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Brief History of St Augustine’s Church, Whitton

As the village of Whitton grew due to the construction of Heathfield estate and surrounding developments, there was a need to reach out to this new community. Additionally, the existing St. Philip's church was too small to accommodate everyone. It was therefore decided that a new worshipping community would be established on the south side of the railway line.

This saw the beginning of a new worshipping community of the Parish of St Augustine of Canterbury Whitton whose place of meeting was at the newly built Bishop Perrin Memorial School (built in memory of the Rt Revd William Wilcox Perrin, the late Bishop of Willesden in the Diocese of London). 

Although Bishop Perrin school was not opened until February 1936, worship started “in December 1935, when the Bishop of London dedicated the chancel of the School Hall. Fr R H Gill who had come in arrived in time for laying the school’s foundation stone on 23rd July 1935, was the first Priest in Charge of St Augustine’s Church. He lived at the time 93 Montrose Avenue, which served as the Vicarage for many years. 

In his first newsletter written towards the end of 1936 (and published in January 1937), Fr Gill spoke of a sense of gratitude for the "new family, a happy family". He observed that "we shall be happier when we are much larger, and we must each do our share in extending to others that fellowship, that happiness which we share." (St Augustine of Canterbury Church Magazine, January 1937).

Plans were afoot to build the church at the present site but the beginning of the Second World War in 1939 halted the construction plans, not only because financial resources were mainly to serve the immediate needs, but also because many churches in London were being destroyed by falling bombs.

The church was constructed after the war ended and it was officially opened by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Honourable Henry M Campbell, on 29th June 1958, with an attendance of more than 500 people. While the Diocese of London provided funding for the building, the parish was responsible for furnishing it. Several furnishings, including the Crucifix, were gifted from other churches, particularly those that were destroyed during the war, but the altar came from Barbados in the Caribbean.

From inception to the present time, St Augustine’s has been at the centre of promoting the Kingdom of God by spreading the love of God in Jesus to the wider community and extending a warm welcome, fellowship and happiness to those who come or seek to be part of this Christian community of the followers of Jesus Christ.


Since its inception, the church and wider community have been served by various clergy, resident and visiting, and has been a ground for training of curates.

The following have served as incumbents (Priests in Charge/Vicars) of the parish:

  • 1935 - 1940 - Revd R H Gill*

  • 1940 - 1945 - Revd William Parr*

  • 1945 - 1947 - Revd RH Gill

  • 1947 - 1949 - Revd F G Griffiths

  • 1949 - 1959 - Revd John Borrill**

  • 1959 - 1964 - Revd G R Royall

  • 1965 - 1981 - Revd Gordon Vincent

  • 1982 - 1990 - Revd Canon Timothy Higgins 

  • 1991 - 1999 - Revd Rod Cosh

  • 2000 - 2009 - Revd Lyn Philips  

  • 2010 - 2019 - Revd Stephen Caple

  • 2021 - 2024 - Revd Prebendary John Kafwanka Kaoma***


* 6 Feb 1940 Fr Gill left to be Chaplain in the Royal Airforce and returned on November 1st, 1945. In his absence Fr William Parr took over as locum on 1 April 1940 and left the parish on 16 September 1945.

After his return, Fr Gill served the parish until August 1947 moved to a new and national role at Church House (Church of England Head Quarters)

**Fr Borrill was licensed on October 19th 1949 and became the first Vicar in June 1951. Until then the previous incumbents served as Priest in Charge.

*** Fr John served 3 and a 1/2 years before he was elected to become the 4th Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Zambia, in Zambia.

65th Anniversary Celebrations

In 2022 the PCC took a decision to mark the 65th anniversary in the following year of the existence of the current church building and the ministry it has represented.


St Augustine’s church community has existed for almost 90 years, and this particular anniversary was to celebrate 65 years with thanksgiving to God under the following objectives:


  • reconnect with one another and with our community after the long and difficult COVID-19 pandemic

  • continue being a church that is both community and world-facing in expressing the love of Jesus Christ for the world

  • renew our faith to be more intentional and grow in confidence in our daily Christian discipleship

  • reconnect with all those who have had any association with this church to participate in any of the several events including the celebratory Sunday on 25th June 2023

  • express our gratitude to God for His sufficient grace, enabling us to be simple and yet important signs of God’s Kingdom in this community and beyond during the last 65 to about 87 years

  • express our heartfelt gratitude to all the Christians past and present who have used their God-given time, skills, and talents, to live faithfully as instruments of God’s grace and love.

  • express our gratitude to the past leadership who served in this place with faithfulness

The anniversary was both about reconnecting within and without, fellowship and missional - to be a church that is both community and world-facing in expressing the love of Jesus Christ for the world.


A very able planning and implementation team (PIT), led by Rob Dowler, prepared a series of events in the month of June 2023, which brought us in touch with one another and with the community we serve and live in. It has also been an opportunity to reconnect with all those who have had association with St Augustine’s church. These celebrations culminated into a celebratory Sunday service followed by lunch on 25th June 2023.


Three previous incumbents and a former Assistant Priest graced the Sunday celebration with their spouses. The Area Dean Revd Ben Lovell was the guest of honour and the preacher.

65th Anniversary Events Poster

Recognition Award

The following people were recognised by the Bishop of Kensington for their services and contributions to the life and mission of the church over the last 65 years :

  • Gretta Martin – Long-standing and service - Flower arranging - Homelink 

  • Phyllis Bailey  – Long-standing and service - Flower arranging - Homelink-bookstore 

  • Graham Dale – Long-standing and service - Lay Reader

  • Patricia Hamilton – Long-standing and service - Lay Reader - PCC Lay Chair - Cornerstone

  • Fiona & John Wolsoncroft  – Long-standing and service - Home Group Host

  • Jane Derry – Long-standing and service - Sacristan - Youth club - Dorcas

  • Rob Dowler – Long-standing and service - Church Warden-Anniversary celebrations 

  • Sue Thornton – Long-standing and service - Church Warden - Hospitality  

  • Mavis (posthumous) & Bob Winter – Long-standing and service - Home Group hosts - Homelink & projects, and Church Warden

  • David (posthumous) & Kay Alldridge – Long-standing and service - Headteacher & Teacher at Bishop Perrin - Home Group hosts 

  • Pauline Derry (posthumous) – Long-standing and service - Flower arranging - Homelink - Dorcas

  • Rosemary Styles (posthumous) – Long-standing and service - Flower arranging 

  • Peter Greening (posthumous) – Long-standing and service - Chair of the Fabric Committee 

  • Roger Brunskill (posthumous) – Long-standing and service, Churchwarden 

  • John Baker – Long-standing and service, Church Warden 

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