St Barnabas Preaching Riots
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St Barnabas Preaching Riots

The first Oxford Movement church and scene of riots.


This beautiful Grade I listed church has been serving people living on the borders of Belgravia, Chelsea and Pimlico since 1850. It was the first Oxford Movement church.

Founded in 1850 by the Reverend William Bennett, an incumbent of St Pauls Knightsbridge, the church was consecrated on St Barnabas' Day amid considerable controversy caused by accusations of 'Popery in Pimlico'.

This church became the centre of intense disputes over ritualism in the Church of England. William Bennett was forced from the parish in the winter of 1850-51 as the result of a series of riots. The riots, sometimes encroaching into the church. This wasn't helped by the intervention of the Prime Minister accusing High Church Anglicans in general and, by implication, Bennett in particular, of leading people to Rome.

Inside it's full of pre-Raphaelite decoration with beautiful ceilings. It has some marvellous mosaics of the life of Christ and some fine Kempe windows.

Location: St Barnabas Street, Pimlico, SW1W 8PF