At that time the parish of St James had 20,000 people but only 'One Church and One Clergyman.'
So a new parish and a new church, St Anne's, was planned for the 6,000 people who lived in that part of the parish.
Here is a leaflet (left) from the Record Office about the plans for the new church.
They weren't starting completely from scratch, however, because the leaflet states 'Open Air Services and visitation from house to house have been attended by the happiest of results, so that it became necessary to erect an Iron Church, the accommodation of which is wholly inadequate to the wants of the District, and is already issuficient for those who desire to attend.'
A site for the new church had been generously donated but because 'the District..contains no wealthy inhabitants', donations were invited.
The leaflet lists some of the initial donors: £1000 from the Surrey Church Association (Bermondsey was then in Surrey); £50 from the Bishop of Winchester; £10 from the vicar; £5 from the Archdeacon of Surrey; and then dozens of other donations from local people and the congregation.
Finally, the new church was built at a cost of £3,500 and opened in 1870, and stands to this day in the heart of the parish (above), proclaiming the good news of Christ to the people of Bermondsey.
|Some of the contributors to the new church|