Church and parish

The parish

The parish of St Paul's Hook with Southborough straddles the A3 at the southwesterly tip of Greater London. It is part of the Diocese of Southwark and lies in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

You can download a list of the streets that lie within the parish.

The church building

The foundation stone for the church that you see today was laid in 1882. This drawing shows the new church taking shape alongside the small building that had served Hook for 45 years.

The St Paul's Centre, a suite of rooms on the north side, was completed to celebrate the Centenary year in 1983.

St Paul's Church, Hook

Memorial window

In May 2002 this new window was dedicated to the memory of Jeanne Moore MBE, verger of the church for over 40 years.

It was created by Simone Kay Stained Glass of

As it is the west window it especially puts us in mind of many glorious sunsets, and it includes the words of the evening hymn....

The day thou gavest Lord has ended

St Paul's Church, Hook

The altar

Inside the church your eyes will be drawn to the altar at the east end. The panels behind the altar are carved from olive, walnut, oak and box woods. The carvings represent the four gospel writers - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The altar is made from olive wood brought from Jerusalem in 1883. It is usually covered with a frontal (cloth) in the appropriate colour.

White/gold - Christmas and Easter
Red - Pentecost and martyred saints days
Violet - Advent and Lent
Green - other times

St Paul's Church, Hook

The east window

Look at the great east window above the altar. The five vertical panes depict scenes from the life of St Paul, from the day he witnessed the death of St Stephen in Jerusalem through to his own martyrdom in Rome.

The top section of the east window shows the Lord enthroned surrounded by the 'four living creatures' mentioned in Revelation.

Look out for two trefoil windows (three-leafed, like a clover) just below the large circular window. The angel faces are based on two children who died young.

St Paul's Church, Hook

The lych gate

Most visitors approach the church through this attractive lych gate. It is, sadly, not as old as it looks, but provides a lovely setting for wedding photos. It was erected in 1914 in a traditional style.

Lych gates were originally designed as covered entrances to graveyards. Coffins could be rested in the dry whilst waiting for the mourners to arrive.

Just to the right of the lych gate is the grave of Harry Hawker, the Australian pioneer aviator, who lived opposite the church.

St Paul's Church, Hook

Gardens and graveyard

This view shows the back of the church. The small walled garden around the west end is a memorial to those who lost their lives in the Second World War.

Other plaques on the wall also commemorate those whose ashes rest in the garden.

St Paul's Church, Hook