About the church building
The church is a comfortable carpeted building with movable chairs. It can seat around 300 people on the ground floor with room for an additional 100 in the balcony. There is a raised stage area at the front with a full immersion baptism pool underneath.
The history of the church building
It is believed that a wooden structured church existed c.7th century being a plant from Chertsey Abbey [666-1537]. Then, c.1150, a stone structured building housed 400 people (the base of which can still be seen in the crypt). The present building was designed to house up to 1,100 people and was dedicated on 16th March 1820.
The 25 replicated Magna Carta Baronial Shields have been displayed in the narthex since the 1999 liturgical reordering. Prior to that time, they were displayed on the outside area of the balconies within the nave. The Baronial shields were produced and given to the church in 1936.
The Barons, who were led by Archbishop Stephen Langton, worshipped in the church the Sunday before the sealing of the Magna Carta by King John at Runnymede on 12th June 1215.
Another notable monument inside the church is that of Sir Felton Ewell Bathurst Hervey [1782 to 1819]. He served the office of military secretary to Field Marshall the Duke of Wellington, and was at his side in the Battle of Waterloo 18th June 1815. He was Wellington’s representative at the negotiations for the surrender of Paris and signed the convention of St. Cloud on 3rd July 1815
One of those buried in the churchyard is Frederic Cournet a former French naval officer and political exile. Cournet fought in the last fatal duel to take place in England, in 1852 at nearby Englefield Green. His opponent was compatriot Emmanuel Barthélemy who fled to England after taking part in the 1848 June Days Uprising. Cournet was wounded and died some hours later.
It is worth noting that the reason he was buried in Egham was that the church of St. Jude’s and its cemetery in Englefield Green were established by St. John’s in 1859.
Barthélemy was found guilty of manslaughter and served seven months in prison, however he was hanged in London in 1855 after killing two other men.
For more information about the history of the church, or to purchase a copy of Phil Darby’s book A Short History of the Parish Church of St. John The Baptist Egham Surrey, please email; firstname.lastname@example.org