St George's Church
The main body of the church building, designed by J S (John Samuel) Alder (1847-1919), was consecrated in 1911. Alder’s work was mostly concentrated in London’s early twentieth century expanding suburbs. In 1947 Judith Scott of the Council for the Care of Churches wrote that she was ‘impressed with the dignity and fine proportions of the church’ and ‘inclined to think that it is the best thing this architect has ever built. The architectural detail is in the true line of the Gothic tradition; he has used massive timbers and the best materials obtainable, and used them with great skill and a certain subtlety … (it) promises, when it is complete, to be one of the best early twentieth century churches in the diocese.’ The west end, to a new design incorporating a narthex with ancillary rooms, was completed in 1961.
The church has a splendid ensemble of glass and furnishings by Martin Travers (1886-1948) and his long-standing sculptor and chief assistant John E Crawford (1897-1982). Art historian Peter Cormack writes of Travers as ‘one of the major figures of twentieth century ecclesiastical art in this country. Unlike Comper – the other well-known luminary in the field and under whom Travers trained for a while – Travers was committed to an original and modern interpretation of diverse stylistic traditions. He particularly favoured the Baroque, but interpreted in a refined, almost “Art Deco” way, which links it visually to both late-Gothic and Caroline forms.'
Martin Travers’ 1937 ‘Te Deum’ great east window at St George’s is the largest ecclesiastical window he produced; its design was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1938. 'It is in his characteristic style of the 1930s, which blends elements derived from late 15th-century English/French stained glass with an attractively contemporary style of drawing. As always in Travers' work, the lettering is beautifully designed and plays an important part in the overall design' (Peter Cormack). Other Travers furnishings include the high altar crucifix, pulpit, west wall Holy Dove, Lady Chapel statue of the Virgin and Child and Lady Chapel reredos and candlesticks. Furnishings in the Travers style by Crawford are the relief-carved high altar reredos and plaque of St George and the dragon, font cover, Lady Chapel screens, and wooden stations of the cross on the walls of the nave.
Among other works of note are the fine carved oak organ case by Frederick Rothwell, the bronze relief of St Cecilia by Giuseppe Sutera, a small wooden set of Faith Craft stations of the cross (on the nave pillars) designed by Ian Howgate, carved by William Wheeler, and windows containing Whitefriars ‘Norman slab’ glass by William Aikman, E Liddall Armitage, and Alfred Fisher.
There is a 'loop' system for the hard-of-hearing (turn hearing aids to 'T'). Ramps give wheelchair access to the west door and to the high altar rail. Wheelchair spaces are available in the nave and there is a wheelchair-accessible WC in the narthex.