|The Minster Church of St John Baptist at Croydon|
Croydon Minster from the North East
|Denomination||Church of England|
|Dedication||John the Baptist|
|Vicar(s)||Canon Colin J Luke Boswell|
|Curate(s)||Revd Milo Brandon|
|Organist/Director of music||Ronny Krippner|
|Organist(s)||Tom Little, Martin How|
|Organ scholar||David Warren|
The church was established in the middle Saxon period, and is believed to have been a minster church: one which served as a base for a group of clergy living a communal life, who may have taken some pastoral responsibility for the population of the surrounding district. A charter issued by King Coenwulf of Mercia refers to a council which had taken place close to what is called the monasterium (meaning minster) of Croydon. An Anglo-Saxon will made in about 960 is witnessed by Elfsies, priest of Croydon; and the church is also mentioned in Domesday Book (1086).
The earliest clear record of the church's dedication to St John the Baptist is found in the will of John de Croydon, fishmonger, dated 6 December 1347, which includes a bequest to "the church of S. John de Croydon".
In its final medieval form, the church was mainly a Perpendicular-style structure of late 14th and early 15th-century date. It still bears the arms of archbishops Courtenay and Chicheley, believed to have been its benefactors. However, in 1867 this building was gutted by fire.
Under the direction of Sir George Gilbert Scott it was rebuilt, incorporating some of the medieval remains (notably the west tower and south porch), and essentially following the same design, while extending the building's footprint further east. It was reconsecrated in 1870. It still contains several important monuments and fittings saved from the old building. The church was elevated to the status of Croydon Minster (the modern honorific title) on 29 May 2011, the first such change in the diocese of Southwark.
Croydon has strong religious links, Croydon Palace having been a residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury from at least the beginning of the 13th century to the beginning of the 19th. The Bishop of Croydon is a position as a suffragan Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Southwark. As of 2012[update] the bishopric was vacant following the translation of Nicholas (Nick) Baines to be Bishop of Bradford; and the vicar was Colin J Luke Boswell, Vicar of Croydon and Chaplain to the Whitgift Foundation. A list of Bishops of Croydon includes:
|1937 to 1942||William Louis Anderson||(1892–1972)|
|1942 to 1947||Maurice Harland||(1896–1986)|
|1947 to 1956||Cuthbert Killick Norman Bardsley||(1907–1991)|
|1956 to 1977||John Taylor Hughes||(1908–2001)|
|1977 to 1985||Stuart Snell||(1920-1988)|
|1985 to 2002||Wilfred Wood||(b. 1936)|
|2003 to 2011||Nicholas Baines||(b. 1957)|
The church has a large four-manual pipe organ, much of which is by William Hill and Son. A specification of the organ is on the National Pipe Organ Register.
Organists and Masters of Choristers
- Thomas Attwood Walmisley 1830 - 1833
- John Pyke Hullah
- John Rhodes 1857 - 1868
- Frederick Cambridge 1868 - 1911
- F Rowland Tims 1911 - 1918
- H Leslie Smith 1918 - 1948
- Edward Shakespeare 1948 - 1952
- J A Rogans (Hon) 1952 - 1953
- B Aldersea 1952 - 1957
- J A Rogans (Hon) 1957 - 1958
- Derek Holman CM 1958 - 1965
- Roy Massey MBE 1965 - 1968
- Michael Fleming 1968 - 1978
- David Brookshaw 1978 - 1980
- Simon Lole 1980 - 1985
- Carl Jackson MVO 1986 - 1990
- David Swinson 1990 - 1992
- Peter Nardone 1993 - 2000
- Nigel McClintock 2000 - 2007
- Andrew Cantrill 2008 - 2012
- Tom Little 2012 (Acting)
- Ronny Krippner 2013 -
The tower houses a ring of 12 bells cast by the Croydon firm of Gillett & Johnston in 1936, replacing an earlier ring of eight. The eight original bells were recast and hung with new fittings in a new frame with four additional trebles. The new ring of 12 was dedicated by the Bishop of Croydon on 12 December 1936 and the first peal on the new 12 was rung for the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937.
The tower and ringers are affiliated to the Surrey Association of Church Bell Ringers.
- "Croydon Churches". Eden/National Church Database. 2003. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
- Harris, Oliver (2005). The Archbishops' Town: the making of medieval Croydon. Croydon: Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society. p. 250.
- Sharpe, Reginald R., ed. (1889). Calendar of Wills proved and enrolled in the court of Husting, London, AD 1258-AD 1688 1. London. pp. 401–2.
- "History of Croydon Minster". Croydon Minster. 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
- "Michael Fleming". The Independent (London). 2006-02-27. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- Croydon Minster official website
- Croydon bell ringers website
- Antiquities of Croydon Church, destroyed by fire, January 5th, 1867 : with numerous woodcuts, drawn from its fine monuments previously to their destruction (1867)