History

History of St Martin’s Church

Founded in 1899 as a memorial to the much-respected cleric Dean Vaughan, St Martin’s church in Kensal Green is located halfway between the two institutions where Vaughan made his name – Harrow school (of which he was headmaster) and the Temple in the City of London (where he was appointed Master). The church’s stunning interior – refurbished in 2009 – features some unique work by members of the Arts-and-Crafts Movement, including stained-glass windows by HA Payne, and a beautiful Triptych painted by John Dickson Batten. St Martin’s quickly flourished and by 1904 there were more than 800 children attending the Sunday School, as well as numerous groups and events to raise money for the Poor Fund. After the Second World War there were modernisations – the Chancel was floodlit and in 1954 electricity was installed. In addition, the congregation became more diverse, notably with new members from the West Indies – (in fact, St Martin’s collaboration with churches in both Jamaica and the Windward Isles goes as far back as the 1920s). Our congregation remains diverse, with members from the West Indies, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Italy and Canada, to name but a few. St Martin’s is also a member of a group of neighbouring churches of different denominations known as ‘The Church on the Rise’.