The early days
St. Francis Church was originally built in the 1930s to serve the people of the newly built Dalgarno Estates, a group of apartment complexes. This was undertaken by the ministry of St Michael’s Ladbroke Grove.
In 1935 Father Bernard Markham was appointed the first Priest-in-Charge of St Francis. The first Mass was offered by Father Plaus on 23 April 1936 and the Church was dedicated by the Bishop of London, Winnington-Ingram, on 8 July 1936.
By July 1936 a brick-built dual-purpose Church and Vestry/Sunday School Hall was ready for dedication. A number of priests led St Francis in the 1930s through to 1998.
After Christmas 1998 the church was closed due to declining numbers. The Bishop approached Rev Justin Terry from St Helen’s Church, North Kensington to undertake mission to the Dalgarno Estate and try to restart the church. Together with support from other churches, work was done on St Francis House, the parsonage next door. Rev Ian Dowsett came to St. Helen’s Church as Associate Rector soon afterwards and began to lead St Francis whilst living at St Francis House next door with his wife and family.
In April 2000 the parish boundary was extended to include the Dalgarno Estate with St Francis Mission Chapel and St Francis House.
In February 2008 Rev Ian Dowsett and his wife left for an incumbancy in Harrow. Geoff and Marilyn Berry and Cathy Pitts became the Lay Team to maintain a worshipping presence at St Francis with the oversight of St. Helen’s Church which was now led by Rev. Steve Divall. In April 2010 Bishop Paul Williams, in conversation with Rev. Steve Divall and Holy Trinity Brompton Church, devised a new chapter in the life of St. Francis. It would be a ‘Fresh Expression’ in order to reach out to the local community.
The key aims of this Fresh Expression would be:
- To tell people on the Dalgarno Estate about the good news of Jesus Christ.
- To re-invigorate a worshipping community; to have a vision for and a commitment to local, incarnational Christian mission.
- To create a mission centre for local initiatives beneficial to the local community.
- To see local people grow in faith and be released into Christian leadership.
- To continue a good relationship with the local community centre and develop further and complementary community initiatives
In the summer of 2013 Rev Azariah France-Williams became the Priest in Charge at St Francis and the church came under a Bishop’s Mission Order (BMO) and we are also a part of the Evangelical Alliance. For more information on BMOs, follow this link: