Saturday, 21 February 2015

London Suburban Catholic Churches 2 - St. Saviour's, Lewisham

The Church of St. Saviour and Ss. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist forms a distinctive landmark in Lewisham High Street. Dating from 1909, and built in Italianate style, the most striking external features include the campanile, which, even with the nearby development of a number of high-rise buildings in recent decades, still stands out in the local skyline, and the imposing Calvary over the west door, which is a memorial to the local Catholic fallen of the 1914-18 Great War.

The campanile is a striking feature of the local High Street

The War Memorial Calvary over the church door

The interior is equally imposing, with the original High Altar, with interesting curved gradines and exposition throne, intact, and also some very nice statuary, including a Pieta, Immaculate Conception, Sacred Heart, and various Saints. The confessional doors sport carving, including Papal Arms, and the ceiling fresco of the Transfiguration, carried out by Polish prisoners of war during WW1 [or, correctly, as I have been reminded, German POWs from the region which now forms part of modern-day Poland - see comments], and the subject of one of my earlier posts, provides one of the most striking features of this beautiful church.

Liturgy at St. Saviour's is, again, Novus Ordo, and catering at times to the various cultures represented in the parish. In my experience, Mass is conducted with reverence and piety. I must admit, I would love to see a Usus Antiquior Mass in this church.

The High Altar
The Transfiguration Fresco

The Sanctuary, showing the altar rails, still in situ
General view of the interior



  1. Thank you, Matthaeus. This is a most interesting follow-up Post to your previous one on Saint Peter's, Woolwich.

    Saint Saviours is, indeed, a stunning local Church and well worth a visit.

    The local Anglican Church in Lewisham, Saint Mary The Virgin, at one time had six Curates, five of whom later converted to Catholicism.

    A minor correction, if I may respectfully do so. You mentioned "Polish Prisoners-of-War". I think you meant to say: "German Prisoners-of-War, who came from East Prussia (Poland)". Modern-day Poland did not exist until after World War I, previously having been divided up between Germany, Russia, and Austro-Hungary.

    Riveting Post. We look forward to the rest in this new Series on London Suburban Catholic Churches.

    in Domino

  2. Zephy,

    Thank you for the clarification and the additional information. I would not wish to offend the present-day Polish community, for whom I have a great deal of respect,

    1. I thought it better to get to you before the lovely local Polish Community did !!!

      Thank God for the Polish Community's vibrant support for the Catholic Church in our Country.

    2. Yes, indeed. The Polish community has been responsible for a revival of the Faith in many of our churches, and a very significant increase in the size of congregations at Mass.

  3. In the mid 1990's, when I was a dancer at the Catford Irish Centre, every St Patrick's day we went in procession to St Saviour's for a Mass in the Irish language. Happy times.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...