From 1866 until 1877 St Michael’s church was a little tin hall in Harding’s Lane, in the Alexandra district of Beckenham. When Holy Trinity, Lennard Road, was built in 1877, St Michael’s moved to the Birkbeck Estate where a few houses stood among the cabbage fields and market gardens. The first services were held on Easter Day, 1877.
On 2 October 1899 the foundation stone for the new church, facing Ravenscroft Road, was laid; and in 1900 the East portion of the church was completed, dedicated and brought into use. The brick building in Birkbeck Road then became the parish hall.
The church was consecrated on 17 December 1906, although the West end of the church was not completed until 1935. At first the church was a ‘district church’ of the Parish of Beckenham (St George) but in 1907 the Parish of St Michael and all Angels was formed as a separate parish with Fr Armstrong inducted as the first vicar in March 1908.
It was eventually agreed that the old church was now beyond repair and that, with the exception of the foundations and a certain amount of walling which remained sound and capable of reuse, the building should be reconstructed entirely. Therefore in 1949 the greater part of the old building was demolished. For five years the site remained derelict as no licence for building could be obtained, but during these years the architects, Messrs Hobday and Maynard, were preparing preliminary sketches for the new building. By 1954 drawings of the proposed new building had been approved and in January 1954 licence was given to rebuild. Work started in March 1955 - 11 years after the fire.
In 1978 the parishes of St Michael and St Augustine were combined. St Augustine’s Mission Hall in Churchfields Road (formerly Arthur Road) had opened in 1886, and in 1910 a dual-purpose hall and church was started. The church was dedicated by the Bishop of Rochester on 1 July 1933 and consecrated on 31 May 1945. When the parishes combined, St Augustine’s Church was closed and converted to housing.
The land on which St Michael’s parish hall has stood on Birkbeck Road was put up for sale in 2015 (the parish hall no longer being fit for purpose) with a view to the proceeds from the sale being used to create a community area within the church.
On 1 May 2016 a Pastoral Scheme came into effect, uniting the benefice of St James, Elmers End with that of St Michael with St Augustine, to form a united benefice of St James with St Michael and St Augustine, Beckenham.
Priests of St Michael's 1877-present
Priests in Charge
1877: J Foote; 1883: E Fagan; 1896: E Graham; 1897: J Stenson; 1900: A Armstrong
Vicars of the Parish
1908: A Armstrong; 1916: R Eves; 1920: E Linton; 1935: CL Smith; 1962: HG Hobson
Vicars of the United Benefice of St Michael with St Augustine Beckenham
1978: DC Gooderham; 1988: RS Fayers; 2001: CM Smith
Priests in Charge of St Michael with St Augustine Beckenham
2012: PG Keown; 2015: LC Carberry
Vicar of the United Benefice of St James with St Michael and St Augustine Beckenham
2016: LC Carberry
Associate Vicar of the United Benefice of St James with St Michael and St Augustine Beckenham 2016: GE Lunn