Ivy House Ln, Berkhamsted
The Church of St Michael and All Angels at Sunnyside is a pretty, early-20th century church. Like All Saints’ Church (1906) on the other side of the town, it was designed by the architect Charles Henry Rew (buried in Rectory Lane Cemetery) and his son Noel Ackroyd Rew to meet the needs of a newly established congregation.
From 1881, worshippers in the Sunnyside area of Berkhamsted met for services in a converted barn on George Street. As the congregation grew in numbers, new premises were needed. Adelbert Brownlow-Cust, 3rd Earl Brownlow donated a tract of nearby land and parishioners built a temporary corrugated iron church there (a “tin tabernacle”) in 1886.
Rew & Son drew up plans for a replacement stone church in the style of a traditional Sussex parish church. Parishioners raised money and volunteers helped to lay the foundations. The church was to be clad in flint, and there happened to be a ready supply of materials left over from William Butterfields’ 1887 renovation work on St Peter’s Parish Church in the town centre.
Construction work went ahead with substantial financial support for the chancel from local industrialist Sir Richard Powell Cooper, one of the directors of Coopers chemical works (buried in Rectory Lane Cemetery). Sunnyside Church was consecrated on 30 June 1909.
Various additions were made to the fabric of the church, including a 1916 stained-glass window dedicated to Edward Mawley, president of the National Rose Society (also buried in Rectory Lane). A carved oak chair designed by C.H. Rew was placed in the church in memory of Herbert Henry Cooper.
The old “tin taberrnacle” remained in use for many years as a church hall until it was demolished in 1983 and The Cedars flats were built on the site.