HISTORY OF ST STEPHEN'S
There has been a place of worship on the site where St. Stephen’s Church stands today since 1869.
The first building to be erected was a single rectangular room which was a dual purpose room to be used as a School and chapel and was designed to form an extension of the Godstone Parish School and became known as the Godstone Station School. It was formally opened for public worship with special dedication services morning & evening on 20th December 1869. The first Sunday service at the Station School Chapel was held on St Stephen’s Day 26th December 1869.
Teaching actually commenced on 28th February 1870 so it was used as a Chapel before the school opened.
It remained as a school until it closed on the 23rd July 1959, ending with a service held in the Chapel.
The School was then replaced by a new school in Hunters Chase and the old building reverted to the landowner represented by a Mrs Thompson of Malton in Yorkshire.
She accepted the church’s token offer of £500 for the building and site.
Her generosity enabled the parish to convert the building into a worthy House of Prayer straight away.
Meanwhile the parish collected £3000 to buy the old school and fit it out as a church.
The Dedication Service was conducted by the Rt. Rev Dr. Mervyn Stockwood, the Lord Bishop of Southwark on 31st October 1959. The first service followed on the next morning November 1st which is All Saints Day.
The premises have two small meeting rooms divided by a wooden sliding door one side is the rear part of the church. In 2019 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first service, and the 60th anniversary of the Dedication Service we have refitted the toilet so that it is wheelchair accessible, and updated the kitchen.