St Matthias Church, Warwick Road (1869-1958) 

The church of Saint Matthias was built between 1869 and 1872 to designs by J.H. Hakewill. The church schools - erected in 1878-1879 - survive. The church dates from the period when there was much church building in Kensington to keep pace with the estate development, regardless of proven need or of financial security.




































The parish derived from Saint Philip's, Earl's Court Road, which
was 'High Church' from the time of its first incumbent the
Reverend Joseph Claxton. The first vicar of Saint Matthias was
the Reverend Samuel Charles Haines. The doors were at the sides
not at the west end because Haines wished to avoid 'the gathering
of idle persons around the entrance from the main road and so
securing greater quiet in services'. Haines was constantly
summoned before the Bishop of London for 'Anglo-Catholic
excesses'. Services at Saint Matthias under Haines's ministry were
'fashionably extreme and attracted wide attention'. There was also
much dispute over parish boundaries.

During World War Two the church was without a vicar and
temporarily administered from Saint Cuthbert's. The church was
deemed to be too big for its diminished congregation and the parish
was merged with Saint Cuthbert's; the building was demolished in
1958.

The bell from the belfry of St Matthias Church survives at
St Cuthbert's. It was cast by Henry Jeffries of Bristol, who was
working between 1540 and 1550, succeeding his father, Thomas
Geffries, who was Sheriff of Bristol in 1525 and died in 1546. Bells
by Henry are rare, with only ten examples known to survive. How
this 400 year old bell found a place in Kensington is not known. The
bell is not in good enough condition to hang and ring, but is on
display in St Cuthbert's Church.

The Roll of Honour for St Matthias Church can be viewed here.

You can read more on St Matthias Church in British History Online,
which includes a plan of the church.

Records of the parish of Saint Matthias, including registers of
baptisms and marriages; Parochial Church Council minutes; papers
relating to the church fixtures and fittings; correspondence; legal
documents relating to parish property; and plans and drawings of
the church are held in the London Metropolitan Archives,
ref. P84/MTS.