London England Mormon Temple
The London England Mormon Temple sits on 32 acres of lush countryside at Newchapel in Surrey, England. This rectangular edifice reaches 160 feet high. The exterior is adorned with white limestone and topped by a lead-coated copper spire and, since the end of 2008, a statue of the angel Moroni. Surrounding the Mormon temple are gardens, which compose two-thirds of the acreage. Oaks trees (which are listed with the British registry), spacious lawns, an ornamental pond and colorful rhododendrons and azaleas beautify the grounds of the temple throughout the year.
The area of the London Temple has a rich history. At the time of early Christianity Celts, Romans, Saxons, and Danes occupied the area; now, Sir Winston Churchill’s property adjoins the grounds of the Temple.
After the property was purchased for the building of the temple, President David O. McKay and Church architect Edward Anderson spent time deciding where to place the Temple. Land selected by President McKay “had been partially covered by a lily pond, which had left the ground marshy, and the engineers feared that it would not be suitable for the Temple’s foundation. President McKay, however, insisted, that this was where the Temple was to be built. When work began on the site, workers discovered that beneath the boggy ground was solid shale at the proper depth to support the temple.”1
Upon its completion, the Mormon Temple’s doors were opened to members and non-members alike for three weeks. At that time more than seventy-six thousand people toured the temple, whereas only fifty thousand had been expected. In September 1958, President David O. McKay dedicated the London Temple: “This is a great day for the members of the Church in Great Britain…The temple is the opening of a new era”, stated President McKay. Following the open house and dedication of the Mormon Temple, there were over twelve hundred convert baptisms within the next year.2
After thirty-two years, the London Temple was closed for remodeling and refurbishing. An additional 8,500 feet was added, as well as a fourth floor. This time, the temple open house was preceded by the distribution of posters and flyers and personal invitations throughout the area. In addition, advertisements and stories in local and national newspapers were placed, and radio ads were featured by the British Broadcasting Corporation.
In October 1992, Mormon Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley rededicated the London Temple. It was “…the best single event in terms of its effect on the general public that we’ve ever had in Britain,” stated Bryan Grant, UK public affairs director for the Mormon Church.3
West Park Road
Surrey RH7 6HW
Phone: (44) 1342-832-759
For more information about the Mormon Church or Temples please see the following websites:
1 “The Making of a Temple”; Millennial Star; September 1958; p278