|St John the Evangelist Churchyard||Hammersmith & Fulham|
St John the Evangelist Church was built in 1858-9 when a new parish created out of that of St Paul's Hammersmith as the population of the area was growing. The church had gardens to the south and west with some mature trees and shrubs, bounded to the roadway by iron railings. After changes in parish boundaries in 2004, the church closed in 2005 and was leased to Godolphin and Latymer School on a 125 year lease including its surrounding grounds. It has been converted into The Bishop Centre, a centre for performing arts for the school, which opened in June 2009.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/11/2011
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The large church, a building of yellow brick with red brick bands and stone dressing, was designed by William Butterfield (1814-1900), who also designed the vicarage to the north built in 1864-6. Edward Walford described the church in 1878 as 'a large and lofty edifice of Early-English architecture', reporting that it was 'erected by voluntary contributions, at a cost of about £6,000'. The foundation stone was laid on 23 April 1858 and the church was consecrated on 27 July 1859. The church tower, also by Butterfield, was completed in 1882 and although there were plans for a spire this was never built. A Mission Hall was built nearby in Iffley Road in 1883/4. The south chapel was remodelled in 1898 designed by J F Bentley . Although some of Butterfield's original interior remains, some of the stained glass windows he designed were lost in WWII bomb damage. In the church garden a WWI memorial cross was erected.
In 2004 parish boundaries were adjusted and part of the parish of St John the Evangelist now comes within that of The Holy Innocents. St John's Church closed in March 2005, although voluntary service continued. In December 2005 the church and its surrounding land was granted on a 125 year lease to Godolphin and Latymer School, located adjacent to the church. Godolphin School had been founded in the C16th under the will of William Godolphin, becoming a grammar school in 1861, when it was established here as a boarding school for boys on a site of 4 acres near the church. In 1905 it became an independent girls' day school associated with the Latymer Foundation, and was renamed the Godolphin and Latymer School. The Latymer Schools in Hammersmith were founded under the 1624 will of Edmund Latymer who bequeathed 35 acres of land in Hammersmith, 'the profits of which were to be appropriated to clothing six poor men, clothing and educating eight poor boys, and distributing money'. In 1951 the school received Voluntary Aided status under the 1944 Education Act, and in 1977, rather than becoming a non-selective school under the State system, it reverted to full independent status. The Latymer School for Boys dates from 1627 and is the oldest school in Hammersmith, its present buildings in King Street date from 1895.
The church has been converted into The Bishop Centre for the performing arts, the work commissioned from Anne Minors Performance Consultants in 2006. It is named after Dame Joyce Bishop, who was Head Mistress of the school between 1935 and 1963. The Centre was completed in March 2009 and officially opened on 25 June. The former church garden is now part of the school grounds, but remains visible from the road and contains the WWI War Memorial.
Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed) p202; Godolphin and Latymer School 'Opening of the Bishop Centre, 25 June 2009' booklet; Edward Walford, 'Old and New London' vol vi (Cassell & Co., c.1885/6)