The Parish Church of St. Mary’s and community of Byfleet have an ancient history, with traces of a Neolithic village in the area, but its first mention is in records of AD 727. About this time a charter was made when the area was granted by the King of Mercia with other lands to the Abbey of Chertsey. Christianity was re-introduced to the South East of England with St. Augustine in AD 597 and it is possible that the original church in Byfleet, almost certainly made of rough hewn wood, appeared at that time.
Byfleet was a Saxon manor under the Abbot of Westminster and part of the Forest of Windsor at the time of the Conquest. King William I considered Windsor as an ideal spot for a Royal Country Home and hunting base, and acquired it, including Byfleet, from the Abbot in exchange for other land in Essex. Thus Byfleet became a Royal Manor and remained so until 1826.
The first mention of a church in Byfleet is in the Domesday Book of 1086 and it is probable that the present church was erected on the same site, but no traces of the older church have been found.
Until the last century (1900’s) the West Byfleet end of the parish was thought and spoken about as ‘West End’, and eventually was named West Byfleet.
It was decided that a Chapel of Ease must be established near Byfleet Corner. In effect this was the the beginning of the Parish of West Byfleet as it is today.
The first place of worship in West Byfleet was a temporary corrugated iron building built in 1872, (sometimes referred to as “The Tin Tabernacle”) on the left side of the entrance to the house and estate known as Broad Oaks. To gain access to the church a plank bridge crossed the ditch to the door. This building was to serve as the church in West Byfleet for the next 40 years.
In 1900 a plot of land of about one acre was obtained at Byfleet Corner at the west end of the Parish of Byfleet to build a permanent church.
After meetings held in Byfleet on the 27th January and lst February 1908, a Commission decided “that in view of the great building developments at the west end of Byfleet and in Pyrford, the new church in West Byfleet should be built to hold 600.”
And so St John’s came to be built. The church was Dedicated on 24th June, 1912 (since money for its construction was still owed); and then Consecrated free from debt on 11th October, 1913.
Shortly after, the ecclesiastical Parish of West Byfleet was carved out of the ancient Parish of Byfleet in 1917.