Registered Charity 1165115
A meeting was held on l7th October 1869 when it was resolved to build a Chapel of Ease at Croxley Green and to make application for a site to the Master and Fellows of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, the Lords of the Manor. Many meetings followed and eventually it was agreed to build a church at the south end of the Green. The Church Commissioners paid the sum of six pounds for a triangular piece of land, so shaped by the turnpike road from Watford to Rickmansworth and the road to Sarratt. Plans of the Church with seating for 260 were prepared by Mr. Norton of London: They were approved and the contract for the building was given to Mr. Samuel Clarke of Bath for the sum of £2,318.3 s.Od. No allowance for fencing the site or for heating the church was included. The district (parish) assigned to the church, considered to have a population of 1000, was described as being bounded to the west by a line drawn along the top of Scots Hill extending towards Chandlers Cross, then to the River Gad (Gade) following the same stream to the Lock at Cassio and back to the starting point. A row of cottages (Berean Cottages) stood in front of the church: it was contemplated that they would be demolished, but in fact they remained for some time. It was not until the late 1920's that they became vacant and were demolished, to be replaced by the Parish Hall, opened in November 1932. The foundation stone of the church was laid by the Right Hon. Lord Ebury at 4pm on Tuesday, September 27th, 1870. For the ceremony a temporary staging was provided and decorated with evergreens. The "West Herts and Watford Observer" for Saturday, (October 1st, 1870 reports as follows: " Others present were the Hon Miss Grosvenor, The Earl and Countess of Essex, The Hon. Mrs. Wellesley, W . Jones Lloyd and Mrs Lloyd, H. C . Finch Esq, T.H.Woods Esq, Colonel Brooke, W.Capel Esq, A.J.Copeland Esq, Dr Croft and many other Ladies and Gentlemen. The Rickmansworth Choir having taken their places, the clergy led by the Revd. A.H.Barker, vicar of Rickmansworth took their place and the service commenced with the Hymn "Lord of Hosts to Thee we raise here a house of Prayer and Praise." Prayers followed and the 132nd Psalm was chanted by the Choir. The vicar then said "The Glorious Majesty of the Lord be upon us, Prosper thou the work of our hands". Lord Ebury, then advanced to lay the stone and was presented with a Silver trowel suitably engraved. He then gave an address which was followed by the hymn 'All people that on Earth do dwell". A collection was made and the assembly dismissed with a Blessing. The collection amounted to £33, already subscribed is £2,200." The architecture of the church was described as " Early English or First pointed Gothic." The nave was to be 63 feet long and 25 feet wide and 40 feet high: the chancel 30 feet long and 25 feet wide. A small tower surmounted by a spire was to be 83 feet high. The consecration of the church took place on June 25th 1872. The service was conducted by the Bishop of Rochester, Thomas Legh Claughton, because at that time the church was in the Diocese of Rochester. (When the Diocese of St. Albans was formed in 1877, Thomas Legh Claughton was appointed the First Bishop of St. Albans.) So many clergy attended that they had to robe in a cottage opposite the church. They then entered the church and the processional hymn was number 242 Ancient & Modern, "O word of God above". The Bishop gave a sermon. The hymn "We love this place" was sung. A collection took place which realised £47. 14s Od. Afterwards communion was celebrated, the service being led by the Bishop. The Revd. Astley Roberts; previously Curate of St Mary's, was appointed Vicar. More information about those early days has come into our possession. The first item shows that a Vestry Committee was formed and the first meeting took place on April l5th 1873. It continued to meet annually, and still precedes our Annual General Meeting to this day. For 34 years this building served the village well but with the growth of John Dickinson's paper mill, the local population increased and the church became very crowded and uncomfortable. On September l3th 1906, the vicar and churchwardens called for a meeting which took place on September 20th to discuss plans for enlarging the church. The vicar, Revd. C.E.Donnell and the churchwardens Mr.C.Barton-Smith, Mr E.Ormerod and some 50 members of the congregation agreed to proceed. Mr.Temple-Moor, an architect from London was asked if he would produce a design, he submitted three plans, one of which was to duplicate the present church on the south side; this was accepted in April 1907. As can be seen. Each half is on a different level - unique, but over the years it has caused some problems. Costs are a little vague but would appear to have been in the region of £3,000. The decision seems to have been an economic one, for quite obviously the parish was not that wealthy and to raise the money would take some effort. However, after the contract had been placed in August 1907 with S. Sherwin builders, Boston, Lincolnshire to build the extension, many alterations were made to the specification and they were able to reduce the cost to £2,788. An appeal for money had been launched and by November 1907 the firm had reached £2,765.11s.1 ld. Work commenced almost immediately and whilst work was underway, services were held in the Girls' school in Yorke Road. The new nave was furnished with chairs - 200 supplied by Messrs James Holland of High Wycombe at 3/IOd each. They were fitted with wooden pegs instead of hooks as hooks were liable to catch the dresses of the ladies. The final cost would appear to have been approximately £3,198. The new nave and chancel were consecrated on Saturday, May 23rd 1908, by the Right Revd. Frank Johnson, Bishop of Colchester. The then vicar Revd. E. Wells, had been advised by the Bishop to form an elected Parochial Church Council. A meeting took place on June 25th, 1913, and it was agreed that steps be taken to put this in motion. The first meeting took place on June 25th 1914, the forty second anniversary of the Church and five years before it became a legal obligation. Life in the Parish carried on through the First World War and the list of those who had fallen began to grow. The War finally ended in November 1918. The life of the church continued through the years of depression, the General Strike, the Abdication, Coronation of George VI until World War Two. Then on September 25th 1940 at 9.35pm the East end of the church was severely damaged by a parachute mine; the tower, roof, organ, pulpit and the Lady Chapel all suffered serious damage. The damage was estimated at £13,000 excluding that done to the organ and boiler. Temporary repairs took nearly a year, during which time services were held in the church hall. Because of constant delays in obtaining the money from the War Damages Commission, it was nearly the end of 1952 before the church was fully restored and was hallowed by the Lord Bishop of St Albans on Sunday January 18th 1953.
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All Saints’ Church, The Green, Croxley Green, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, WD3 3HJ
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