The Building and its History

St Richard's Church began its life in 1964 as a hut close to the site of the present building, near the junction of Broughton Avenue and Ashburnham Road - looking very much like a workman's hut in the centre of a large building site. The foundation stone of the new Church was laid by Norman Wates on 19th September 1964, and on 20th May 1966 the Church was consecrated to St Richard of Chichester by the Right Reverend Mervyn Stockwood, then Bishop of Southwark.

The architect, Ralph Covell, based the shape of the Church on the six-pointed Star of David, providing a versatile hexagonal central area for worship and other activities, including recitals and concerts. The vestry (V in the diagram on the left) occupies one of the points of the star, while two others house the kitchen (K) and the Parish Room (PR), which is used by the Church Choir, as an office by the Church, and by Ham and Petersham SOS - the local neighbourhood care group. The Lady Chapel (LC) and children's area (CA) occupy two other points, while the sixth contains the Church entrance (E) and links it to the Church School (CS).

The stained-glass windows were designed as a set for the new church by Mr Henry Haig of Kingston College of Art. The designs are based on the life of St Richard, who was Bishop of Chichester in the 13th century.

The organ was originally built around 1900 by the London firm of Bevington & Sons. It was rebuilt in 1965 by the London firm of N.P. Mander and installed in its present location in the Church.

The Children's Mural in the Children's area was designed and painted in 2003 by Cynthia Etherington, assisted by Kate Field and Briony Rowland, and were placed in their present position in 2003. One mural depicts the six days of Creation (chaos, night & day, fishes, birds, animals and man), while the other shows Noah's Ark and the animals. The folding screen was installed in 2003 with the intention that the area be used by parents and toddlers during worship and for other Church and community activities.