Our History

The present church was built in 1817, about 3 years before the death of George III, who himself gave handsomely to the cost. It was built in the style of Soane and replaced the previous church built early in the 12th century under the patronage of Chertsey Abbey.

At a parish meeting in April 1814 consideration was giving to the “ruinous and inconvenient state of the parish church”. A committee was appointed and plans were drawn up.

The designer of the current church building was Henry Rhodes and the building work was undertaken by Robert Pinney of Pimlico at an original estimate of £6,155. The final bill however, with all the additions and refinements was nearer £8000. Many memorials from the earlier church was transferred to the new building, and can still be seen today.

The new church did not find favour with everyone. The Reverend Dr John Samuel Bewley Monsell, the famous hymn writer, who was vicar in Egham from 1853 to 1870 wrote : “My parish church is so bad in form and feature that its influence must be, no matter how people struggle against it, to unsolemnise” . Dr Monsell was the writer of popular hymns such as “Fight the good fight”.

1896 – saw the church being re-ordered. Originally fitted out with seating for 1,100, the box seating in the main body of the church was replaced with pews.

The interior photo shows a painting by R. Westwall. Purchased in 1820 for the sum of £420, it depicted the Elijah raising the widow’s son. The 9ft x 7ft canvas was cut from its frame and burnt by an intruder in November 1949. Part of the painting survived, Elijah’s head, which now hangs on the north side of the church. The oil painting was replaced by a mural by Hans Feibusch, completed in 1951.

Lych gate – this had been the entrance porch of the north door in the old church. A plaque records that John Wesley passed this way and preached in 1744. The lych gate was placed in its present position in 1938, having been for many years in the garden of a house in Bakeham Lane. It was completed renovated in 1986.

1999
A key date in the history – the total refurbishment of the church building, when the Victorian Benches were placed by chairs, a dais constructed and improved access facilities installed, together with new lighting and heating.

In addition, rededoration was undertaken using colours similar to those used when the church was built in 1817. The furniture on the dais was designed by Robert Bannister, a member of St. John’s. The carpet was prepared by Wilton Carpets of Salisbury, and the motif mirrors the ceiling roses of the church.

 

Click here for a list of the vicars of Egham