Woodgreen Evangelical Church has been an active member of the Warndon Villages community for 27 years. Easily identified by the white ‘sail’ on our roof, we are located at the Woodgreen Drive end of Hasting Drive.
What most people don’t know, is that the church has existed in one form or another for 140 years.
Our first Sunday service was held in the Guard’s Room of Shrub Hill Station in 1882. Many railway workers were unable to get to church services because of their irregular hours and so an enterprising minister decided to start a service they could easily attend. Over time this grew and before long a church was built in the centre of town paid for by donations from local businessman, including a certain Mr Lea and Mr Perrins.
In 1987 the church decided to purchase land on the new Warndon Villages housing development for a purpose-built facility. When the church leaders met with the developers there was a remarkable meeting of minds. The developers had been feeling that the new estate needed a church to help with community cohesion.
However, the task of raising the £1 million needed for the new building was solely down to the 80 church members who attended the church. Incredibly, the majority of the money needed was covered by these founding members, although there were some small gifts from other donors, including the Rev W. Awdry, creator of Thomas the Tank Engine, who gave in recognition of the railway roots of the church.
Woodgreen Evangelical Church opened its doors on Warndon Villages for the first time on Sunday 23rd July 1995. The speaker’s text was from the gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16:
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’
While much has changed in the world over the last 140 years, our vision as a church to show and share the love of God has not changed. Why not connect with us? We’d love to help in anyway we can.
As well as a busy Sunday programme of three services at 9.30am, 11.30am and 6pm, the church building is also available for community hire during the week and we run a range of midweek community activities for all ages and stages, including: parent and toddler groups, children and youth groups, a walking group, an indoor bowls club, an art group, and a lunch club for older ages. We love being part of the Warndon Villages community and run an annual Family Fun Day every summer where everything is free of charge.
The pandemic has also led us to go online. We now live-stream all our services on our YouTube channel and church website for those who prefer to engage in this way before coming along in person.
See https://www.woodgreenchurch.co.uk/ for more details.
by Jan Scrine