St Andrew's Mission

In 1900 there were two Anglican churches in the parish of Mortlake. St Mary's had been the parish church since 1543 and Christ Church had served parishioners in the south of the parish since 1864. With the anticipated growth in the local population, the need for a new church to serve the western part of Mortlake parish was first considered in 1902. A site abutting the Lower Richmond Road, owned by Captain Thomas Fitzgerald, was approved, but this plan did not materialise.

Canon Monroe became vicar in 1910 and he decided there should be a new church in the south east of the parish as well as in the west. In the spring of 1912, a site on Clifford Avenue was secured by Monroe, on land again owned by Fitzgerald. In the same year, Monroe met Major Shepherd-Cross MP, who lived at Palewell Lodge. Shepherd-Cross agreed to bequeath to the parish a plot of land on East Sheen Avenue. In the summer of 1912, an initial grand money-raising event was held in the grounds of East Sheen Lodge, and £750 was raised. This was the beginning of the new church fund.

St Andrews

Shepherd-Cross died in 1913 and so the land in East Sheen became available. However, the building of the church was postponed because of the First World War.

When the Rev. Tupper became vicar in 1918 the parish had committed to building the new church in East Sheen. It was decided that any funds raised for the Clifford Avenue church should be transferred to the East Sheen Avenue church, and fundraising continued. The building of All Saints began, and its foundation stone was laid by the Duchess of York on 24 October 1928. The church was consecrated on All Saints Day the following year.

But what was to be done with the Clifford Avenue site? Following the First World War, a Mission church was built there using a wooden army surplus hut with a tin roof. This was seen as a temporary solution that would serve the local population. The hut came from Bramshot army camp and was brought to Mortlake by a British Leyland vehicle without charge. The mission had a single bell and was sited between 35 and 45 Clifford Avenue, just south of St Leonard's Road junction.

St Andrew's was not a consecrated church but was licenced as a place of worship. It was dedicated to St Andrew on 31 May 1921, and the first service, a choral eucharist, was held at 9 am on 5 June 1921. This was followed by evensong at 6.30.

In 1926 St Andrew's expenditure included 12 shillings for candles, £1 2s 5d for laundry, £1 3s 6d for tuning the organ, £9 7s 7d for fuel, and a new fire extinguisher cost £2 6s 2d. St Andrews was the first church in the parish to introduce the Christmas Midnight Service; this was in 1937.

Mr WW Watts was the Licenced Lay Reader at St Andrew's from 1921 until 1948. During that time the Mission was popular with local parishioners, and holy communion and evensong continued to be held there every Sunday. This pattern of services continued until 1944 when evensong was suspended due to the lack of clergy. The congregation numbers began to fall after the second world war and by the 1970s the only service being conducted was holy communion on the first Sunday of the month.

St Andrews

The last service at St Andrew's was held at 8 pm on Monday 6 January 1975. The little church was full for the farewell thanksgiving service led by the Rev. Bernard Jacob. The service of holy eucharist was followed by coffee and refreshments. After its doors closed the building became derelict. This temporary place of worship had survived 54 years and the original intention to build a permanent church to serve those in the west of the parish never materialised.

St Andrew's was demolished and the land on which it had stood was sold to the Churches Housing Trust in the 1990s, and St Andrew's House and Langdale Close were built on the site.