St Jude's aims to keep good relations with other local Christian communities. We are in a covenant with the Roman Catholic Church of the Assumption as Churches on the Green, and some activities are shared also with Bishopsgate Evangelical Church. St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Church is only a few yards away, and The Journey uses our Methodist Church building for its services, while the East Asian Fellowship meet in our Church Hall. Within the parish, lies Royal Holloway, University of London with its ecumenical and multi-faith chaplaincy team. The churches in the area mostly belong to Christians Together in Egham, which organizes events such as the Walk of Witness through Egham town centre each Good Friday.
When the church was first built, “a lady” presented it with a Scudamore organ – a modest instrument no doubt similar to the Scudamore organ still remaining in the Methodist church in Victoria Street. This was replaced by a larger instrument in 1872, installed where the present instrument is in a chamber under the tower, but this in turn was replaced in 1935 by a Walker organ thought to have been built originally around 1900.
This Walker organ was thoroughly overhauled and expanded in 1999, by the builder Robin J. S. Rust, of Farnborough, who reported in that year as follows:
“Apart from cleaning, both Great and Swell soundboards had motors re-leathered, and all magnets were replaced throughout the organ. Swell and pedal chests were given similar attention as necessary, but front pipe block and Bourdon bass chests (Roosevelt) were not re-leathered but refurbished as required. The whiffletree swell engine was re-covered and overhauled, and the mechanism re-engineered to reverse the action of the shutters. The bellows, three in number, were patched as re-leathering was not considered economical. The Gt. Diapasons 8ʹ + 4ʹ were replaced by some last revoiced by Johnny Degens. A Dulciana was added to the Gt. on a cheek, the old 8ʹ open became a pedal principal and 15th, and a 16ʹ-8ʹ-4ʹ Trumpet was added.”
In 1973, the vicar, Richard E. Falkner, wrote a brief history of St Jude’s Church and its associated church school, St Jude’s School. This, reproduced below with a few extra comments, took the history of the church from its foundation in 1859 up to the 1970s.
Church and School in Englefield Green
Richard E. Falkner, 1973
AS THE ARMIES MANOEUVRED in the rain before Waterloo, on 17th June 1815 the Egham Enclosure Act received the Royal Assent. The battle was to end the long and ruinous wars; the Act was to decide the shape of the district in meeting the problems that followed peace. Enclosure Acts permitted the ‘waste and woodland’ to be enclosed with hedges for farming. The common people, who had eked out their small wages by grazing their animals on this land and by collecting firewood, suffered further hardship. To protect them, Enclosure Acts were required to set apart areas of land as the Poor Allotment and such common land as Englefield Green itself. An important part of the Poor Allotment in Egham was the five acres of the Sand Pits, the area bounded now by St Jude’s Road, Victoria Street, Armstrong Road and South Road. The sand from these pits was highly valued then for scouring and for building purposes, and the money from its sale was used for the relief of the poor.
To carry out its work St Jude's depends on the effort, enthusiasm, devotion and prayers of many people - and also their money. In 2007, a year in which we had no major projects or work on the building, it cost nearly £70000 to run the church. Full details of the finances are available each year at the Annual Church Meeting (in 2008 it will be on 27 April), and afterwards.
St Jude's can recover income tax at the basic rate if you are a taxpayer and you have filled out a Gift Aid declaration. This makes an important contribution to our income.
There are two ways: by standing order (monthly, quarterly or annually), or by using the weekly envelope scheme. Choose whichever suits you, and ask the treasurer or one of the churchwardens. Note that we cannot recover tax if you put money loose in the collection bag.
Only you can answer that question. The Church of England suggests 5% of your income after tax. But it is up to you to consider your personal circumstances - maybe in comparison with spending on items like holidays, entertainment and hobbies.