The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

40 years on: Ted Cullinan’s radical reinvention of St Mary’s Church in Barnes

40 years on: Ted Cullinan’s radical reinvention of St Mary’s Church in Barnes

Thursday 25 April 2024

Start time/place: 6.00pm, St, Mary's Barnes, Church Road, London SW13 9HL

Finish time/place: 8.00pm (approx.)

Set the challenge of rebuilding an ancient village church gutted by fire in 1978, noted architect Ted Cullinan and his team engaged with the local community of Barnes to restore, re-orientate and extend it as a key local resource as well as a place of worship. Opened in 1984, Grade II* listed and carefully maintained exactly as designed, it represents a fascinating modern reinterpretation of an Arts and Crafts approach that remains well-loved and popular.

Beneath its dramatic timber-lattice roof and lantern Cullinan designed every aspect of the church including organ case, ceremonial furniture, lighting and doors. He even incorporated his typical doodles into the leadwork of the windows. And yet all this is tucked away behind the rebuilt medieval chancel facing the street. 

This event, run by C20 Society in collaboration with the Friends of St. Mary’s, will celebrate the 40th anniversary year of this key building, showing a master architect at his energetic best. A tour round the church led by the Friends will be followed with a design presentation by Cullinan’s original colleague Mark Beedle, and then an informal panel discussion by those involved in the reconstruction, modern churches expert Clare Price*, and Hugh Pearman, Chair of C20 Soc and author of ‘Cullinan Studio in the 21st Century’. 

Tickets £15 including drink on arrival. Pay bar following the event.

Nearest railway station: Barnes. Accessibility note: the church is a 10/15 minute walk from the station. Bus stop Barnes/Red Lion close to church. Some car parking available in Church Road, unrestricted in Kitson Road and linking roads. Be aware that Hammersmith Bridge remains closed to motor traffic but is open to cycles and pedestrians. 

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The Twentieth Century Society is an IHBC (Institute of Historic Building conservation) recognised CPD provider.

The Twentieth Century Society is a registered charity, no 1110244

Above: Church of St Mary, Barnes - Rebuilt Ted Cullinan (1983-84) Image: Cullinan Studio

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