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Source: The Illustrated London News, June 29, 1850, p.459
On Monday, the festival of St. John the Baptist, the new Church of St. Stephen the Martyr, situate in Rochester-row, Tothill-fields, was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of London, with great solemnity.
Our readers will recollect that this stately Church has been built and endowed at the sole cost and charge of Miss Burdett Coutts—a large act of munificence which must endear the name and memory of this pious lady to the Christian world. It originated in a sweet impulse of filial affection. Miss Coutts being anxious to raise a memorial to her father, the late Sir Francis Burdett, rightly conceived that no more appropriate mode of carrying her wishes into effect could be adopted than that of building and endowing a church in the heart of that city with which her revered parent's name had been so many years intimately associated. The first stone of the Church was laid July 20, 1847; and a report of the interesting proceedings, with a view of the exterior of the edifice, will be found In the ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS, No. 273. After the foundation-stone had been laid, the works were delayed for some time; but, the schools were proceeded with, the ordinary services of the Church being in the meantime performed in the old chapel, duly consecrated for the purpose. When the Schools were completed, about two years ago, the chapel was taken down, and the building of the Church was resumed, the religious services from that period to the prevent time having been performed in the large school-room. The Church was finally completed a few weeks since; and the Bishop of London appointed Monday for the ceremony of consecration; and a very large party of ladies and gentlemen was invited to be present upon the occasion. The inhabitants of the districts evinced their gratitude to the founder by a holiday observance of partly closing their shops; and many of the houses were decorated with flags and evergreens.
For the remainder of this report consult "The Illustrated London News, June 29, 1850, p.459"