volume of the tower.) In front of the north side of the arch leading into the chapel is a statue of St Augustine placed on a corbel nearby. The Stations of the Cross are carved in relief. In nave and aisles are chandeliers of traditional design.

Heritage Details

Architect: Bingham Towner & Partners

Original Date: 1964

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed