St Gabriel, Pickford Street


Built in 1869 in an area of industry and back-to-back housing, this church served a poor working-class population in this densely packed district.

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This church appears on the 1890 Ordnance Survey map which can be viewed at British History Online -

The foundation stone of this church on Barn Street was laid in September 1867 and the church consecrated in January 1869. There were seats for a congregation of 600, most of them free.


The building was of brick dressed with stone and designed by J A Chatwin in Early English style. It consisted of a choir and apsidal chancel, nave, aisles, and small tower with spire. A parish was immediately assigned out of St Martin's and St Bartholomew's. The latter church closed in 1937 and a large part of St Bartholomew's parish was assigned to St Gabriel's in 1939.


The first vicar was Rev J T Tanse, who with friends themselves built a mission room at the west end of the church on Pickford Street. The rooms, which could accommodate 800 people, were set to cost £3500, but the vicar and his friends saved almost three quarters of the cost by building the rooms themselves. 


The church was badly damaged during the Second World War and closed in 1945. The parish was put in the charge of the incumbent of St John and St Basil, Deritend.

William Dargue 19.04.2013