In 1911, to accommodate the growing population in Shirley, an iron church was erected in St James’s Road opposite South View Road. The iron church, known locally as the ‘tin abbey’, originally stood in Forest Gate, London and was purchased by the parish for £225. There were plans to replace the church with a brick building from the 1920s, but none came to fruition. In 1930 the spire of the tin church was blown down during a storm and it was demolished soon after. In 1959 a new church, designed by Ruth M. Williams, was erected in its place.

St John's Church, Shirley

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The original ‘tin’ church of St John, c.1912

St John's Church, Shirley

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Postcard, 1923

St John's Church, Shirley

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The modern church photographed in c.2010


Newspaper clipping:


Further reading:
Shirley 1836-1986, by Adrian Rance, p33, 47. (HS/h)


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