The Rectory and Halls

Until 1902, St. George the Martyr did not own a rectory for the incumbent and earlier incumbents lived in their own property. For example, Dr. Nathaniel Hough, rector in the 1730s, lived in Kensington. However, by the late 19th century there seems to be have been a longstanding agreement in regards renting a property known as 15 the Paragon, on New Kent Road. For example, in 1884, the Rev. Burman Cassin was living there. This property was not owned by the church until 1902 when a contract was made with its owner, Lord Llangattock, for a long term lease of 999 years. This cost £1430. This lease came into effect on 25th December 1902. By 1906, the rector had moved into this address and made it the parish rectory. 15 the Paragon was also addressed as 218 New Kent Road, and next door to this was ‘The Rectory House’ at 220 New Kent Road. Both houses were damaged by bombing during the Second World War on both September 29th 1940 and October 25th 1940. Due to this, the rectory had to be repaired between October and December 1940 and the basement was then converted into a flat for the staff.

As of 2018, the Rectory is located on Manciple Street. The site for this house was the former site of St. Stephen’s Church, demolished in 1965, and building work on the new rectory began in 1966. Apparently, the church was designed by the incumbent to be the same size as his retirement house in order that his furniture would fit. The property is owned by the Diocese for the exclusive use of the incumbent of St. George the Martyr with St. Alphege and St. Jude.

The church seems to have had no permanent church halls up until the 1950’s and had to rent them. For example, in 1902 the rent of Red Cross Hall cost 8 shillings and 6 pence per week. By 1920 the church was using 302 Borough High Street as its ‘Parish House’. A fundraising sale was held there on the 9th December 1920, with the proceeds going towards the church and infant welfare in the parish. Various stalls and events were put on, such as a rectory stall, a fruit and vegetable stall, an art stall, side shows, music and a café. By 1940, the church was renting 84 Borough Road off the council to be used as its Parish Hall.

In 1953, the old church building of St. Michael’s and All Angels on Lant Street was converted into St. George’s Parish Halls. These were sold in 2001 in order to fund restoration work. In 1965, the church had three church halls which were rented out to outside groups and used by the parish.  For example, an Orthodox Church used the halls for their Sunday school. A day nursery was also ran from them, as well as many parish events such as drama groups, guides and a youth club. The church acquired more property when the ownership of 85 Mint Street was transferred to the church from the Diocese, and this was made into flats to be rented out.

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