|St John the Evangelist Churchyard||Bexley|
The first church of St John the Evangelist to serve the village of Sidcup was consecrated in 1844. Following arrival of the railway in 1866 more capacity was needed for the congregation and a chancel, Lady Chapel and vestries were added in 1882. In 1899-1901 the current brick church was built, although part of the existing churchyard walls date from 1844. The churchyard was enlarged in 1898 and again in 1934 and contains numerous monuments; there are mature and semi mature trees including a large horse chestnut. The churchyard is now closed for burials.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/07/2005
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The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
The original church here was built in 1841-44 as a District Church for the Parish Church of St Nicholas Chislehurst (q.v.) when the hitherto small village of Sidcup was expanding and the population needed their own church. For a short time it was known as St John the Evangelist, East Chislehurst before the parish of St John Sidcup was formed. Contributions towards the building of the church came from Lord Sydney of Chiselhurst, who owned Frognal House (q.v.) and was a major landowner in Chislehurst, Lord Bexley and Harold Berens, who owned Sidcup Place (q.v.). The church had twin towers with steeples at the west end and an arcade or ambulatory around three sides supporting the galleries, but had no chancel; it was consecrated by the Bishop of Rochester on 16 April 1844. The congregation grew after the opening of Sidcup station in 1866 and soon after the Revd T C Lewis was appointed vicar in 1882, he instigated plans to extend the church. The foundation stone for the new chancel was laid on St Swithin's Day 15 July 1882 and the Chancel and Lady Chapel were consecrated on 31 October the same year. These, together with the vestries, were built at a cost of £2,500, paid for by the Revd Lewis himself. Further enlargement was needed by 1898 and the present brick church was built in 1899-1901, designed by the architect G.H. Fellows-Prynne ARIBA. The foundation stone of the present nave, as well as that of the aisles and tower of the new and enlarged church, was laid on the 18 November 1899 by the Revd Canon Francis Murray, Rector of Chislehurst. The churchyard that surrounds St John the Evangelist is bounded on two sides by residential houses, on one side by the parish halls and on the fourth side by the main road, bordered by a flint and brick wall dating from 1844. The churchyard was enlarged to the north with part of the vicarage garden in 1898, and further enlarged in 1934. Tarmac paths lead around the churchyard, which has a number of mature and semi mature trees including a large horse chestnut. Evergreen trees include yews and holly. There are numerous monuments especially to the east and south. The churchyard is now closed for burials except family graves and ashes.
The Green CA Statement of Character; Pevsner N. The Buildings of England London South p148 1983; Mercer J. A History of St John the Evangelist, Sidcup 1989; LB Bexley, 'The Green Conservation Area: Area Appraisal and Management Plan', March 2009; History page on church website