Woodside was just a village when Woodside Baptist Church began in 1898. A few local Baptists had been holding ‘cottage meetings’ on Sunday evenings and decided to set up a permanent church. And so a site was purchased in Spring Lane.
At first, the young Church struggled to survive. But by 1905, the membership had trebled and the Sunday School had increased to 320 children. The church had been meeting in an iron building but the members decided to build something more permanent. The present building was officially opened in 1906.
Plans to build a larger church building, seating 800, were shelved in the 1930s. Instead, adjustments were made to the present building, including the addition of pews and a pipe organ (both of which have long since disappeared!).
Despite evacuation, air raids and other difficulties, the Second World War was a fruitful time for the Church. This was partly due to the outstanding qualities of a young man named Stanley Voke, who came to the church first as a student and then as a full-time pastor.
He was a well known figure in the district, assisting rescue workers after a bomb had fallen, speaking in the air-raid shelters, and going out with the local fire brigade.
A new hall was built in 1955. The old iron building was replaced in 1967 by a new building and an extension to that added in 1972. Buildings at the back of the church were demolished to make way for a two-storey building, including a caretaker’s flat, which was opened in 1982. More recently, the ‘cottage’ next to the main building was modernised and extended.
Our last Senior Pastor, Rev Steve Ewing arrived in May 2006 and left on 18th June 2017 to become minister at Crofton Park Baptist Church, London.
Rev Helen Stokley became our Associate Pastor in March 2016 and continues to serve the church in this post.