Trinity United Reformed and Methodist Church
The first Congregational Church in Sutton was established in Marshalls Road, just off the High Street, in 1799.
St. Nicholas Way, Sutton, Surrey
Sixty years later a more substantial building was opened in Benhill Street (now Benhill Avenue). Suttons rapid growth in population (from 3,000 to 10,000 between 1861 and 1881) led to the need for larger premises and in 1883 a temporary iron building was erected in Sutton Court Road. This was later known as the Lecture Hall after a new stone church was built in 1889-90 on the same site but fronting onto Carshalton Road.
The congregation continued to increase and the church looked for a new site, which was bought in 1902. Things became more urgent when a fire in 1906 destroyed the school building and damaged the church. By 1907 a bigger church and whole complex of halls had been completed on a site bounded by St. Nicholas Road (now St. Nicholas Way), Cheam Road and Hill Road, for a total cost of £18,743, leaving a debt of £6,305. The old church in Carshalton Road eventually became an early cinema, called the Hippodrome, and later still an engineering works, which continued until the mid 1950s.
The new church was officially opened on 2nd October, 1907, and the congregation set about the task of fund-raising to pay off the debt, through a variety of events. The church was renamed Trinity Methodist church following Methodist Union in 1932. In 1972 the Congregational and Presbyterian Churches united and the Congregational and Methodist churches united, and Trinity became a joint United Reformed and Methodist church. A number of war memorials taken from the Congregational church are now fixed to the south wall.
The exterior of the church is in Kent ragstone and the crown and lantern spire is a very unusual feature, shared with St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh and Newcastle Cathedral. The interior resembles the traditional parish church (for which it is often mistaken) except that the wide nave means that everyone in the congregation has an uninterrupted view of the pulpit - an indication of the importance the church gives to preaching.
A new organ was installed in 1922. Originally built in 1912 by Messrs. Harrison and Harrison for a country mansion in Northamptonshire, it was reconstructed for church use and adapted to fit in with the interior woodwork by Messrs. Henry Willis and Sons. It was rebuilt in 1993 and relocated to its present position in the nave.
Major changes have taken place to Trinitys buildings since 1972, including the redesign of the rear of the premises prior to the opening of the Oasis Caf in 1991, and the establishment of a coffee area at the back of the church.
The exterior of Trinity church forms a distinctive landmark for visitors to Sutton, due to the prominent position of the church and its graceful crown and lantern spire.
Thanks to Trinity Church for help with this page.