St. Andrew’s History 1940-2015

1940-1955 – Vicar: Rev. C. E. FisherRev C Fisher

Rev. Fisher was previously Vicar at St Mary’s Sanderstead.

1942 – Coulsdon
CAROL EVENING. – The Under 30 Club held a carol evening in St. Andrew’s Church Hall, Coulsdon, last Thursday evening…The programme commenced with a community hymn “O little town of Bethlehem.”…Members of the St. Andrew’s Choral Society ably accompanied by Mr. Hill, then sang “Ding dong, merrily on high” and “The holly and the ivy.” “Unto us is born a son” and “When the crimson sun is set,” were also rendered in excellent style by the Choral Society with admirable unison during the evening. Vocal solos were rendered by the Vicar (the Rev. C. E. Fisher) and Miss Catlin. Those sung by the Vicar included, “The Birds,” “In Mary Land” and “The Knight of Bethlehem.” Miss Catlin sang “Pastoral,” “Madonna and Child” and “If there were dreams to sell.” Miss Catlin was accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Bush, and the Vicar by Mrs. Fisher. Several excellent piano solos were given during the evening by Mr. Williams, and were much appreciated… Members of the Under 16 Club…sang “Good Christian Men Rejoice,” “A Child this day is born” and “We three kings,” in a fine style… A choir formed by six girls sang “From far away,” which was also well applauded. A most enjoyable evening was brought to a close by the singing of “Good King Wenceslas” and “Come all ye faithful.” A hearty vote of thanks, proposed by the Vicar, was accorded to all those who had taken part…
Friday 25 December 1942 – Surrey Mirror

St Francis Church with added hall behind

1943 – St. Francis Church
In 1943, the building debt having at last been cleared, consideration was given to the possibility of erecting a new purpose-built church on land available behind the hall. Advice was sought as to the choice of a suitable architect but there was of course no hope of real progress during the war years and the idea was abandoned. In the early 1960s a more modest scheme was realised with the construction of a new hall at the rear of the existing building, enabling the original structure to be used solely as a church. This arrangement survived until 12 December 1987.

St Andrews Water Colours 010 (2)
Church Choir c.1950 Organist & Choirmaster: G Mallett

1950 – Electric Light was installed in the Church, the installation being designed, installed and donated by a parishioner.

Rev P Robb1955-1963 – Vicar: Ven. Percy Douglas Robb (Archdeacon of Kingston)

St. Andrew's Choir Rev Robb
St. Andrew’s Choir
Rev Robb

1958 – An anonymous donor gave £200 for the window in the Lady Chapel.

main window

On 7th September, the Vicar dedicated the new east Window, designed by Sir ??? ???.

The Lord Bishop of Southwark dedicated St. Francis Hall on 15th November.

1962-64 Completion of West End of the Church

1962 Snow Scene
1 January 1962 Snow Scene Woodmansterne Road

St Andrews Choir Old
c.1963 Rev Ven Robb in the middle, Greg Philp, Organist

1963-1966 – Vicar: Rev. Clifford Davies OBE

Clifford Davies was a former royal Naval Chaplain and Chaplain to the Queen, a wonderful character but couldn’t take to suburban life so left us after only a couple of years.  I remember him walking round Coulsdon to visit parishioners dressed in his bright red cassock and biretta. (R.A.) Clifford Davis served as a Naval Chaplain both at home and abroad, in ships and shore bases, from 1936 until 1962. He was awarded the OBE (Military) in 1942 for his efforts to boost…morale on board HMS Despatch, sailing in the Pacific, isolated and out of touch with the UK. In 1959 he was appointed Honorary Chaplain to HM the Queen… In 1971 he wrote The Four Poplars as a memoir of his childhood in Norfolk… In 1943 Clifford married Joan Guy. They had six children, three boys and three girls. One boy, Simon, died in infancy. After leaving the Royal Navy in 1962, Clifford held several church posts, including Truro Cathedral, St Andrew’s Church Coulsdon, St Mary’s Episcopal Church Aberfoyle and finally Holy Trinity Church, Keith. Clifford died in 1980 at the age of 74.

1964 – West End Completed

From 1914 until 1964 the church had a “temporary” west wall. It was plain on the inside and tile-hung on the outside, with heavy baulks of timber to support it. In the centre there was a small porch with interior and exterior doors. A small window set high up in the apex of the roof admitted  a small amount of light. By January 1964 the foundations of the Narthex had been laid, an interior partition of corrugated iron had been installed and scaffolding was being erected to permit the removal of the temporary wall. The Archdeacon of Kingston, the Ven. P.D. Robb who had been Vicar of St Andrew’s until June 1963, came to lay the foundation stone in February 1964, He was accompanied by the Rural Dean. Henry Venables, also Churchwarden at that time. The Vicar, the Rev Clifford Davies conducted a Service for the occasion, with the choir and pianist on a temporary platform, and the congregation filling the car park.

Old organ Console
WP_20141011_21_46_42_Pro (2)
Narthex completed 1964
Boys and men choir 1966
Church Choirs 1966 to mark Rev. Clifford Davies leaving
Full Choirstalls 1966
Ladies Choir 1966
In hall 1966
Serving Clifford 1966
St Andrews Water Colours 011 (2)

1966-1974 Vicar: Rev. Canon Alfred George Duckett, MA

St Andrews Choir Ian le Grice


Vicar: Rev. C. J. E. Lunn, AKC (d. Sept 2011)

Procession to St Francis. I believe I see a couple of Cliff boys, Tony Lee Pollitt and Rev Lunn. But what was the occasion?
1978 – Procession of Witness for 50th Anniversary of consecration of St Francis to St Francis c.1975. (I believe I see a couple of Cliff boys, Tony Lee Pollitt, Diana Lunn and Rev Lunn.)
The Vicar’s Vestry – Rev. C Lunn, Ron Anderson, Tony King, Kenyon McKie, Ray Denvil, Les Roffey

1979….Meanwhile, as you drink your coffee after the Sung Eucharist on Sunday morning, listen to Steven Bowey playing the organ.  He does it by ear, and can hardly reach the organ pedals.
St Andrew with St Francis Parish Magazine June 1979.

1987 – St. Francis Church
12 December 1987 was when the final service was held at St. Francis Church, the church’s closure having been forced by the ‘difficulty in finding clergy and a falling congregation’. In April 1989, after months of negotiation, the premises were sold to the Coptic Orthodox Church for £550,000, a price said to be a fraction of what could have been commanded on the open market. The Diocese had resisted pressure to sell to property developers, a spokesman saying that ‘in the end we are very happy to be able to provide another Christian Church with the premises’. The proceeds from the sale were to be used for refurbishing St Andrew’s Church Hall.

1994 – 21 May – Ordination of Rev Hilary Eve at Southwark Cathedral; 25 May – Rev Hilary Eve – first communion as celebrant at St Andrews

St. Andrew's Young Singers - Celebration of Gifts September 1994
St. Andrew’s Young Singers – Celebration of Gifts September 1994


Vicar: Rev. Canon M. Goodlad


2002     Major organ restoration

Re-leathering of all wind reservoirs including all new wood wind trunks. New Great Open Diapason façade pipes. Project consultant: John Norman. A major aspect of the work was the remodelling of the console from stop-tabs to an all Draw-stop console including a new bi-level combination system. Console turned round so organist faces east. Organ builder: Vincent Coggins

2005-2014 Vicar: Rev. V. Sims

After her time with us at St. Andrew’s, The Revd Vickie Sims formally began her ministry as Chaplain of All Saints Milan in a festive eucharistic service on Ascension Day 29 May 2014.

Induction of Rev Vickie Sims
2005 – Induction of Rev Vickie Sims, St. Andrews


Click for 2009 Article in The Bridge

2012 – LIVING next to a church is said to have its good and bad sides, and families may be testing that to the limit under a church’s resourceful plan to rehouse its vicar. The Diocese of Southwark wants to build two new houses in the grounds of St Andrew’s Church, selling the properties privately to help pay to rebuild the church’s abandoned vicarage. A spokeswoman said the plans are also spurred by charity laws dictating that it “looks to maximise the value of its assets. “This scheme will also provide much-needed extra housing in Coulsdon,” she added. The Rev Vickie Sims, who has led the church since 2005, left the vicarage two years ago, when its running costs and upkeep became unmanageable. She has since been living in rented accommodation close by in St. Andrew’s Road, and says she is looking forward to moving back into the church grounds. She said: “I am happy here in the sense that they have provided me with adequate housing, but I am more concerned to know that people know where to find me. “I think people in the church know where to find me, but there is something about having a visible presence that makes a difference.” The vicar added she was pleased that the church could help provide “more family-size housing of good quality” in Coulsdon. She said: “We keep hearing about housing shortage…” The vicarage, built in 1927, has been boarded-up almost since the The Rev Sims moved out, after it was vandalised and plundered by metal thieves. Under the new plans, it would be demolished and replaced with a two-storey building, including four bedrooms and solar panels on the roof… The two houses would each include four bedrooms, a garage, and family bathroom. Former plans to redevelop the site were rejected on appeal in 2008, after the planning inspector said they may spoil the character of the 1914 church and its buildings…
9 August 2012 Coulsdon & Purley Advertiser

2014 – Demolition of the Old Vicarage

Church Centenary Celebrations

St. Andrew's Church Choir

2015 – Priest in Charge Rev Esther Foss

Rev. Esther Foss - First Sunday - 26 July 2015
Rev. Esther Foss – First Sunday – 26 July 2015
St Andrews Choir 002 (3)
John and Sheila Lea – middle row, Ron Anderson, Eddie Norris and Ray Denvil on right
St Andrews Choir 008
c.1993? Advent Rev.Christopher Lunn back left
St Andrews Water Colours 013 (4)
Director of Music: John Woodhouse, Organist: Steve Bowey (suit), Rev. Vickie Sims (left), Tony King (right)
St Andrews Choir 002 (4)Autumn 2005 Induction of Rev. V. Sims
WP_20140831_11_02_35_Pro (2)

Top of page


Coulsdon Postcards

St Andrew’s Photos

St Andrew’s Paintings

St Andrew’s History 1882-1913

St Andrew’s History 1914-1939

Main church website

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: