In 1825 nearly all present Kensington was one parish with its church, St. Mary Abbots, in the village clustered round the junction of Kensington Church Street and Kensington High Street. Hitherto there had been no more than farms, nursery gardens and family estates round it, but housing developments were spreading some distance from the church and two daughter churches were built, St Barnabas to serve the West and Holy Trinity Brompton the East.
St Barnabas prospered until the early 1980s, when the congregation had dwindled and closure was envisaged. Instead, Revd John Irvine came from Holy Trinity Brompton with a group of 100 to revitalise the church's life and worship. A more informal, contemporary style of worship was introduced and courses such as Alpha were started. This began to draw a large number of young adults who brought their friends many of whom became Christians and formed part of the growing, gathered congregation.
Today St Barnabas is a church of about 300 adults and 90 children. There is a genuine mix of social and ethnic backgrounds with over 35 nations represented among the three congregations, reflecting this diverse part of West London.