History of St Saviour's, Pimlico
St Saviour's was consecrated on 16 July 1864. The executors of the legendary master builder, Sir Thomas Cubitt, donated the land and the Duke of Westminster funded much of the building work. Thomas Cundy Jnr, son of the great architect and builder of Pimlico designed the church.
The church is in the Decorated Gothic style, built from ragstone with bathstone dressings. It has a nave of six bays and a tower to the northwest. The spire was the tallest in London in the 1860s and remains a landmark visible from much of Pimlico today. In the 1880s the rather plain interior was extensively remodelled and refurbished; a process called 'Beautifying'. The galleries were taken down and the chancel embellished with new arcading, steps and a reredos. In 1913-14 a north vestry was added.
St Saviour's sustained some war damage, was later repaired, and in the fifties a brick church hall was added to the south. In the nineties, extensive cleaning of the exterior was carried out and new bells installed in the tower. In 2007 as a result of generous donations and a Heritage Lottery Fund grant we refurbished the north vestry to become the Pimlico Room, remodelled the sacristy and added modern accessibility features and toilet facilities. During the work we discovered the full extent of the decorative panels of the chancel ceiling.
Furnishings and fittings
The high altar, chancel screen, octagonal pulpit and font with its handsome oak cover are particularly good examples of their type. The organ was built by Hill in 1864 and enlarged in 1892. The choirstalls are of oak and pine and probably date from 1864. The altar in the north aisle is from the Mission Church of the Holy Name in Aylesford Street.
In the 1930s the statues of the Madonna and Child (after Michaelangelo), the Sacred Heart, and the Stations of the Cross were shipped from Oberammergau.
The east window depicting Christ in Majesty by Clayton and Bell, c. 1880 is a dominant feature. We have a number of fine 19th century stained glass windows, one of which depicts our first vicar, the Rev'd John Walker. We also have a children's window dating from the 1920s and a window composed of fragments of glass that were damaged during the Second World War. Our turret clock by J. Smith of Derby is of 1864.
Notable past parishioners
Laurence Olivier's father was a curate at St Saviour's and Lord Olivier was a choirboy and boat boy here. The founder of modern lawn tennis, Mr Wingfield was a regular worshipper and the writer, Sir Compton Mackenzie, was married in the Church. Diana, Princess of Wales, worked at the Young England Kindergarten in our Hall prior to her marriage to Prince Charles. Following the tragic death of the Princess a commemorative tree was planted in the Hall courtyard. A bench seat in her memory stands by the main doors to the building. The Young England Kindergarten use the Hall to this day.