Parish of St Barnabas Homerton

A church for all ages and all nations and all people

History of St Barnabas


A brief history


John Watson, the Rector of Hackney Parish Church, saw the need for more churches in Hackney with its quickly growing population.

He and his brother Joshua determined to erect a church in Homerton, which had been their family home (they had had a house on the High Street, on the west of Mackintosh Lane).    John died before this could be accomplished, so it was due to Joshua Watson’s energy, initiative and financial help that the church was built.

·         The church cost just under £5000 to build.  Grants were obtained that amounted to £3000.

·         Joshua Watson provided the endowment towards the maintenance of a resident clergyman, and he also gave £500, half the cost of the clergy house.

 Building and Consecration of the Church

·         The site of the church had been a horse farm.

·         The church was consecrated on St Barnabas Day 1847.  The North Aisle was added in 1852.

·         The architect was Arthur Ashpitel.  It is built in the perpendicular style, constructed of Kentish ragstone with Bath stone dressings

Expansion of the Parish – St Paul’s

·         St Paul’s Glyn Road was established in 1885, as the district became rapidly populated.  A permanent church was later built and endowed by The Grocers’ Company.


·         On 8th August 1944 a flying bomb exploded near the church, leaving it a roofless ruin.

·         For the next 14 years the congregation met in the church hall.

·         St Barnabas was repaired (and altered) and reconsecrated in 1958

Reordering of St Barnabas

·         St Barnabas was reordered in 2007/8