ST GILES FARNBOROUGH - HISTORY

Farnborough became a full parish in 1876, with George William Hingston as Rector. Before that Farnborough was part of the larger and more populous parish of Chelsfield, sometimes having its own Rector. but more usually just a Curate.  For full details see Chelsfield with Farnborough.  This explains why the church at Farnborough is comparatively small, even though the population of Farnborough has grown significantly since the second world war, and is now much larger than that of Chelsfield.


However there has been a church in Farnborough for many centuries. It is believed that a church has stood on the high piece of land to the south of the village for about 1500 years. The view from this point takes in the farm land and natural woodland right down the valley and to the top of the next hill. 

From 1876 many changes were to take place. 

The Parish Vestry consisting of Rector, Churchwardens and Overseers had carried out all civil duties in the parish, such as raising local taxes, looking after the poor and repairing the roads for many centuries. An Act of Parliament of 1895 brought into being an elected Civil Parish Council, whose area of administration was the same as the Ecclesiastical Parish.  In 1934 the civil parish of Farnborough was combined with other Civil Parishes to form Orpington Urban District. In 1963 this in turn became part of the new London Borough of Bromley. 

The Parish Vestry continued for the Ecclesiastical Parish after 1895, but was in turn replaced by Act of Parliament by the Parochial Church Council from 1921.

In 1938, the part of the Parish to the south of Shire Lane was detached to form, along with part of the Parishes of Chelsfield and Knockholt, the new Parish of Green Street Green. This was probably the first change in the boundaries of the Parish of Farnborough since it came into being.  The resulting boundaries continue to the present day, and are shown in the current map in the small panel to the right:

After the Second World War, the Parish of Farnborough began to grow in population. New housing developments were established and by the 1950s it was recognized that an additional place of worship was needed to serve the increasing number of parishioners resident in the part of the Parish separated since 1927 by Farnborough bypass.

On Sunday 22nd June, 1958 ‘The New Hall Church’, situated in Leamington Avenue, Orpington was opened and dedicated. Ten years later the Hall was re-named St. Nicholas’ Church Hall. It is now St. Nicholas Church - see St. Nicholas history .

The present Rector Matthew Hughes is the ninth since the beginning of the twentieth century.  The previous eight are shown in these photographs, which are on display by the pulpit in the church..

Rector 1904 - 1927 Revd. Ebenezer Joseph Welch
  Rector 1927 - 1940 Revd. Robert Gladstone Griffiths  
  Rector 1940 - 1950 Revd. Ernest Peter Field
  Rector 1950 - 1964 Revd. Albert Aidan Chapman  
  Rector 1964 - 1973 Revd. David Basil Webb  
  Rector 1974 - 1987 Revd. John Perry Druce  
  Rector 1988 - 1995 Revd. Graham Shaw  
  Rector 1995 - 2000 Revd. Mark Richard Turner