In 1933 there was enough money to buy the freehold of a site at the lower end of Parton Road. A simple hall was built which could accommodate about 200 people, designed so that the worship area could be screened off when social functions were held in the main section. It had taken nearly 50 years to have their own purpose-built Church. The hall continued to be called the Mission Room.
When the Bishop dedicated it on October 12th 1933 he spoke of the need for centres of worship in new suburban areas, but stressed that the Mission Room was not taking the place of the village churches. He was clearly still nervous about ‘splitting’ the village of Churchdown.
By 1935 donations and the hard work of residents meant that the building was fully equipped. The total cost was £737. However the Cheltenham Road area was expanding rapidly, and even more facilities would be needed. A curate was appointed, but the outbreak of World War 2 meant that plans for a bigger place of worship had to be postponed.
In 1936 there was considerable objection to renaming the building ‘The Holy Redeemer Mission’ and it was formally named the Church of St John the Evangelist. In 1940 The Rev’d Frank Cherrington became Priest-in-Charge. In 1942 St. John’s Hall was built on land behind the church. Some may remember this Old Hall, now demolished. It was a great achievement to complete this building project in the middle of wartime.
By the end of the war St. John’s had become a separate ecclesiastical parish. In April 1957 the foundation stone of St. John’s Church as we know it today was laid. It was the first Anglican church to be built in the Gloucester Diocese after World War 2. The church was consecrated on March 15 1958 by The Right Rev’d Dr. W Askwith, then Bishop of Gloucester. A vicarage was built adjoining the church in the same classical style, and The Rev’d Trevor Lewis was the Priest- in- Charge who became the first Vicar.
A new church hall was built in the 1980’s, and the two buildings joined with the addition of the Gutteridge Gateway in 2005.
Parish Priests since 1958:
Trevor Lewis 1958
Alec Smith 1965
David Yerburgh 1967
Horace Phillips 1974
Eric Giles 1979
Eleanor Powell 2000
Katy Morgan 2002
Jacqui Hyde 2015