There’s an unusual church in Deepcut. It’s St Barbara’s, the garrison church of the Royal Logistic Corps. The Church was built in 1901 to serve the Deepcut and Blackdown army training camps, and was dedicated as St Michael and All Angels Garrison Church. It was only in 1967 that the church was re-named St Barbara’s Garrison Church.
Built from wood and corrugated iron, it’s an interesting, and quirky church. As you would expect as a garrison church it contains flags, memorial plaques, and has some lovely stained glass windows.
The History of St Barbara’s Church, 1901-1994 by Mountford & Wilkinson is my major source of information on the church. It states that no details of the architect or builder is known, and the Army Land Agent record says,” a corrugated iron structure of dubious architectural antecedence and indeterminate age.”
Corrugated iron was invented in Britain in the 1820′s by Henry Palmer. Light and easily transportable, it was soon in regular use by the Army for huts. By the late 1800′s numerous commercial companies were providing the design and materials of ‘flat pack’ buildings. Being cheaper than brick and stone, it appealed to churches, having generally limited funds.
St Barbara’s Church developed over the years, acquiring, in 1967, the organ, stained glass windows and church property of St Barbara’s Church in Hilsea, the previous Corps church. Between 1991 and 1993 five new stained glass windows were added, including one to recognise the formation of the Royal Logistics Corps in 1993.
Some background on-line reading about the church and the type of building it repsents:
- History of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps and St Barbara’s Church
- Corrugated Iron: Building on the Frontier - a book about corrugated iron buildings, St Barbara’s features
- Pictures of Tin Tabernacles, again St Barbara’s features
- Where to find it, and pictures of Deepcut past in Exploring Surrey’s Past