HOW OLD IS THE CHURCH? Westbourne Grove Church is the oldest congregation in Notting Hill, formed in 1823. It preceded the arrival of the Anglican churches by 20 years, since the Church of England already had a prestigious meeting place at the ancient parish of St Mary Abbotts, Kensington, and were reluctant to build in the north end of the parish. The congregation was formed by some of the workers and service staff at Kensington Palace and local businesses. They soon built a chapel near Silver Street (now Kensington Church Street). The fifth pastor was William Garrett Lewis, and under his skillful leadership which lasted 33 years hundreds of people found faith in Jesus and packed the Silver Street building, leading to the construction of the first form of the present building in 1853. The building was expanded to the form we see today in 1866.
THE CHURCH LOOKS CLASSIC GOTHIC BUT ALSO RENOVATED. WHAT HAPPENED ? In 2001 the church worked with the Manhattan Loft Corporation to redevelop the site.
The church retains increased space spread over the entire ground and first floors of the building, while the project was funded by development of 10 apartments in the top four floors of the converted building.
The redevelopment project, completed in September 2004, renewed the building for a further 150 years of life as a place of worship and a centre for the community.
DID THE REDEVELOPMENT GIVE THE CHURCH AND LOCAL COMMUNITY A GOOD DEAL? Yes, the project released the site’s value and converted it into a new purpose built church facility. Inside the classic exterior a brand new building includes 2 halls each with kitchen and toilets. There is also a creche, several offices, a basement work area, and a cafe style lounge space in the porch / lobby area of the building.
WESTBOURNE GROVE CHURCH ~1909
The church building in 1997
A very clean and polished Westbourne Grove Church September 2004