A Church School
About St Michael
St Michael is one of the three archangels named in the bible (the others being Gabriel and Raphael). Michael means “Who is like God” and it is Saint Michael who symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Saint Michael is recorded in the Book of Revelation as the leader of the angels who fight against the dragon (Satan) and throw him out of heaven.
The Church honours St Michael and all the angels on the 29th September.
St Michael’s Church (St Michael & All Angels, Lower Sydenham)
The church stands next to the school and is regularly used by the school for weekly collective worship led by a member of the clergy, as well as other school functions and activities.
In 2012 the parish merged with a neighbouring parish and is
now officially known as the Parish of Forest Hill St George
with Lower Sydenham St Michael and All Angels. The team
vicar post is currently vacant following the retirement of
Fr James. A new vicar is to be appointed once the new Rector
at St George's take up his post in July 2016.
For information regarding services or to arrange baptisms, weddings or funerals, see the notice board outside the church in Champion Crescent or contact one of the churchwardens.
Team Vicar: vacant at present:
Telephone 020 8778 7196 Email: n/a
History of St Michael’s School
St Michael’s school was founded in 1871 in what is now the Junior school, although it is believed that children were not admitted to the school until the following year. In its early days there were in fact three schools at the site, each with its own headteacher: a girls school, a boys school and an infants school. The school expanded quickly from its original size and in 1896 the infants school moved into new buildings on the other side of Champion Crescent where it remains until this day. At that time, it is recorded that there were 206 children in the Infants school, 192 in the Boys school and 179 in the Girls school – a total of 577. Luckily attendance was not compulsory and was somewhat erratic, so it was very unlikely that everyone attended every day.
In the early years of the school, Empire Day (24th May) was regularly (marked with a celebration) celebrated with the singing of patriotic songs and waving of flags. In 1909, the school had its own Rifle Corps under command of Captain Flewry. The Corps fired a salute and then led a march past of the Union Flag with the whole school following them.
Not a lot is recorded of the school during the First World War although twenty former pupils were among the many who died during this frightful conflict.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, pupils met at the school to walk to the railway station where they travelled by train to East Grinstead as part of the evacuation arrangements. The church was hit by a bomb during a night raid in the Blitz, destroying it and badly damaging the vicarage and also causing damage to many other houses in Champion Crescent. The church was rebuilt during the 1950s and part of the foundations of the old church (the rounded East end) now forms the outline for the current school hall.
In later years, the school expanded to 315 pupils with 45
in each year group. In 2007 however, the decision was taken
to reduce the intake to one form of 30 children per year so
that more space would be available to enable the school to
provide more targeted learning to small groups of children.