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Sacred Heart Church
is a Roman Catholic church and parish in Wimbledon
Wimbledon is a district in the south west area of London, England, located south of Wandsworth, and east of Kingston upon Thames. It is situated within Greater London. It is home to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and New Wimbledon Theatre, and contains Wimbledon Common, one of the largest areas...
, South West London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...
run by the Jesuits, that serves the Catholic community of Wimbledon and surrounding areas.
The church was founded by Edith Arendrup, a member of the wealthy Courtauld family who came to live in Wimbledon in 1877. At the time, there were few Catholics in the area, so she convinced the Jesuits at Roehampton
Roehampton is a district in south-west London, forming the western end of the London Borough of Wandsworth. It lies between the town of Barnes to the north, Putney to the east and Wimbledon Common to the south. The Richmond Park golf courses are west of the neighbourhood, and just south of these is...
to start a Mass-centre at her house in Cottenham Park. Seven years later, she commissioned the construction of a large church in a prominent position on the slopes of Edge Hill. The Grade II* listed building
was designed by Frederick Walters, a young architect, who designed it in the late Decorated Gothic style.
In Romanesque and Gothic Christian abbey, cathedral basilica and church architecture, the nave is the central approach to the high altar, the main body of the church. "Nave" was probably suggested by the keel shape of its vaulting...
of the newly built church opened on 17 June, the feast of the Sacred Heart, in 1887. Construction continued for fourteen years while the rest of the building was completed: first the sanctuary and south aisle in 1895, then the back chapels in 1896, the north aisle and sacristy in 1898, and finally the west front in 1901. The original plan called for a large tower on the west front, but money ran out and it was replaced by twin turrets and a massive, traceried window. A monument on the south wall of the church dedicated to Edith Arendrup is inscribed with the words: “It was through her Christian vision that this parish of the Sacred Heart came into being; it was through her generosity the church was built.”
In 2007 and 2008 the main hall was extended, access improved and a new youth room added.