Our History

Brief history...

Inside St Johns Church before the fireSt John the Evangelist Church Hurst Green was consecrated in 1913, the daughter church of the old Parish of St Mary the Virgin, Oxted.  It was built to meet the needs of the growing population of what was originally the tiny hamlet of Hurst Green.  The church comprised a tower, chancel, nave and Lady Chapel.  It was faced with sandstone from a quarry near Tunbridge Wells, and with knapped flint from the chalk pits of the North Downs.  Internally, winkle marble from Bletchingley decorated the floor of the sanctuary.  The large east window shows the risen Christ in glory, flanked on one side, by the Virgin Mary, and on the other, by St John the Evangelist.

The west end of the church was incomplete because it was always expected that it would be extended. This was finally accomplished, and dedicated in 1962. It provided a longer nave, baptistry, porch, kitchen, toilets and meeting room known as St John's Room.  The porch is floored with York stone that had originally been London paving stones, and, at the far end, winkle marble matching that of the sanctuary. There is a fine, circular rose window in the west wall in stained glass, with panels depicting themes connected with the patron saint, St John the Evangelist.  Over 150 tapestry kneelers in different designs were made by a team of ladies from the parish.

Of particular interest in the church are two painted mural panels by the artist, John Hayward. One is in the Lady Chapel entitled 'The Annunciation', the other, 'The Virgin and Child' is in the baptistry. Also, on the south wall is a fine carving of an eagle, the traditional symbol of St John the Evangelist.

On Good Friday 1988, the entire roof and interior of the church were destroyed by fire resulting from arson.  A two year re-building programme ensued which also included some re-ordering of the interior.  The rood screen was removed and now forms the wall of the choir vestry in the north transept.  The large wooden cross from the top of the screen was placed on the wall beneath the east window.  The high altar was moved to the centre of the sanctuary, and the choir stalls were re-positioned along the east wall.  The aisles and entire chancel were carpeted, the old pipe organ was replaced by a 3-manual electronic instrument, and two new meeting rooms were created in the tower.  The restored church was re-dedicated on Easter Day 1990.

By 2005 St John's was once more becoming too small for the use demanded of it.  Plans were made for another extension, this time on the north side to provide a large room capable of division into three smaller rooms, for activities in addition to worship.  Fund raising took off in earnest and many community events were enjoyed  for this purpose.

Work started in May 2009 and on 21st March 2010 The York Rooms were opened and dedicated by Nicholas, Bishop of Croydon.