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Bloomsbury Institutions


French Protestant Church

Also known as French Protestant Episcopal Church/French Protestant Episcopal Church of the Savoy


It was built in 1845 for the French congregation who had previously worshipped in the Savoy, Strand, established by Charles II (Survey of London, vols 33–34, 1966)

The site had been purchased from the Commissioner of Woods and Forests for £2600 (The Times, 27 December 1845)

The Church’s architect was Ambrose Poynter (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)

In 1875 it closed briefly to allow repairs to be made (The Times, 6 October 1875)

In 1885 Rev. Alphonse Auguste Dupont was appointed its Chaplain (The Times, 21 May 1885)

It had brought with it a school, the French Protestant School of Westminster (founded 1747)

Both institutions survived major rebuilding of streets in the surrounding area, which saw their address change to Shaftesbury Avenue

However, the number of French-born Protestants was steadily declining, most Huguenots having been absorbed into the Church of England, and the congregation became mainly “people who wished to improve their knowledge of French” (The Times, 20 November 1924)

After its last priest died, the trustees allowed services to be taken by a layman, and applied for Parliamentary sanction to demolish the Church, “because the original purposes for which the church came into being are no longer likely to be served” (The Times, 20 November 1894)

The Act of Parliament was passed, the School and Church closed in 1924, and the Church was demolished in 1925

The organisation became the French Huguenot Church of London Charitable Trust after the closure of the Church in 1924

What was reforming about it?

Confusingly, it was conformist rather than Presbyterian or otherwise non-conformist (The Times, 4 January, 1845)

It brought with it a school, the French Protestant School of Westminster (founded 1747)

Where in Bloomsbury

The Church and School were both in Bloomsbury Street (later the south branch of Shaftesbury Avenue)

Website of current institution

The successor institution is the French Huguenot Church of London Charitable Trust, which does not have a website

Books about it

None found


Some records may be held as part of the Huguenot Library collections in Special Collections at University College London; details are available online via UCL Library Services (opens in new window)

There is a finding aid: Raymond Smith, Records of the Royal Bounty and Connected Funds, the Burn Donation, and the Savoy Church in the Huguenot Library, University College, London: A Handlist (1974)

This page last modified 13 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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