Our History

The first Methodist witness in Woking was that of the Primitive Methodists who opened their chapel in College Road in 1863, the fore-runner of that in Walton Road which was for a while, after the Methodist Union in 1932, within the Woking Methodist Circuit.  The history of Methodism, in the Wesleyan tradition, in Woking dates back to 1871, when open air services were commenced by a mission band from Guildford, near the Railway Station.  In the following year the first Chapel was built in what has since become known as Chapel Street, and in 1876 the first minister, the Rev. John Fairbourne was appointed for the oversight of the Society, together with that of Knaphill.  In 1884 the second Church was built in Commercial Road, and in 1893 school buildings and a manse were erected on the opposite site of the road.

The rapidly growing community of the early 1900’s led to the then Superintendent Minister Rev. George King Pryor proposing that a third larger church with ancillary premises be designed to meet the new demands.  Land was acquired in Commercial Road for £1,200 and the foundation stone was laid on 4th May 1904 and the top stone of the spire on 16th September.  The handsome new Wesleyan Methodist Church was opened on 18th January 1905 by the president of the conference the Rev. Sylvester Whitehead. It is on record that the electric lighting failed during his address, but he carried on regardless! The contract price of the church was £6,900 and £1,685 for the School buildings.

These new premises were the centre of an active Church life.  Large congregations attended Sunday worship, with a flourishing Sunday School which had morning and afternoon sessions. The fellowship of the Church was sustained by regular attendance at the numerous class meetings and by concerted efforts to reduce the debt on the buildings.  These efforts usually took the form of an annual three day bazaar.

During the 1914-1918 war and again during the Second World War, the Church became a meeting place for service men and women from all over the world, many of whom entered fully into the life of the Church.  By 1927 membership had reached 250. Following the Methodist Union in 1932 the former Primitive Methodist Chapel in Walton Road was closed, and its members brought added strength to the society at Trinity.

During the 1960’s, in common with the whole Christian Church, Trinity found the pattern of Church life changing.  The Church itself proved too large and expensive, while its ancillary premises were inadequate.  Thanks to the redevelopment of Woking town centre this resulted in the sale of old “Trinity” and the purchase of a new site in Brewery Road. The site was dedicated on Psalm Sunday 1962 followed by the stone laying on 22nd May.  The completed buildings (the fourth Methodist Church in Woking) were dedicated on 12th June 1965. The new church was designed by a distinguished firm of architects and is similar to the Anglican cathedral in Mbale, Uganda. The building is octagonal, a shape favoured by John Wesley himself! But it was deliberately modern in style to stress its relevance to the society it is serving. In 1990 Trinity celebrated 25 years in the current church and during the 1990’s refurbishment work took place including the removal of the large central pulpit, installing a central covered courtyard, and an East Entrance extension. But the biggest changes since the new church was opened have been in the ever increasing informality of worship (as well as no pulpit there is no robed choir, little ‘Sunday best’ worn, a keyboard as well as an organ) and that women are now Stewards as well as Ministers.

Trinity is a very busy Church, not only with our Sunday worship, but with our premises being used by many local groups during week days and evenings.