The Church Building
architect responsible for the design of St John the Evangelist was
Major Rohde Hawkins. At the time he lived at Redlands, South Holmwood,
and between 1873 and 1877 was Parish Churchwarden at St Mary Magdalene.
He died in 1884 and is buried in South Holmwood churchyard.
Building went ahead during the latter half of 1874, consecration
was performed by the Bishop of Winchester on Easter Day, March 30th
exterior may be briefly described. St. John's is built of flint
on the Early English Style, with a tower topped by a spire, at its
North-West corner. The spire is 75ft. high from the porch step to
the top of the weather cock. According to N. G. J. Stiff in his
"The Church in Dorking and district" which appeared in 1912, the
tower contained "a clock and two bells". The clock, which came from
St. Martin's Church remains, but there is now only one bell in the
The interior is equally straightforward. The nave (with pews able
to seat about 110 people) has a single aisle, leading to the chancel
containing choir stalls and the organ. The sanctuary is small, but
in proportion to the size of the other parts of the Church. On the
south side of the chancel, behind the organ is the vestry, which
was restored and enlarged in 1901.
||The west windows are worth studying. The stained
glass (1891) is by C.E.Kempe and depicts the four Fathers of
the Western Church and just below are small symbols of the four
||The three evocative stained glass windows on the north side
of the chancel recalls the statements, "I stand at the door
and knock ... I am the light of the world... I am the good shepherd
||The East Window contains the original glass of 1874. The stained
glass work was executed by Messrs Powell of White Friars. (This
firm also did work in St. Martin's Church in Dorking town centre).
The main panels, left to right, depict: The Annunciation (Gabriel
and Mary); Nativity; Crucifixion; Resurrection; Jesus meeting
two friends on the road to Emmaus. The upper panels left, John
and Mary at the foot of the cross, right John, to whom the Church
is dedicated, the elderly Evangelist at work, accompanied by
his symbol, the eagle at the top in the centre, Jesus is represented
as the sacrificial Lamb. (The legend at the bottom is from Revelation
Beside the pulpit is the Legge Memorial pew which commemorates
Hugo Molesworth Legge who was killed in World War 1. The next of
kin of casualties were sent a bronze plaque from the King and this
has been incorporated in the pew top.
This extract is taken from The Church in Dorking and District
by Rev. Neville G.J. Stiff, 1912
In 1874 an event
of considerable importance in the church life of the rural
deanery of Dorking took place. The parish of the Holmwood,
formed in 1839 from Dorking and Capel, was at this time divided
and a new parish of North Holmwood, in the gift of the Bishop
of Winchester, was founded, with a new church to provide for
the residents on the outskirts of the town and on the northern
part of Holmwood Common.
The church of
St. John the Evangelist was erected in 1875. It is built of
flint in the Early English style, and has a tower with spire
containing a clock and two bells. The east window is stained,
and there are now memorial windows to the late Henry Thomas
Waters, M.A., who was the first vicar appointed to the church
and who worked there from 1875 to 1891. Almost all the parishioners
subscribed to the memorial, which cost about £200. The windows
show figures of four of the Early Fathers - Saints Jerome,
Augustine, Ambrose, and Gregory; they also depict the emblems
of the four Evangelists and some scenes of the Resurrection.
The work, as would be imagined from Mr. C. E. Kempe, is very
Mr. Waters was
succeeded by the Rev. S. C. Lowry, who resigned in 1900 to
become vicar of S. Augustine's with St. Alban's, Bournemouth.
The next vicar was the Rev. H. Evelyn Betts, who has just
left the district after nearly twelve years of faithful work.
His successor, just appointed, is the Rev. F. W. Drewe. This
parish has schools dating from 1875; they were enlarged in
1883 and have a present attendance of well over lOO.
The church itself
was generally restored and repaired in 1901; it ministers
to about 600 people.