The oldest working church in Lambeth is under threat of demolition after the local parish unveiled plans for its redevelopment.
St Andrew, Stockwell Green, was built in 1767 but because it was extended by the Victorians has been refused listed building status by English Heritage.
Residents say they are “shocked” by the plans for its redesign and have said it looks like “an IMAX cinema”.
The church’s wood-panelled interior is an example of austere Georgian architecture and it is also also home to beautiful stained-glass windows and a rare First World War memorial.
All these are under threat of being destroyed.
Both the Stockwell Village Association and the Brixton Society have lobbied for the building to be listed by English Heritage but were unsuccessful.
Church authorities have said it would cost £2 million to renovate the church and a further £2 million to refurbish the adjoining Hammerton Hall, a community space built at the beginning of the 20th century, which they also plan to demolish.
The church intends to finance the demolition and building of the new church by including a block of flats on the site which it will then sell.
It has refused to say how much the new build will cost.
Residents say they are shocked by the new proposals which include a convex-shaped church on the corner of the site and have condemned them as “being out of character.”
One resident, Nicholas Kynaston, has started an online petition to ask the Bishops of Southwark and Kingston to veto the proposals and save the building.
Kynaston said: “The church has neglected this fine Georgian building for decades and let it rot.
“Their solution now is to knock down a piece of local history and replace it with something that looks like it belongs in an out-of-town retail park.
“Many local residents are angry that the church seems to have paid little attention to the community affection for this historic building and ploughed regardless on with these plans.”