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St Stephen's Church, Bush Hill Park facts for kids

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Parish Church of Stephen, Bush Hill Park
St Stephen's Church and lychgate war memorial
51°38′30″N 0°04′43″W / 51.6417°N 0.0786°W / 51.6417; -0.0786Coordinates: 51°38′30″N 0°04′43″W / 51.6417°N 0.0786°W / 51.6417; -0.0786
Location Park Avenue, EN1 2ET
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Church of England
Tradition Modern Catholic
Quick facts for kids
Founded 1901
Dedicated 1907
Architect(s) John Samuel Alder (1847-1919)
Style Early English Gothic
Years built 1906-16
Deanery Enfield
Archdeaconry Hampstead
Episcopal area Edmonton
Diocese Diocese of London
Province Canterbury
Vicar(s) (Vacancy)

St Stephen's Church is a Church of England church in Park Avenue, Bush Hill Park in the London Borough of Enfield.

The History

The first St Stephen's was a simple temporary building (’iron church’) put up in 1901 as a chapel of ease to All Saints Church in Edmonton. In 1906 work began on a permanent church to a gothic design by John Samuel Alder (1847-1919) with walls built of Stamford stone, with Welden stone for the corners. Bath stone is used for the windows and pillars and York stone for the steps. The church was lit by electricity. The chancel, lady chapel, organ bay, clergy and choir vestries and three bays of the nave and aisles were completed in 1907 at a cost of £6,000, and consecrated that year by the Bishop of London. In 1909 St Stephen's became a separate parish. Completion of the church, which in 1912 was estimated to cost a further £4,800, was achieved in 1916, but the planned-for tower and spire were never built.

The Design

In the 22 August 1917 edition of The Building News and Architectural Journal (p. 144) the completed building was described as follows:

It comprises of a nave 84ft long and 27ft wide; aisles of the same length and 12 ft wide; chancel 41 ft long and 24ft wide; lady chapel of the same length and 15ft wide; organ aisle and clergy and choir vestries, with folding doors between, to admit of use as one large room for parish meetings, etc. There are, in addition, a recessed baptistry at west end of nave, and a tower porch at west end of south aisle, and two other entrnnce porches. The nave and chancel are of lofty proportions, with traceried clerestory windows, and an opened timbered and panelled roof of arched form; and there are handsome arcades with stone pillars and richly moulded arches, dividing the nave and chancel from the aisles and lady chapel. Large traceried windows are a feature at east and west ends of the church. At present only the lower stage of the tower has been built, up to the height of clerestory window-sills; but, when completed, the tower and spire, rising to a height of 170ft will be an important feature, and a landmark for many miles round. The general style of the church is Decorated Gothic [...] the walls throughout, inside and out, are faced with Casterton free stone, roughly chiselled. The roofs are covered with rough red hand-made tiles, floors laid with marble mosaic, or with wood blocks under the seats, which are of oak. The accomodation provided is for 750 persons [...] and the builders Messrs. John Bentley & Sons, of Walthan Abbey.

The stained glass

St Stephen's church has a number of twentieth-century decorated windows.

The Pipe Organ

The parish's first pipe organ (1-manual and pedal) was built for the temporary church building by the firm of Henry Jones. It was later moved to the church of St Alphege Edmonton. The present 3-manual instrument was installed in 1908, built by the Norwich-based firm of Norman and Beard. As a mark of the importance of the St Stephen's organ to the nation's heritage, being of special interest and warranting every effort to preserve, it has been awarded an Historic Organ Certificate by the British Institute of Organ Studies, the amenity society for the British organ, which lobbies Government, Historic England and other national bodies.

The original cost of the present instrument was £1,150. The imposing carved organ case is a gift from the fitst vicar, Edward Forbes (1863-1941), as a memorial to his father.

The Lychgate

The lychgate was built in 1922, as a war memorial.

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