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Ennever & Enever family history & ancestry. Click here to return to the home page WJ Ennever (1869-1947). From the portrait by J Seymour R.A., exhibited in the Royal Academy.

Parish Church, St Dunstan, Stepney, Middlesex

Parish Church, St Dunstan, Stepney, Middlesex


Tree: 6. Essex Ennevers(2)

People have lived in what we now call Stepney since about a thousand years before the birth of Christ. It is thought that the first church was built here sometime between St Augustine's conversion of the English in the 6th century, and 952 when a second church was erected on the site by St Dunstan.

The first church was probably wooden, and dedicated to All Saints, but it is thought that St Dunstan built his church here in stone. No part of this original structure survives, apart from a tenth century stone relief panel of the Crucifixion, which you can see under the east window.

Some time after St Dunstan was made a saint in 1029, the church was rededicated to him. In 1896 the ancient dedication of All Saints was revived, and the two names have been used together ever since.

In the middle ages, Stepney became a favoured country retreat for lords and merchants. St Dunstan's became a place of wealth and importance. It was in this period that the building took its present shape, with the chancel built in the thirteenth century and the nave in the fifteenth.

Stepney was in the heart of intellectual life during the Reformation of the sixteenth century. John Colet, Dean of St Pauls and St Dunstan's most famous vicar, was one of the leading scholars of the "new learning" from which the Reformation sparing. His friends Erasmus and Thomas More were regular visitors to his Stepney mansion.

This mansion was the home of Thomas Cromwell from 1534 and it was from here that he masterminded the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Successive rectors were staunch supporters of the new Protestantism, and the parish was staunchly Parliamentarian during the Civil War.

The population of London's East End grew hugely in the next two centuries, and in the eighteenth century the parish was split, with new churches built in such areas as Bethnal Green, Spitalfields and Limehouse, to minister to the vast numbers of people who now sought work in local industries.

By Victorian times, Stepney had a reputation as one of the worst slums in London. Successive rectors ministered tirelessly for the poor of the parish. In the second world war, the church miraculously escaped the Blitz that devasted houses all around it, losing only its windows.

Today's St Dunstan's is still a vibrant community of faith. Visitors comment on the remarkable spiritual atmosphere: here burdens are shared and the faithful gather to be nourished and fed in the Eucharist, going out into the community as instruments of God's love.

Our patron saint was probably the most powerful and influential churchman in England before the Norman Conquest.

Born in Baltonsborough, Somerset, in the early tenth century, Dunstan was educated at the nearby Glastonbury Abbey, where he later became Abbot. He was Archbishop of Canterbury in the reign of Edgar the Peaceable. Under Dunstan's patronage, art and learning flourished.

He was a monk, statesman and monastic reformer with a firm belief in the spiritual value of manual labour, which he put into practice himself by working metal.

You can see Dunstan's symbol, a pair of tongs, in one of the modern stone spandrels over the west door of our church. According to legend, the Devil came to tempt Dunstan as he worked at his anvil and the saint tweaked his nose with red-hot pincers.

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Latitude: 51.5112944, Longitude: -0.0543611


   Name   Location 
1.Parish Church, St DunstanEngland


Matches 1 to 1 of 1

   Last name, First name(s)    Christened    Person ID   Tree 
1 FURLONG, Alice Mary  6 Jul 1873Parish Church, St Dunstan, Stepney, Middlesex I18962 6. Essex Ennevers(2) 
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