The Presbyterian Church at the end of Princes Avenue, now known as The Broadway Church, was built in two stages. The first church was built in 1898 in Princes Avenue by Arthur Breeds F.S.I. who also later built the Baptist Church. It was opened as a church in its own right but later became the Church Hall. Only four years later, in 1902, the Presbyterian Church was built on the corner of The Broadway by George and Reginald Palmer Baines. The two churches merged both physically and organizationally to form one.

George Baines probably began his career in Accrington but was established in London by 1874. By 1900 he had designed at least 30 churches, mostly for the Baptists, some in the Italian 'rundbogen style' and others in Gothic. When he was joined by his son, Reginald Palmer Baines, in 1899 there was a sudden explosion of creativity. The son's vitality fused with the experience of the father and led to a great expansion of church commissions. They were to build at least 86 in the fifteen years between 1899 and 1914.

Nonconformist churches are arranged so that everyone can witness what is happening at the communion table and The Broadway Church was a good example of this. The interior was a wide space with a central pulpit and curved benches arranged concentrically, hardly interrupted by columns. It was designed, in fact, like a modern theatre.


Muswell Hill Broadway showing St James's Church and the Broadway Church
which both give dignity to the shopping parade. Andrew Golland, 1976.

 

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