Our Local Heritage

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Historical Timeline

St Andrew's Kinson is one of the ancient church sites of Bournemouth and Poole and, until c1830, served the area from the River Stour to the sea beyond Parkstone.

Up until 1868, it was a Chapel-of-Ease linked with Canford. It then became a Parish in its own right.

In 1952 an additional church, St Philip's, was built to serve the Southern end of the Parish. This was rebuilt in 1986. 

In 1831, there were 775 persons in the Parish of Kinson, by 1891 this number had grown to 3650. Now there are over 20,000 residents living in the area served by St Andrew's and St Philip's who together form the Kinson & West Howe Team. 


There may have been a church on this site in Saxon times (c950 A.D.) and some think the Tower which is the oldest part of the church is Norman (c1100). What is certain is the Tower and the Chancel Arch are both very old (12/1300 A.D.) and have survived several church rebuilding programmes.

The Chancel was rebuilt in 1875. The present body of the church was rebuilt in 1895, being made much larger than the previous one built in 1827.

The history of St Andrew's is one of a church changing to meet the needs of the times. This continues with several internal changes made to the church in 1982. The Lord's Table was then brought forward on an extended platform and the organ moved to a raised platform against the Tower.

We hope you enjoy this brief history. You might also like to take up the blue brochure and enjoy a Faith Tour around this beautiful house of prayer.

c 950 AD: In Anglo Saxon times, Kinson was already a small settlement. St Andrew's is built on an ancient site, but all traces of this era have vanished with the possible exception of the foundations at the base of the Tower. 

c 1100: The Tower is the oldest part of the church and some think that it could date from 1100. The Tower was constructed of ironstone rubble with ironstone dressing. This brown textured stone was known in Dorset as Heath Stone. The flat headed Lancet Windows to the ground floor are deeply splayed one on each of the North and South walls. 

On the right hand side of the Chancel Arch is a Mass Dial. This would have originally been placed outside the church and a wooden peg inserted in the hole. Carved markings radiating from the hole gave the time of the church services - the deeper cut marking 9 am Mass. This dial is one of the most ancient remains of a church built earlier than the Chancel Arch itself. 

c 1200 to 1300: The octagonal lead lined font probably dates from this time (assuming there was no Saxon or Norman building here beforehand) and is made from Purbeck Marble. The Font rim bears the marks of hinges and straps to secure the cover as was the custom to prevent anyone stealing the Holy Water in local Witchcraft practices.

1500: One of the Glastonbury Chairs, in the Chancel, dates from 1500 and was removed from the Abbey at Glastonbury at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII. It belonged to the monk Johannes. The other chairs were made in the 1930's. 

1667: This is the date of the oldest Grave - situated in the Churchyard by the Tower. 

c1670: The Royal Coat of Arms was hung in the church when Charles II reasserted the monarch's control over religious affairs in England after Cromwell's Commonwealth period. In 1760 restoration work was carried out on the painting by a Mr Taylor for the sum of £5. The Coat of Arms was moved to the North East corner of the church in 1982. 

c 1700's: The Text Board on the South wall probably commemorates a rebuilding of the church at that time.

17-1800's: The Tower is used as a schoolroom. 

1751: A Treble Bell was cast in Shaftesbury costing £13:8:2d plus carriage of 12s 0p 

1797: Five of the original Tower's six bells are sold to a church in Bristol for £143:9s:4d with the proceeds being used to erect a Musicians Gallery above the Tower doors. This Gallery was later removed during the 1827 or 1895 rebuildings. 

1827: The Chapel was enlarged as shown on the Chapel Enlargement Board which can be seen on the North wall of the North side aisles. This design, had a large transept going off to the North of the Nave. The Pulpit , Reading Desk and Lectern were in the middle of the present Chancel. Creed and The Lord's Prayer Boards, both painted on wood, hanging to the right of the Chancel Arch, also date from this time. 

19th Century: A fire grate and internal flue (constructed from normal house bricks) were added across the inside South West corner of the Tower from ground level to give light and heat when the Tower was used as a Schoolroom. The internal flue was removed in 2005 when it was discovered to be unsafe. The bottom angle iron support was by then rusted away and the bricks were not keyed in to the surrounding stone walls! 

1893-5: The present church was enlarged and rebuilt by adding side aisles as a cost of £1500. The church was then reopened by the Archdeacon of Dorset on the 31st of May 1895. 

1904: The Tower Clock was added by Gillet & Johnstone, clockmakers of Croydon. It was installed in memory of Queen Victoria. 

1909: The Western Tower wall was seriously cracked, this being repaired by under pinning and the insertion of wall ties. 

1911: The present organ began life in 1911 and was dedicated in December of that year in remembrance of Augusta Russell who lived in Kinson House (now demolished). It was originally situated in the Vestry off the Chancel. 

1920: The organ was moved to the North East corner of the Nave. 

1982: The organ was refurbished and the keyboard console placed midway along the North wall. The organ pipes were moved to a newly constructed platform where the Minstrels Gallery used to be above the Tower's double doors. 

2016: Extensive work commences in February to restore the church building. Works include a new heating system, electric wiring and lighting system, plastering, wooden flooring and pew cushions.

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Take a faith tour around our historic Church

Visiting a Church can be a trip into history as you enjoy the building’s art and monuments that previous generations have left – like visiting a museum or stately home; or it can be a kind of pilgrimage – an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of life and our place within it as you discover the church’s spiritual treasures. 

This guide is for the second sort of visit. At each point on your journey round the church you are invited to consider both the spiritual significance of this ancient building and to reflect on aspects of your own life. 

Take time to pause and ponder at each point before moving on to the next. 

To begin your Faith Tour take a few minutes to sit quietly at the back of the church and remember that this place is dedicated to the service of God. 

Relax into the silence and enjoy the peace of this place. When you are ready, move on to the next section.

1. The Font – is placed near the door to remind us that we may enter the family of the Church through Baptism. 

Jesus commanded His disciples “go and make disciples of all nations baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. True to this command people have been baptised here over the centuries. The font that you see today is made of Purbeck Marble and has been used for baptisms since sometime during the 12th and 13th Century.

2. The Nave – this is the central section of the church. The word “nave” comes from the Latin for “ship”. Look up to the roof and you will see its beams are like the inside of a wooden ship upturned. 

Here they remind us that St Andrew, in whose name this church is dedicated, was a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee when Jesus called him to be a disciple.

Reflection– What matters to you in your life and work? Where are you headed? What are your priorities? 

3. The Pulpit and the Lectern – from here the Bible is read and the Good News of Jesus Christ is preached. Christians believe that in Jesus Christ God Himself came amongst us to show us the true meaning of our lives. 

Reflection– What resources bring meaning to your life. Who or what shapes your values and sense of purpose? 

4. The Transfiguration: the window at the front of the church – Jesus (top centre), Moses (top left) and Elijah (top right). The three disciples Jesus took with Him look on; Peter (centre bottom), James and John.

Moses and Elijah were recognised as the supreme representatives of the law and the prophets of Israel. And here they were, in this vision, talking with Jesus who had come to fulfil what both the law and the prophets had looked forward to. The disciples get a foretaste of the Messiah's glory as Jesus is transfigured/transformed before their very eyes - truly a mountain-top experience indeed.

Reflection – What aspects of your life are in need of transformation, healing and reconciliation? Where do you find hope for the future?

5. Beneath is the Lord's Table – where we celebrate Holy Communion. 

In Communion we share the bread and wine remembering the Last Supper Jesus had with His disciples and His command that we are to do this in 'remembrance of Him'. We especially remember His death for us.

Humanity often misuses the gifts and freedom that God has given us. Christians believe that in His death Christ took on Himself the guilt of all that is evil in the world and all that burdens us so that we, by believing in Him, might be free to receive God’s forgiveness and live life anew.

Reflection– What burdens would you wish to hand over to God? 

“God loved the world so much that he gave His only Son Jesus Christ that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life”.

6. South East Windows – 

here the stained glass depicts Jesus (in the centre), the Prophet Isaiah (left) and John the Baptist (right). Both Isaiah and John proclaimed the coming of God's Anointed One (the Messiah). 

Jesus, the Light of the World, stands at the door knocking. There is no handle on the outside. The invitation is for us to open the door to our hearts and let Him in. 

The painting on which this centre window is based stands in St Paul's Cathedral in London (one of three versions that exist). It is entitled The Light of the World and painted by William Holman-Hunt about 1900-1904. The writing beneath the picture, is taken from Revelation 3 ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any[one] hear my voice and open the door I will come in to [them] and will sup with [them] and [they] with me.’

Reflection – In what ways could your life be enriched? Do you wish to make space in it for a living relationship with God? 

7. Cross over the Nave to the North East of the church. Here our Organist, or the 9:30am Music Team, lead us in praise as we gather for worship on Sunday, at Weddings, Funerals and Seasonal Celebrations. 

Notice the Royal Coat of Arms and various memorials commemorating people and significant periods in the life of this community. 

Reflection- What are you thankful for, what might you praise God for in your family, work and recreation? 

Why not pause and praise God for all the good things along the journey of life?

8. We conclude our faith tour back at the beginning - at the baptismal font.

In Baptism (from a Greek word for drenching or pouring over) water is poured over the head to symbolise the outpouring of God’s renewing Spirit in the lives of all that believe in Christ. 

This life of faith is available to all who make a personal commitment to follow Christ.


Reflection– we invite you to sit down for a few moments and reflect on your Faith Tour. 

There may be things you would like to think through further or you may simply wish to offer a prayer, perhaps using the one provided here:

Almighty God, give us wisdom to perceive you, diligence to seek you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate upon you and a life to proclaim you, through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Churchyard: The history continues all around the church as you step back outside. The oldest graves are by the Tower (1667). The most famous is that of Robert Trotman, who was killed by excise men whilst smuggling tea somewhere near the present Sandbanks or Branksome Chine. 

The Churchyard is one of the most beautiful in Dorset. A team of volunteers gather every Monday evening to ensure that the grass and surrounds are always in good order throughout the year. Several English Yews can be seen, together with Spanish and English Chestnuts, green and copper beech, oak and elm.

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St Andrew's Kinson - Windows

Stained Glass Windows:

Situated in the Chancel, this centre piece is attributed to a company named Heaton, Butler & Bayne. 

Though not signed, the fine features, hair and beards of Jesus and His disciples match closely with other identified works.

Jesus (top centre), Moses (top left) and Elijah (top right). The three disciples Jesus took with Him look on; Peter (centre bottom), James and John.

Two memorial windows feature in the South Aisle: 

The Isaac Fryer Memorial was erected by Ada Augusta Russell, in remembrance of her father - Isaac of Kinson who died 17th of April 1872.

This window features the angels Michael and Gabriel.

The inscription above Michael is translated "My faith is in wisdom". The words above Gabriel are translated "What will be, will be"

As the one who visited Mary to announce that she would give birth to the long awaited Messiah, Gabriel also carries the scroll with the words Ave, Gratia, Plena, or Hail, Grace, Full - a reference to Luke 1: 28 "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you"

Towards the lower right of the window can be found the signed inscription confirming the work of A.L. Moore (Arthur Louis 1849-1939). 

In the same aisle (east facing this time) can be seen the second dedicated window in the South Aisle. 

This time in loving memory of Colonel Godfrey Russell, son of the Reverend John Russell, Rector of Landrinio and grandson of the late Dean of Battle. 

This window was also erected by Ada Augusta Russell on the restoration of St Andrew's Church in 1892. 

Jesus holds a brightly lit lantern with Isaiah on his left and John the Baptist on his right. John is depicted holding the inscription Ecce Angus Dei. "Behold the Lamb of God"

The work is again signed by A. L. Moore of 89 Southampton Row, London WC.

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Other items of interest:

Chancel Arch: This probably dates around 12/1300AD. Note the "Mass Dial" on the right hand side. This would have been placed outside the church and a wooden peg inserted in the central hole. The marking gave the time of the church services. This dial is one of the most ancient remains of a church built earlier than the Chancel Arch itself.

Royal Arms: Sited in the North East corner and probably dates from c1670 when Charles II reasserted the monarch's control over religious affairs in England after Cromwell's Commonwealth period. Normally hung in a prominent position; it was moved to its present position in 1982.

Creed and Lord's Prayer Boards: These were hung by the Chancel Arch sometime after the 1827 remodelling and date from that time.

Organ: The present organ began its life in 1911 and was housed in the Vestry off the Chancel. It was moved into the North East corner of the Nave in 1920. In 1982 the organ was brought up to modern standards, the console being placed against the north wall and the instrument on a newly constructed platform against the Tower at the West end of the church. It is known, though, that a Musicians Gallery existed above the Tower doors prior to 1895.

The Tower: Built sometime in the 12th Century (some estimates as early as 1100) the Tower is constructed of ironstone rubble and ironstone dressing. The brown textured stone was known in Dorset as Heath Stone. In the 17/1800's the Tower was used as a school; the clock was installed in memory of Queen Victoria in 1904. Once six bells could be rung from here, but five were sold to a church in Bristol in 1797.