The History of St. Etheldreda with St. Clement, Fulham

Above: Conversion of the hall, 1950

St. Ethledreda

THE REVD. PATRICK EDWARD JOHN NICHOLSON
Priest-in-charge, 1950 - 1954

1950 - 1956: Rebirth in the Mission Hall, Drama group

Fr. Nicholson was a curate at St Michael's, Bromley by Bow in Poplar when in July 1950, he accepted the challenge to come and re-start church life at St Etheldreda's. The PCC took up the challenge of renovating the Hall and fitting it up for Divine Worship, reverting to its original purpose. Fr Pat moved into the Vicarage in October. By January all was ready, and the Hall became the parish church. The scheme for the union of benefices with All Saints’ was dropped, and the parish became a Conventional District. New churchwardens and PCC were elected. Church life flourished, including a revival of the Audrey Players – St Etheldreda's Drama Group had been amateur dramatics associated with the parish since the earliest days, when they were called St Audrey's Amateur Actors.

Above: Demolition of St Etheldreda's, 1954

Attention turned to what was now the ruin of the old parish church. A faculty was sought for its demolition and replacement by a new building. There was strenuous opposition from some local residents, despite testimony as to the poor acoustics and difficulty of heating the old building, to say nothing of the enormous expense of restoring it.

Eventually a Faculty was granted and after deconsecration by the Bishop of Kensington in July 1954, the old building was demolished. In 1954 too, Fr Pat became fifth Vicar of St Etheldreda's. The Foundation Stone of the new Church was laid on 15th October 1955. In 1956, Fr Nicholson moved to become Rector of West Hackney, a post later held by an old chorister of St Etheldreda's, Fr Preston. He later became chaplain to Hackney Hospital Group and died on 15th October, 1971.

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