All About Us
The frontage of the land was on what was called then Benhill Road (now St Barnabas Road). The property was called Clarence Lodge, which contained a yard, coach houses, stable, offices and outbuildings. Mr Hale re-
On 28th April 1890 Mr Hale sold The Limes to a Mr William Leeding of Chelsea Barracks, Middlesex, who retired from the army as a Captain and who moved to live in the High Street , Sutton. It appears that after leaving the army he became a carriage builder and The Limes became his business premises.
In 1907 he left The Limes to his two sons William and Alfred and they kept the property for a further 12 years. In 1919 they sold the property to a Mr Samuel Thomas Francombe Bean who was cabinet maker. He bought the property for £800.
Somewhere between the 1919 and 1933 the property was split into 3 plots and sold separately. In 1933 the land on which the church now stands was bought for £350 by a consortium of 4 people.
The Spirtualist National Union
To this date the church remains affiliated to the SNU, founded in 1901. The SNU is one of the World’s largest spiritualist groups and its motto is light, nature and truth.
They organise educational courses in Spiritualism -
A Brief History of Sutton Spiritualist Church
At some time in the 1800’s a Mr William Hale of Longdene, Willesden Green, Middlesex, bought a plot of land which extended from the present North wall of the church to Vernon Road.
They were Mrs Francis Levitt, Mr Henry Fisher, Mr George Berry and Mr Richard Boddington, and they became the first trustees of the Land and Church, which was built 1 year later. The final cost of the construction was £2000, and at a later date In 1955 the back hall was erected at a total cost of £3000.
By 1952 there were only 2 surviving members of the consortium and they transferred the trust of the property to the Spiritualist National Union (SNU)
Mrs Francis Mary Levitt Founder and first President of our church
The Stained Glass Window
We are very lucky to have centre of stage a beautiful stained glass window. This was brought from a scrap dealer in Haywards Heath during the construction of the Church in the 1930’s for £25 pounds. It is thought to have come from a convent which was being demolished. The windows 5 panels from left to right show:
St Ethelbert, St Theresa, Mary Magdalene, St Clare and St Francis of Assissi. We are told that Mr J.A.Baker who became President in 1937, was told by Spirit not to buy a window for the planned space in the wall as “THEY” would find one suitable; so he waited until this one was offered for sale. When it was measured in the dealers yard, it was found to be identical in size to the space reserved for it in the wall. The brass plaque which can be seen on the wooden frame reads:
The Stained Glass windows are given in loving memory of Muriel Daisy Casperd, Beatrice Irene Fisher and Sydney Neville Levitt. From this it can be assumed that the window was paid for by the families of these people