A BIT ABOUT US
There has been a church at Holdenhurst since Saxon times, and the original church was mentioned in the Doomsday Book. The church was annexed to Christchurch Priory, and the monks used to row up the river to take services.
In 1808 the church ceased to be annexed to Christchurch and became a parish in its own right. However, by 1829 the old church was in a bad state of repair, and a new one was built on the present site on land donated by Sir G.I. Tapps.
St John the Evangelist
The foundation stone for the new church was laid on 18th July 1833, by the 2nd Earl of Malmesbury, and it was consecrated and opened for worship on 9th November 1834 by the Bishop of Winchester.
One estimate for the building of the church was £1,003, but various new parts have been added to the original building in later years.
The church contains some beautiful stained glass windows, and a font which came from the old church (despite having been 'lost' for a number of years in the move to its new site).
With the explosion of house building south of Castle Lane in the late 1950s and the subsequent rise in population, the Vicar of Holdenhurst, Revd. W. Stedmond secured the lease on the building in Bradpole Road which later became the Community Centre, and the first service was held there on Christmas Day 1959.
Regular services began in February 1960, and later that decade the Misses Cooper-Dean offered the site in Mount Pleasant Drive where St. Barnabas Church and Hall now stand.
The church is light and airy with its windows looking out over the parish, and gives easy access at road level. The award-winning design incorporates the Hall underneath the church which was originally used as a local authority youth club.
The land at the side of the building was originally intended for a new Vicarage, but has now been landscaped to form a garden area. The building cost just over £60,000, and the dedication service presided over by the Bishop of Winchester, Rt. Revd. Falkner, took place on 29th June 1968.
The intention was that St. Barnabas should eventually form its own parish with its own Vicar, but this never happened, and it has remained within the Parish of Holdenhurst.