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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 P73/BAN
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1819-1989
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 6.03 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Parish of St Barnabas, Dulwich | Church of England


Administrative/Biographical history:

Until 1894 Dulwich Village was an outlying hamlet of the parish of Saint Giles, Camberwell. However, the chapel of Dulwich College, built in 1616 by Edward Alleyn as a Chapel of Ease to Saint Giles, had long since taken over responsibility for ministering to the village even though in name and law Saint Giles was the parish church.

But the college itself had, well before 1894, become unable to accommodate the growing size of the congregation. In 1891, therefore, under the direction of the Bishop of Rochester, within whose diocese Dulwich then lay, the Revd Howard Nixon was appointed Assistant Curate at Saint Giles and as such to be Curate-in-Charge of Dulwich Mission District, with a view to establishing it as a parish in its own right.

Following his appointment the Revd Nixon very soon called a meeting of the inhabitants, to be held on 13 May 1891, and at this it was decided to build a temporary iron church on a site offered by the Estates Governors and to appoint a Building Committee for the building of a permanent one. The first service at the temporary church took place on 5 September 1891. The service was attended by an Archdeacon as representative of the Bishop of Rochester. Henceforward Dulwich Village was ordered on a quasi-parochial basis, with the appointment of church officials and the holding of vestry meetings. The Revd Nixon came to be styled the Vicar-Designate. On 1 January, 1892 the church took over from the college chapel responsibility for various religious and benevolent activities carried on in the hamlet, known as the Dulwich Local Charities and including the Infants' School.

The permanent church was built on another site given by the Estates Governors, and consecrated on Saint Barnabas' Day, 11 June 1894. On 23 August 1894 the church was officially assigned a District Chapelry, but it clearly functioned as a fully developed parish. This status was officially acquired, and the Incumbent, the Revd Nixon, became officially a Vicar, in 1915 when the Revd F F Kelly vacated the benefice of St Giles, Camberwell, which he had held since 1880.

As various memorials attest, the parish of Saint Barnabas is a monument to the work of the Revd (from 1923 Canon) Nixon. His commitment, and that which he inspired in his parishioners, enabled the Church, an Institute, a Vicarage, and a Parish Hall to be built, largely from public donations. The villagers also contributed personal assistance, for example a woodwork group contributed furnishings to the church and a Ladies Needlework Guild made items to be sold to raise funds.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the parish of Saint Barnabas, Dulwich. There are substantial records which illustrate the basic activities of church life: financial records, records relating to the church fabric, parish magazines, and so on. But there are also records, such as those relating to the Infants' School, the Saint Barnabas Institute (a social club), the chaplaincy of Dulwich Hospital, the Christian Stewardship Campaigns, and the Mothers' Union, which show the additional commitment by the vicars and parishioners to community life and the established Christian Church.

The records include: registers of marriages and baptisms; registers of banns of marriage; marriage licences; registers of church services; papers of the Incumbent; papers relating to staff; papers regarding parish boundaries; papers relating to the benefice; papers relating to the Church fabric and the Church hall; financial records; papers of the Vestry and the Parochial Church Council; parochial charity records; and parish magazines.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records were found generally to be well organised, falling into distinct groups according to the different developments and activities within the parish. The Revd Nixon in particular was a methodical keeper of records. Most sections in this catalogue contain files from his period of service (1891-1935), often accompanied by a list of contents with the items individually numbered.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright for these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records P73/BAN/1-534 deposited in the Greater London Record Office by the Vicar on 25 July 1983; and additional parish records deposited by the Vicar on 11 March 1986. Additional parish records P73/BAN/535-542 deposited in the Greater London Record Office by the Vicar on 27 January 1987. Additional parish records P73/BAN/544-552 deposited by the incumbent on 13 June 1989. Additional parish records P73/BAN/553-557 deposited by the incumbent on 30 August 1990.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
March to April 2010.

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