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Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, Falmouth Rd

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Thursday 10 August 2006 1.45pm
My terrace overlooks the Falmouth Road church which now houses the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star. It is a quirky Nigerian-based church group, you may have seen folk in white robes around the neighbourhood.

They are there all hours, and the illuminated stained glass window is nice to see. The last few weeks have been really going for it, doing laps round the church building while singing and dancing.

I know a bit about the church users from their website at and I put some blurb and a photo on the Wikipedia page about New Kent Road that I did a while back. Does anyone know anything about the previous life of this building? The date on the front is 1888 and I understand it was derelict for a while before the BCS moved in.
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Thursday 10 August 2006 5.34pm
Listed building description from Images of England website operated by English Heritage:

Date listed: 17 September 1998
Date of last amendment: 17 September 1998

Grade II

SOUTHWARK TQ3279 FALMOUTH ROAD 636-1/5/337 (East side) The Star and Cross Church II

Formerly known as: Welsh Presbyterian Chapel
FALMOUTH STREET. Presbyterian chapel. Dated 1888.

MATERIALS: English brick with rubbed brick and stone dressings; London stocks on right return and rear, where the architectural embellishment is less robust. Gable facing roofs of slate with metal-roofed cupola.

STYLE: mix of Queen Anne and Romanesque Revivals.

PLAN: T-shaped plan divided into 2 tiers, an arrangement that probably reflects a galleried interior. Shallow transept at ritual east end. Single-storey entrance porch to ritual west. All openings are round-arched.

EXTERIOR: tripartite entrance to ritual west (south), the projecting section topped by a broken pediment and flanked by lights; strip buttresses to ritual north elevation finishes in broad scroll brackets topped by pediments; plate tracery; Dutch gables; 3 bays to returns, each distinguished by buttresses as noted above. Brick dentil cornice to aisles of west elevation and returns.

INTERIOR: not inspected.

The combination of different features and materials calculated to produce a most variable and picturesque composition. An early instance of the Queen Anne manner applied to a church or chapel.
Friday 11 August 2006 9.00am
Thanks, very interesting. Have added the link to the Wikipedia page.
Friday 6 October 2006 4.50pm
I've just come across a picture of the church from 1960 here

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Wednesday 11 October 2006 7.52pm
Thanks James. In speaking to the Local History Library to request a print of that photo, I have discovered that you can order prints of any photo they own, through an arrangement with a local photographer based in Iliffe Yard. The price is 5.00 for 5x7, 7.75 for 8x10, and they will make copies up to 30x40 (which costs 40.00).

In some cases (including this one), if you are the first person to request a print, you also have to pay 6.00 for a negative (which becomes the property of the Local History Library).

To see the collection, visit and choose "Historic photographs".
Sunday 23 December 2007 11.53pm
Hello Andrew H, if you are still living in Falmouth rd, the Elephant and Castle, I used to attend the Welsh chapel there as part of the extensive Welsh expat community in the 1960's. I lived then in Waleran Buildings, at the Bricklayers, in the Old Kent Rd, right next to the World Turned Upside Down pub. I haven't been back in sixteen years.
I have a pic from a Welsh book published in 1989 of a close-up of the chapel and a group photo of the then minister and deacons in 1960, most of whom I knew. currently , I'm unable to reproduce a good copy.

Monday 12 July 2010 9.21pm
Great excitement at the church tonight, as their leader and God Olumba Olumba Obu arrives for the London leg of his tour.

I filmed part of his arrival.
Monday 12 July 2010 10.18pm
I was impressed by the singing, but a bit mystified by the sudden breaking of ranks and dashing down the street.
Monday 12 July 2010 10.52pm
Maybe they'd seen a lesbian on antibiotics and were terrified it would cause a tsunami.
Monday 12 July 2010 11.04pm
I reckon their running is to get a good seat in the front - Just how often do you get to see Olumba Olumba Obu! You should see me run after buying my cinema ticket on a Friday night at the Odeon Surrey Quays... ;o)
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