St Pancras Church celebrates 200 years in the community

The church is due to launch an appeal in the autumn to help restore the iconic caryatids.

Monday, 16th May — By Tom Foot

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The iconic caryatids outside St Pancras Church [all photos Helena Aksentijevich]

ST PANCRAS New Church celebrated its bicentenary in glorious sunshine with a series of events and a visit from the Bishop of London.

The building in Euston Road and Southampton Row is 200 years old and boasts Greek-style “caryatids” similar to those on the Acropolis in Athens.

The parish dates back centuries and is “very ancient”, according the Rev Anne Stevens who said the celebrations had made her think about how the church had helped the community over so many years.

She said: “We had lots of visitors, some from here, some from afar, and the Bishop of London came on Sunday. We were very lucky with the weather.”

Rev Stevens, who is marking 10 years at the church this year, said: “It has really helped us learn a bit more about what our forebears did to build this church, and serve this community. It has helped reassure us, as we begin the third century at the church.

“Looking back through the history, we realised how the ancient parish shaped the boundaries of the borough of Camden, and how our own parish had began a lot of the social and education work that the council ended up taking on.

“Effectively one half of the vestry became the church council, the other half became the civic council of Camden.”
She added: “Our prime calling is to serve the community. That is often forgotten but it comes to the fore every now and again.

“After the bombings in 2005, for example, when the church became the place of remembrance.”

St Pancras Church was consecrated by the Bishop of London on May 7, 1822. It had been constructed to serve the newly built-up area around the Euston Road. The old St Pancras Church in Pancras Road had fallen into disrepair in the 14th century.

It was designed by William Inwood and his son Henry Inwood. They had been inspired by the porches in the Acropolis in building the Grade I-listed church.

The event included history talks, a concert and a garden party in the sunshine.

Rev Stevens said: “I’m not one for anniversaries really, but I’ve been here for 10 years in the summer. It was three days before the London Olympics began. I’ll always remember it, there was a massive heatwave.”

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