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St John the Evangelist Church, Hale, Surrey facts for kids

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St John's
St John the Evangelist, Hale
St John the Evangelist
51°13′41″N 0°47′07″W / 51.228006°N 0.785299°W / 51.228006; -0.785299 (St John the Evangelist's Church, Hale)Coordinates: 51°13′41″N 0°47′07″W / 51.228006°N 0.785299°W / 51.228006; -0.785299 (St John the Evangelist's Church, Hale)
Location Hale Road, Hale, Surrey, GU9 9RP
Country England
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Liberal Catholic
Status Active
Founder(s) Charles Sumner (bishop)
Dedication John the Evangelist
Functional status Parish church
Heritage designation Grade II listed
Designated 26 April 1950
Architect(s) Benjamin Ferrey
Architectural type Romanesque Revival architecture
Completed November 1844
Parish Badshot Lea and Hale
Deanery Farnham
Archdeaconry Archdeaconry of Surrey
Diocese Diocese of Guildford
Rector The Rev'ds Alan and Lesley Crawley

St John the Evangelist Church is a Church of England parish church in Hale, Surrey. Consecrated in 1844, the church is now a grade II listed building.


Charles Sumner (bishop) founded the church in AD 1844. He was Bishop of Winchester from 1827 to 1869 and lived at his official residence, Farnham Castle. Charles Sumner and his wife Jennie are buried in the churchyard.

The church was designed by renowned architect Benjamin Ferrey, the original plan can be seen in the gallery below. The church was consecrated by Charles Sumner on 8 November 1844, also in attendance was his son George Sumner (bishop of Guildford) and archdeacon Samuel Wilberforce. Unlike Ferrey's other designs, the church is not in his characteristic Gothic Revival style but has a "wild neo-Romanesque"/neo-Norman appearance. The walls are of clunch and sandstone, and there is an unusual four-stage circular tower."

However very soon the church was too small and an appeal to extend the church stated:

"A few years after the opening of the Church, Aldershot, from being an obscure hamlet, became a large Garrison town. The effect of this upon the adjoining Parish of Hale, was such, as almost immediately to double the population. At the census of 1861, it was found to have risen from a few hundreds, to nearly 3,000 people; the population is now little less than 4,000, and is still rapidly increasing.

With so large a Parish, there is only Church Accommodation for 175 persons; —and besides the regular Parishioners, many Officers and their families are in the habit of attending from Aldershot, and they would do so in greater numbers, could room be found for them. It is therefore proposed to meet the urgent demand for further accommodation, by an addition, of 400 Sittings to the Church, this being the largest increase of which the building is capable.

Plans have been drawn out by Benjn. Ferrey, F.S.A. Esq., of Charing Cross, the Architect of the original structure, for the Erection of a North Transept, the Enlargement of the South Aisle, and an Extension of the present very contracted Chancel.

To carry out those alterations fully, a sum of £1300 will be required, for which an appeal is now made to the Christian liberality of churchmen. The Parishioners of Hale, are among the very poorest, in the Diocese of Winchester, and there is not one gentleman resident in the place. The present Incumbent has no private means, and his clerical income is insufficient to meet the demands of so poor and so rapidly increasing population."

The church was extended significantly in 1897.

The church was designated as a Grade II listed building on 26 April 1950.

Buried in the Churchyard

In addition to Charles and Jennie Sumner, other notable graves include:

  • John Henry Knight (inventor), builder of one of Britain's first petrol-powered motor vehicles.
  • James Fellowes (cricketer) played first class cricket for Kent County Cricket Club and Hampshire County Cricket Club.

Also there are:

  • Five Commonwealth Graves
    • Lieutenant Colonel Owen, Lindsay Cunliffe.
    • Private Hammond, J E.
    • Driver Moore, William Fenwick.
    • Rifleman Collyer, Sydney Harry.
    • Warrant Officer Class II (C.S.M.) Webb, William Leslie.
  • 321 people who died in Farnham Workhouse between the years of 1845 and 1872

Present day

St John the Evangelist is part of the parish of Badshot Lea and Hale in the Diocese of Guildford. The church stands in the Liberal Catholic tradition of the Church of England.

Services include 9:30am Sung Eucharist and Taizé Community style of worship in the Evening.

It is committed to welcoming and including everyone, embracing people of different race, sexuality, gender, physical and mental disabilities and wealth or poverty and is listed as an Inclusive Church.

List of incumbents

  • 1868-1875 George E. Fox
  • 1875-1879 David Rowe
  • 1879-1891 John Powell
  • 1891-1894 Robert Brown
  • 1894-1910 G.E.Hitchcock
  • 1910-1914 Alan M. Watson
  • 1914-1917 H.D. Birley
  • 1917-1923 John du V. Brunton
  • 1923-1926 Bernard Woodard
  • 1926-1930 E. Logan-Hunter
  • 1930-1941 J.L.R Pastfield
  • 1941-1944 R.H.C. Mertens
  • 1944-1956 Arthur E. Jaggs
  • 1956-1967 Jonathan Edwards
  • 1967-1984 Michael H. Sellors, later Dean of St. George's Cathedral, Jerusalem (1997-2002)
  • 1984-1991 Michael Chapman (priest), later Archdeacon of Northampton (1991-2004)
  • 1992-1999 Humphrey Southern, later Bishop of Repton (2007-2015) and Principal of Ripon College Cuddesdon (2015-present)
  • 2000-2002 P.A.Smith
  • 2003-2010 John J. Page
  • 2011-present Alan and Lesley Crawley
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