St Giles’ Church Ashtead Surrey

KT21 1EJ


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Who we are

Transforming communities for Christ… knowing Him and making Him known.

Where are we going?

By 2023, St Giles’ and St George’s will increasingly live out our shared mission of transforming communities for Christ, knowing Him and making Him known.

Our worshipping community will be engaged fully in church life and will have increased by 10% or more, maturing as disciples who have a deeper relationship with God.

This will be achieved through a gifted and settled staff leadership team, the growth of lay leadership teams, empowering relationships with volunteers and new forms of digital communication. What are our Core Values?

Inspired Worship glorifies God and builds His people up Biblical Teaching is foundational for a whole life faith Passionate Prayer reaches God's heart and enlarges our own Compassionate Mission is our response to God's purpose for His church in the world Mature Discipleship should be the goal of every follower of Christ Affirmation of Diversity should be celebrated as an expression of our unity in Christ Loving Relationships should permeate every aspect of church life


Location of worship

St Giles’ Church
Park Lane
Ashtead, Surrey KT21 1EJ
United Kingdom
Phone: 01372 813964
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Church Pastor

Rev. Richard Jones
Rev. Richard Jones
Park Lane
Ashtead, Surrey KT21 1EJ
United Kingdom
Phone: 01372 805182
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Rev. Richard Jones   Edit
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Rector   Edit
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Trevor Hood   Edit
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St George's Christian Centre
Barnett Wood Lane
KT21 2DA   Edit
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Park Lane, Ashtead, Surrey
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St Giles’ Church Service Times

There are two services each Sunday in August.

10am Parish Communion - In Person and Live Streamed

5pm Contemporary Service - In Person and Live Streamed

From September we will have a range of new services and you won’t need to book. We may re-introduce booking for special services around Remembrance or Christmas.

Sunday Services from September

8am Spoken Liturgical Holy Communion @ St Giles’
9:30am All-age with band & SGSG Kids @ St George’s
1O:30am All-age with band & SGSG Kids @ St Giles’
11:15am Parish Communion with SGSG Kids @ St George's
6pm Relaxed witn band & SGSG Youth @ St George’s
6pm Liturgical service with hymns & robed choir @ St Giles’

It's been more than 2 years since the last service times update. Please make sure to contact the church to confirm service times.

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St Giles’ Church Ashtead Photos

St Giles’ Church History

Part of the Church of England, within the Diocese of Guildford, we are the parish church of Ashtead. This means that we are here to share God’s transforming love in Jesus to everyone who lives within the geographical area of Ashtead. We’re privileged to work closely with St Michael’s (RC) and Ashtead Baptist Church in Ashtead and with local Anglican churches.

The New Testament teaches that church is the people who meet together to worship and serve God. As a church, we’re privileged to be based in our premises. People have worshipped in St Giles’ church since 1115. Through the centuries, the church building has been developed. The church, churchyard and Dell centre (opened in 2016) continue to be a location of active ministry.

In response to the increasing population and the expansion of the railways in the mid 1800s, it was decided to plant a new ‘daughter church’ in Lower Ashtead. In 1882, a small corrugated iron church was built on the current site. A replacement purpose-built church, St George’s, was consecrated in 1906. The last major redevelopment was completed in 2001. Both locations complement each other as we serve the Lord and the people of Ashtead in His love.

St Giles’

Situated on a former Roman site, the church began in about 1115 as a private chapel built by a Norman Lord, Laurence of Rouen. Roman tiles can be seen in the south wall of the nave, the oldest part of the building. The chancel was added in the 13th century. The first known Rector was Robert de Montfort, 1282 to 1319. For 200 years the church had a Vicar as well as a Rector, the latter usually non-resident. There were also chantry priests for a while to say masses for the dead nobility.

The Church was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries and the tower was added. The font dates from this time. At the Reformation under Edward VI, the church was stripped of its Roman Catholic ornaments. Samuel Pepys visited the church in 1663 after the Restoration of Charles II but found the sermon boring! Peter Hamelot, a Huguenot from France, was Rector from 1699 to 1742. His tomb lies near the ‘kissing gate’ to the Freeman’s school and was badly damaged in a snowstorm in May 1950. There are several monuments to the Howard family, Lords of the Manor for many years.

The church was still very plain in 1820, dark and damp like a cellar. A new Rector, the Rev. William Legge, and a caring Lord and Lady of the Manor, Col. and Mrs Mary Howard, transformed the church building between 1820-1877. The east window from Liege, the decorated stone reredos behind the altar, the panelled cedar roof of the chancel with the carved angels, the braced beams and roof of the nave, the north transept with its high arch, and the little north aisle with seats facing the pulpit, are all part of the legacy of these Ashtead benefactors.

In 1873 the 6 bells of 1725 (3 in earlier times) were recast as a peal of 8 in honour of Mary Howard.

In 1891 there was a major restoration. The roof was stripped and renewed, a new organ chamber was built with new arches to the chancel and north aisle, the large choir vestry added in place of a small one, the present oak pews installed and a new pulpit given.

In 2009, the interior of the church was modified to allow access for all; the organ was restored and the windows and monuments cleaned and repaired.

To support our growing ministry, the old church hall was replaced by the Dell Centre in 2016. The dedicated prayer garden next to the Dell Centre is a place of stillness and prayer.

Outside the front door, is an ancient yew tree - possibly denoting a former Saxon church on the site. The churchyard is open and contains over 4,500 graves. The cedars, many of which were lost in the 1987 and 1990 storms, are over 100 years old. The Lych gate was put up in 1903 in memory of Sir Thomas Lucas, former Lord of the Manor. It was restored in 2008 The drive is an ancient right of way to the medieval manor house which stood near the north east corner of the church until about 1800.

St George’s

In response to the increasing population and the expansion of the railways in the mid 1800s, the church council decided to plant a new church in lower Ashtead. In 1882, a small church made of corrugated iron was built.

In 1899, a fund was established to replace the small and cold church with a modern building that was fit for purpose. In 1900 Frederick Peake donated land for the church on the corner of Oakfield Road. After generous contributions from one or two leading members of the church, the response to the Appeal was very slow. In January 1905 a Building Committee was set up and the parish engaged in fund raising activities. Lily, Duchess of Marlborough, opened a large-scale bazaar in May held in a field opposite the Old Rectory. Ashtead’s many young ladies were out in force running stalls and running a hat trimming competition. The Duchess said “it was the first time she had opened a bazaar in a parish where two churches could not contain the con­gregations.”

Because of the shortfall in contributions, the architect modified the specifications, resulting in what was feared would be a plain church, seating only 300 people. The south aisle, organ chamber and vestries were excluded. A north transept was included but no 'lady chapel' was mentioned.

The ceremony of laying the Founda­tion Stone in the wall of the Baptistery by Lord Ashcombe took place on 18 November 1905. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners agreed to the dedication of the new church to St. George.

The Iron Church, which was standing on the same site, was successfully moved on rollers to a new location and eventually became the scout hut for the 1st Ashtead ‘Pelham’ Scout Troop. Only five months after building started the main part of the church was finished.

On 21st April 1906, two days before St. George’s Day, the church was consecrated. Although the finished church was plain it was generally felt to be 'charming' by most contemporaries.

In 1908 an organ chamber was built to house an organ given by Mr Garlick who had also donated the altar and bell. A vestry was added behind the organ on the south-east side of the church.

The first building project after the Second World War was the construction of a church hall in 1954. The hall fitted neatly into the site abutting the east end of St George's Church. There had been plans for a hall in the mid-1930s on the south side of the church but lack of funds delayed the project.

A new east window was installed in 1961, in place of three for­mer lancet windows, the shafts of light from which had obscured the rest of the sanctuary. The new window was designed by Christopher Webb on the lines of a window he had designed in 1957 for the Commonwealth Chapel at St. Lawrence Jewry in the City of London. The area to the north of the chancel, which had been used as a children's corner for many years, was converted to a Lady Chapel in 1950. In 1962 a pastel-shaded open metalwork screen was erected between the choir stalls and the chapel in memory of the Rev. A.W. Douglas, a retired clergyman who had assisted at St. George's.

A south aisle was added in 1964. The temporary south wall built between the brick pillars in 1906 was removed and space for 120 chairs provided. The aisle was given large windows and a low-pitched roof with a blue and white ceiling. New clusters of pendant lights were introduced throughout the church suspended from steel bars, and concealed lighting in the side windows of the chancel. The single vestry of 1908 was divided into clergy and choir rooms behind the organ, with a new bay window on the south. The new work was dedicated on 20th October 1964.

In the 1980s a dais was constructed between nave and chancel covered with gold-coloured carpeting. A portable font was intro­duced, with a light oak pedestal, the work of church member, Gra­ham Laird, with a stainless-steel bowl, processed to resemble hammered pewter, made at Richard Quinnell's forge in Leatherhead.

In the years following the Second World War, the tradition changed to become firmly evangelical and there was a growth in informal worship. A committee was set up in 1988 to look at reordering the church and redeveloping the entire site. After several years of planning, the decision was made in 1995 to proceed with the St George's Project. The work involved demolishing the old hall, room, office and vestries and rebuilding a two-story extension to the church incorporating a large new welcoming entrance into the former side chapel serving the whole building. A similar entrance and foyer were created at the rear with a reception area. The accommodation includes a café, hall, a number of meeting rooms and offices. The church was opened up by removing the residual screen, choir stalls and pulpit and replacing them with portable oak furniture designed once again by Graham Laird. The Bishop of Guildford officially opened the re-ordered complex on 16th September 2001.


St Giles’ Church Historical Photos

The power of Christian prayer Teach me
Teach me, O God, to use all the circumstances of my life to-day that they may bring forth in me the fruits of holiness rather than the fruits of sin. Let me use disappointment as material for patience: Let me use success as material for thankfulness: Let me use suspence as material for perseverance: Let me use danger as material for courage: Let me use reproach as material for longsuffering: Let me use praise as material for humility: Let me use pleasures as material for temperance: Let me use pains as material for endurance.
St Giles’ Church listing was last updated on the 16th of August, 2021
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