Golders Green, Middlesex

St. Edward the Confessor, Golders Green, Middlesex

With the Catholic population of London growing rapidly churches began to spring up all over the capital in the mid-19th Century.

In 1908 Father William Bendon arrived at a small village called Golders Green. His timing was immaculate as only one year earlier the Hampstead Garden Suburb had been founded and with it the population of the area exploded.

Carmelite Nuns were invited here from Isleworth and they set up a mission at Golders Green with Father Bendon as their chaplain. In 1909 the first earth was cut and work began on construction. On Christmas Day 1909 the first masses were given by Father Bendon, although this was in a temporary chapel, not the church we now see.

Work on the church commenced in 1914 but was interrupted and slowed by the First World War. The church was due to open on 8th September 1915 but a zeppelin air raid on Golders Green meant the opening had to be postponed until October 13th, oddly enough the Feast Day of St. Edward the Confessor to whom the church and mission was dedicated.

The church is very much of a traditional kind, although in brick with stone facings, giving it a distinctive chequer board look. It managed to escape World War II intact, but in 1960 the interior was gutted by arson and it was not fully reopened until 1996.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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