Mitcham, St Olave, Mitcham
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St Olave's was built to serve the rapid rise in house building that took place locally in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The name is an English version of Olaf and comes from a church that once stood in in Tooley Street, just at the foot of London Bridge. The sale of the site helped to build St Olave's in Mitcham.
The church, whilst not looking much from the outside, takes on a very different aspect when you enter. Designed by Arthur Martin, it is built in brick and concrete in Byzantine style. Many have entered what appears from the outside to be an uninspiring building to find themselves in wonder at the spacious interior. It is full of calm and proportion.
A tradition of worship in an Anglo-Catholic manner was established early and continues today. The Sunday service is always a Mass, or Eucharist, conducted formally but without fussiness. The congregation is mixed in age and ethnicity, though not large. There is no choir, but the congregational singing is usually strong.
There is always a Mass during the week, usually on Thursdays.
The building is gradually being refurbished, with a view to its being open more often to visitors.
St Olave's is a Forward in Faith parish.
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London, SW16 5QQ
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The current editor is: Keith Penny