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A church built to remember the fallen of WW1 celebrates 100 years

Date: 21 June 2022

One of the diocese’s smaller churches is celebrating its centenary this year. 

In the small village of Sutton Green, All Souls’ Church was built in 1922 as a memorial to those who died in the First World War, with the funds raised by local dignitaries.

It is one of only a few churches in the country that was built as a war memorial and commemorates the names of the fallen from South Woking with inscriptions in the church.

To mark the occasion there are a number of events and celebrations planned. The first of which is a Flower Festival on the 25th and 26th June.

The event will see around 20 displays from local churches, organisations, businesses and individuals on the theme of the centenary around the church. The public will be able to see the displays along with a presentation of the history of the church.

In addition to the individual displays, a local creative, Mary Branson, is putting together a ‘Living Wall’ of Surfinias, which will adorn the front of the church for passing traffic on New Lane to see.

Mary says, “When making the living wall of flowers, I wanted the installation to be a mass of red flowers, rather like the poppies found in the battlefields of the first World War, in the hope that passers-by might slow down, look at this beautiful unique church and remember those for whom it was built.”

As part of the celebratory weekend, on Sunday 26th June All Souls’ will be holding a service at 10am to thank God for those who built the church, those it was built in honour of and the witness it has been for the past 100 years.

The Bishop of Guildford will be preaching at the service, and the Mayor of Woking and local councillors will also be in attendance. An invitation is also extended to anyone connected with the church or village, past and present.

During the autumn the congregation plan to create a memorial garden next to the church with a memorial stone in the middle.

Revd Jonathan Thomas, vicar of All Souls’, says, “In marking the centenary of All Souls’ we want to acknowledge those whose vision, effort and finances went into building the church as a memorial to the local men who gave their lives fighting for freedom in World War I by bringing more people into contact with the church and its history. We also want to give thanks for the witness of the church to Christ’s love and truth to the villagers of Sutton Green and pray for another hundred years of bearing the light of Jesus to the local community.”

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