The present church of St. Thomas with St. Andrew and St. Philip Kensal Town (London, W10, UK) replaces an earlier building and was opened in 1967; built to the design of Romilly E. Craze (1892-1974).
The former church here was opened in 1889, built to the designs of Demaine and Brierley of York, J. Demaine being described as ‘Diocesan Surveyor’. The building was demolished following aerial bombing during the Second World War. It has not been possible to locate any pre-war images of this building.
The pipe organ
The pipe organ in the 1889 building was lost to war damage; details of that instrument are given in the National Pipe Organ Register. The present west-gallery instrument is a second-hand 1-manual organ by Bevington and Sons of Rose Street, Soho, London. This address. and the builder’s plate would give the organ a date between 1867 and 1896.
While the previous location of this instrument is unknown, its recent history can be traced in the PCC minute books as follows:
- PCC Minutes 21.9.1965. “Organ & Choir. It would be possible and most Desirable. to site Both of choir & organ at West End When type of organ has been decided upon and the Organ Builder so that they can consult with Mr Craze” [Romilly E. Craze was the new building’s architect].
- PCC Minutes 20.10.1965. ”Makers of Compton Organ inform us that if we PURCHASE our organ now they will Guarantee to maintain present day price.”
- PCC Minutes. 5.4.1967 “Organ. Letter from Diocesan House re organ Stating that they cannot see their way clear to supply cash for organ. Mr Craze is going to see Secondhand Organ which is for sale at £675. For the remodernising and installation of the organ final cost would be approx. £1000.”
- PCC minutes 16.4 1972 “The 16 stop American reed organ has been given to the Cecil Club.” [The Cecil Club, 1-5 Wedlake Street, was a nearby local authority facility for senior ciizens]
- ‘Cecil Residential Club for old people, Wedlake Street, Kensal Road, London‘, Royal Institute of british Architects. Online resource, accessed 7 September 2019
- ‘Middlesex Kensal Town, St. Thomas, 231 Kensal Road [N17501]‘, National Pipe Organ Register. Online resource, accessed 9 September 2019.
- Records of the parish of Saint Thomas, Kensal Road, North Kensington: PCC/Vestry/Annual church meeting minute books, April 1960-December 1978. London Metropolitan Archive: P84/TMS/025; P84/TMS/026..
- ‘Romilly E. Craze‘. Wikipedia, accessed 7 September 2019
- ‘St. Thomas with St. Andrew and St. Philip Kensal Town‘, The Church of England: A Church Near You. Online resource, accessed 7 October 2019.
‘The Church of St. Thomas, Kensal Road‘, British History Online, accessed 7 October 2019