St Lawrence Church, Morden

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St. Lawrence Church, Morden
51°23′32.1″N 0°12′15.11″W / 51.392250°N 0.2041972°W / 51.392250; -0.2041972Coordinates: 51°23′32.1″N 0°12′15.11″W / 51.392250°N 0.2041972°W / 51.392250; -0.2041972
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Evangelical Anglican
Founder(s) Richard Garth
Parish Morden
Diocese Southwark
Bishop(s) Rt Revd Richard Cheetham
Rector Revd David Heath-Whyte
Curate(s) Revd Precious Omuku

St Lawrence Church is the Church of England parish church for Morden in London Borough of Merton. The building is Grade I listed,[1] and located on London Road, at the highest point of Morden, overlooking Morden Park. Morden Parish consists of four churches in total, the other three are Emmanuel (Stonecot Hill), St Martin's (Lower Morden) and St George's (Central Road, Morden). The Team Rector is Rev. David Heath-Whyte, and Rev. David Ruddick, Rev. Dan McGowan and Rev. Les Wells are the Team Vicars.


There are several services each Sunday, each offering the opportunity to meet and learn together from God's Word, to praise God and pray together. The church website,, has more information about services.



St Lawrence church, 1851

The first church building here was possibly wooden as churches dedicated to St Lawrence were usually Saxon in origin.[citation needed]

The nearby Merton Abbey was closed down by Henry VIII as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the estate sold. Edward Whitchurch and Lionel Dutchet bought it,[citation needed] but had to flee to Europe when Queen Mary took over, and the estate went to the Garth family.[2]

In the 1630s, the Garths were Puritans, and St Lawrence church was rebuilt in Protestant style — i.e. no places for images of saints, or reservation of bread and wine.


The Pulpit has a sounding-board over it for amplification and there is a monument opposite to Elizabeth Gardiner commemorates a benefactor to the first Morden school — the Old School House (now part of the Parish Hall Community) over the road is still used for educational purposes. There are coats of arms along the ceiling are called hatchments and a large Queen Anne coat of Arms preserved on the south wall with the motto over it Fear God and Honour the Queen!, this is possibly in relation to the Anne's establishment of the Church Commissioners, which paid Church of England clergy until recently.

The gallery at the back used to have a pipe organ in it, but was originally built for a Sunday School. In the tower are three bells, which can only be tolled, i.e. not swung right over due to restrictions placed by Historic England on renewing the frame.

Leadership and staff[edit]

  • Rev. David Heath-Whyte — Team Rector.
  • Rt.Rev. Precious Omuku — Honorary Curate. Precious is an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Southwark, having been consecrated Bishop in South Sudan on 3 January 2016.[3] Precious also holds the roles of Assistant Priest (NSM, London), to The Nigerian Chaplaincy, London and Canon of the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, Nigeria (December 2012).
  • David McCall — Reader at St Lawrence.
  • Sue White — Parish Warden for the Morden Team.
  • Charles JefferyChurch Warden. Charles is responsible for caring for the church property and overseeing Sunday services.
  • Steve Harries — Church Administrator.


  1. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1080899)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  2. ^ See the "Ecclesiae Amicus" (Latin for Friend of the Church) inscription on the gravestone of Richard Garth by the Communion table.
  3. ^ Daau, John. "Province of South Sudan and Sudan consecrate canon Omuku and assign him the role of international advocacy". The Christian Times, South Sudan. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 

External links[edit]