A Deed of Appropriation, dated 16th October 1923, by The Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England conveyed the mission room site in the ecclesiastical parish of St. Michael’s, Southfields to a group of seven trustees, including the incumbent of St. Michael’s, for the use of the vicar of the ‘New’ Parish of St Michael and All Angels. The use of the Deed of Appropriation reflected the fact that under the Church Building Acts powers were given to the Commissioners to deal with land, which had been conveyed to them under the Acts but which was no longer required for the purposes for which it was originally conveyed. One of the powers was to appropriate and convey it for other parochial uses. However a provision of the deed required that the Commissioners must give their consent to any sale of the site, and this would be in addition to the consent of the Charity Commissioners.
The site was that on which an Iron Mission Church (the Merton Road church) had been built, dedicated in 1878, as an intended Chapel of Ease to the Wandsworth Parish Church, to accommodate the expanding population of the area. The land for the building, to be called Saint Michaels Church, South Fields, was granted to the Commissioners by the trustees of the will of the late William Newton, under a deed of 12th November 1877. However it was always recognised that the Mission Church was only a temporary measure and a new permanent St Michael’s church was built in 1897/8, situated on the corner of Granville Road and Wimbledon Park Road. The last service in the Iron Church was held on Sunday 24th April 1898 with the new church dedicated on 30th April. Proposals were made for the building of a Memorial Hall on the Mission Hall site and this was eventually completed in November 1927. However on the site, behind the hall, was an old school building, (erected when the Iron Church was built but which ceased to be a school in 1912), then used as a Church Institute (St Michael’s Institute), and for many years by the scouts. This part of the site, opening onto Brathway Road was subsequently the site of the Scout Hut.
The land was registered as freehold on 20 February 1963 as ‘St. Michael’s Mission, Merton Road’ ref. LN227457. The land was registered in the name of Church Society, the Rev Ernest Cadogan Campbell (of West Worthing) and John Henry Goldsbrough Maltby an accountant of Wimbledon Park Road.
In October 1971 a lease was agreed for that part of the land occupied by the Scout Hut. This was for 14 years and the parties were (1) Rev James Anthony Coombe as incumbent, (2) Church Society and John Henry Goldsbrough Maltby (‘as Patron of the Benefice’) and (3) The Scout Association Trust Corporation. Rent was £26.50 per quarter.
The bulk of the land, that occupied by the Memorial Hall, was removed from the title and registered by the Land Registry as SGL261436, noted in September 1978. This had been sold on 2 March 1977 to a Dr Ah Loi Lee (who ran a martial arts group) subject to access being granted to the side of the Scout Hut (subsequently surrendered). Proceeds were used for the part payment of the lounge and adjacent rooms built inside St Michael’s church in 1980.
The remaining plot of land, the scout hall site, remained under the title LN227457, with Church Society holding the land as trustee (registered as the William Newton Trust), under the terms of the 1923 Deed of Appropriation, which benefits St Michael’s Church.
Redevelopment plans are underway with the new owner of the Memorial Hall site, including the scout hut site in the planning application, in return for building a new facility for the Church in the development.
Deed of Appropriation 1923
Lease to Scout Association 1971
Land Certificate 1972
Contract for Sale 1977
Documents relating to the redevelopment 2007