Postcard from a Tin Tabernacle

When St Chrysostom’s suffered a devastating fire in 1904 a ‘temporary iron church’ was quickly constructed on the corner of Anson Road and Daisy Bank Road. No photographs have been found of it, but it is unlikely to be as grand as the church from which we received this postcard:

Three Rivers-20130812-00037 (1)On my travels to visit family and friends, nestled in the Hertfordshire countryside I came across the Church of the Ascension, Bedmond.  It is affectionately known locally as “The Tin Church” due to its construction of corrugated iron. The church is an example of the pre-fabricated buildings produced to send out to the Colonies. This one was a spare and was purchased for £80 and built in 1880. It is a rare example, unusually complete with a spire and a bell.

Given by Mrs Solly of Serge Hill, it is recorded that it was given ‘so that the spiritual lives of those residing in Bedmond shall go forward with increased vigour’.  Its interior, lined with timber and traditionally painted boards, is reminiscent of the kind of church one might expect to find on the Prairies, and has a feeling of warmth and homeliness. The church is still in active use for worship and social events and local people are proud of it.

 A lovely, quaint little reminder of the diversity of buildings as well as the people and history with which the Church is blessed.


For more on ‘tin tabernacles’ the Wikipedia entry is informative.


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community where people of differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at
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