Celebrations at St Andrew Stoke Newington
The Bishop of Stepney, the Rt Revd Adrian Newman, has rededicated the centre panel of the reredos and the Great West Window at St Andrew, Stoke Newington.
The celebrations, held in conjunction with the church’s patronal festival on Sunday 15 November, marked the completion of the first phase of repairs to the church.
St Andrew’s is a little known gem, full of remarkable murals on almost every available surface. A number of years ago, the centre panel of the reredos, painted on mahogany, fell out and was damaged. Thanks to generous funding from the Area Council, it has now been restored, 127 years, almost to the day, after it was dedicated by the first vicar.
Major repairs were undertaken to the Great West Window as part of project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Churches Trust, the AllChurches Trust, the Stuart Heath Charitable Settlement and the Grocers’ Company. Most of this window commemorates men of the parish whose lives were lost in the First World War and the rededication was tinged with sadness as Bishop Adrian called on the congregation to pray for those who had died in the Paris attacks less than 48 hours before.
The celebration brought together the descendants of people who were closely involved with St Andrew’s when it was consecrated in 1884. David Blomfield, the great great nephew of the architect, Sir Arthur Blomfield, read the first lesson. Also present were Lord Amherst, the fifth Baron of Hackney. The first baron, local MP William Amhurst Tyssen-Amherst, donated the land for the church, gave £1,000 towards the building costs, and laid the foundation stone.
The popular first vicar, Henry Bevan, returned to the church as Archdeacon of Middlesex in 1919 to dedicate the Great West Window. Two of his great grandsons and a great granddaughter joined the congregation for the celebrations in which Bishop Adrian was assisted by the interim priest, Fr Evan Jones, who has led the congregation for the last four years and by Fr Colin Midlane.
Image: The Bishop of Stepney blessing the Great West Window with the Revd Colin Midlane (left) and the Revd Evan Jones (right) and the serving team.