Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage
Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage

Archive News

Licensings of Ordinands as Lay-Workers – Petertide 2020 pending ordination in the Autumn. More photos to follow Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th June saw the licensing of 14 Ordinands as Lay-Workers:   Vanessa Hadley-Spencer – Christ-Church, Waltham Cross             Rachel Moate: Holy Trinity, Bishop’s Stortford Philippa Maddox: Leavesden, All Saints… Read more »

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Luton Churches Midsummer food collection

                Over the midsummer weekend some twenty churches around Luton worked together to collect food for Luton Foodbank (LFB). In all they collected 148 crates of food, nearly enough to cover 2 weeks demand from those struggling around the town. Luton’s churches have been closely involved in the… Read more »

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The Revd Paula Vennells

The Revd Paula Vennells – a statement from the Bishop of St Albans  I am aware of the recent court action, with regard to Post Office Limited and the Horizon software system, which was brought by a number of individuals who are or were at one time employees of the company. It is not my purpose in… Read more »

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Black Lives Matter

Parish responses The Diocese of St Albans has a race equality policy, actively seeks black and ethnic minority ordinands and has a programme of unconscious bias training. For more see here. Encouraging vocations from Ethnic Minorities Article on Unconscious Bias Revd Jenni McQuaid, of St Paul’s Church, Letchworth recorded this reflection on 2 June: St Francis… Read more »

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Luton Vicar leads Archbishop’s celebration

In a service led by his daughter, Luton Vicar, Grace, The Archbishop of York will take part in a time of music, prayer and reflection across BBC Local Radio on Sunday at 8am. Listeners in St Albans Diocese will be able to hear it on BBC Three Counties Radio. The Archbishop reflects on the trials he… Read more »

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Cooking brings people together during lockdown to support local youth mental health charity 

St Albans church youth group creates a delicious online cookbook during lockdown to share wonderful recipes with each other and the wider community. What began as sharing each other’s latest culinary experiments, evolved into ‘The Lockdown Cook-Up ’cookbook. Alongside the recipes are the challenges the group had set themselves each week as ways to look after… Read more »

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New Vicar of Streatley: first licensing by Zoom conference

The Revd Nigel Richards became the first priest in the diocese to be licensed via videoconference on 22nd April, when Bishop Alan licensed him as Vicar of Streatley and Chaplain to Keech Hospice. Revd Nigel said: “Despite this being the strangest of times, I’m absolutely delighted to have moved to St Margaret’s Streatley to be… Read more »

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Mothering Sunday Posies at St Michaels Church

Send us your good news stories

It has been lovely to hear of some good news stories from parishes of small things that have brought joy and hope amidst the crisis.  Please do send us your pieces of good news either to comms@stalbans.anglican.org or via our social media channels.  We will share as many as we can.   Unable to hand… Read more »

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Coronavirus: Holywell Lodge

In line with Government advice, the Diocesan Office at Holywell Lodge is closed to visitors and all staff have been working from home since Wednesday 18th March.   Members of Committees will be advised when meetings have been cancelled or on-line meetings will take place and the online calendar on this website is being regularly… Read more »

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Ways of seeing the cross

Ways of seeing the cross

This article first appeared in issue 2 of Alban Life – a quarterly printed magazine which is distributed to all parishes in the diocese. Click here to read more articles from the ‘Alban Bites’ blog. The cross is at the heart of the Christian faith and was at the heart of the Cultivate Arts Festival,… Read more »

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Potters Bar New Organ Console

St Mary’s Church Potters Bar pulls out all the stops with new pipe organ

Attendees at services and concerts at St Mary’s Church in The Walk, Potters Bar, are enjoying the majestic sounds of a new pipe organ which became operational just before Christmas 2019. The original organ, built in 1885 for the old St John the Baptist Church (situated where the War Memorial in the High Street now… Read more »

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Coronavirus: what we haven’t heard from Government

The Bishop’s Coronavirus Golden Rules Not official advice: read and heed that here – but this is food-for-thought about our attitudes. Golden Rule One. Each one of us can think about how we can protect and support our neighbours. So much of the public rhetoric is sowing fear about the danger of other people. So, taking all the  official… Read more »

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Corona virus – public health precautions for churches

UPDATED: – The latest national advice can be found at: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches

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Revd Javaid Iqbal appointed Archdeacon of Doncaster

The Rt Revd Dr Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield, has appointed the Revd Canon Javaid Iqbal as the new Archdeacon of Doncaster in the Diocese of Sheffield.  Canon Iqbal is currently a Team Rector in Aldenham, Radlett and Shenley, where he has been since 2013. He will be installed as the new Archdeacon of Doncaster… Read more »

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Growing Younger Film Trailer

A Big Conversation is coming to your parish

The first parishes will soon be having their Big Conversation about becoming a church of all generations. This will be a conversation about how your parish can explore ways appropriate to your community and your church to do this. We asked people of all ages from all kinds of parishes, urban, rural, small, large: a… Read more »

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Debut for Berkhamsted’s Young Bell Ringers

On Christmas Eve the Berkhamsted Youth Bell Ringing Team made their debut when a group of ten young people came together at St Peter’s to ring the church bells for the town’s Christmas crib service. The group of under 21s, with representatives from Ashlyns, Chesham Grammar, and Berkhamsted School, have been learning the ropes as… Read more »

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Albans Lives: Pauline Rhodes

This article first appeared in issue 1 of Alban Life  (December 2018) – a quarterly printed magazine which is distributed to all parishes in the diocese.  Click here to read more articles from the ‘Alban Bites’ blog. Pauline Rhodes has lived in Hertfordshire all her life and tells her story of living with mental illness… Read more »

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A prayer and resources for Holocaust Memorial Day

More resources available here  

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Bishop’s response to BBC documentary on Peter Ball

Following the broadcast of the BBC documentary about Peter Ball this week, I share the shame expressed by many bishops that the actions of Peter Ball could have gone undetected, unreported and even have been covered up. My greatest shame and pain are for anyone who has suffered abuse within the church. Perhaps even greater… Read more »

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Archdeacon of St Albans at the Service of Valediction

Valediction of the Archdeacon of St Albans

Evensong at St Albans Cathedral on Saturday, 11th January was also the service of valediction for the 62nd Archdeacon of St Albans. As he himself pointed out, this was not to mark the end of his ministry but the end of his role as Archdeacon, on his retirement. A very full Cathedral nave included people… Read more »

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Hatfield’s Night Shelter

Hatfield’s Night Shelter: comfort + food brings joy

This article first appeared in issue 2 of Alban Life (March 2019) – a quarterly printed magazine which is distributed to all parishes in the diocese. Click here to read more articles from the ‘Alban Bites’ blog. Hatfield’s Night Shelter is a remarkable story of community and business co-operation, of repurposing a building, of community… Read more »

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Live Lent Campaign Logo

#LiveLent 2020: Care for God’s Creation

The #LiveLent campaign for 2020, starting on Ash Wednesday, has been inspired and informed by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Lent Book, Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio (see below). It aims to build on the success of previous Lent campaigns, including #LentPilgrim in 2019, which had an overall online reach of nearly seven million. The Easter Monday… Read more »

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Bishop Alan’s New Year Message

The Bishops of St Albans New Year message for 2020: “I guess all of us have hopes and fears for the coming year. Like many others I’ll be making some New Year Resolutions for myself, but I also have a wish list for 2020. Here are my five top wishes. You might want to add… Read more »

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New Year Honours 2020

Among the New Year Honours awarded this new year in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire are: Andrew Brown, OBE. Secretary and lately Chief Surveyor, Church Commissioners for England. For services to the Church. Canon Mike Pilavachi, MBE. Founder, Soul Survivor. For services to Young People    

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Rebuilding Politics – one relationship at a time

This article first appeared in issue 5 of Alban Life – a quarterly printed magazine which is distributed to all parishes in the diocese. Click here to read more articles from the ‘Alban Bites’ blog. Andy Flannagan’s album “Drowning in the Shallow” was described as “near-perfect” by Cross Rhythms, but he remains disappointingly imperfect –… Read more »

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Next Archdeacon of St Albans Announced

Hitchin Vicar, Rev’d Canon Dr Jane Mainwaring, will leave St Mark’s Church, Hitchin, after 16 years to become the Archdeacon of St Albans, one of three archdeacons in St Albans Diocese. Jane will fulfil the role popularly and traditionally known as being “the eyes and ears of the Bishop.” She will be responsible to the… Read more »

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Welcome Wisdom

Welcome Wisdom

This article first appeared in issue 1 of Alban Life  (December 2018) – a quarterly printed magazine which is distributed to all parishes in the diocese.  Click here to read more articles from the ‘Alban Bites’ blog. Two factors make successfully welcoming people to church more significant at Christmas. First, there are more people to… Read more »

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Election 2019

Bishops and Archbishops call to prayer The Bishops of the diocese have called us to prayer and action ahead of the General Election on 12th December 2019. Read Bishops Alan, Richard and Michael’s letter below and see the Archbishops of Canterbury and York’s video here Information about hustings in churches will be posted on this page as… Read more »

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Bishop Michael visits the Congo with Archbishop

Combining his role as an epidemiologist with experience in Africa with the role of a Christian leader, Bishop Michael accompanied the Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo at the invitation of Anglican Bishops there. The DRC is affected by Ebola and the Church has a role in helping their society… Read more »

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Responding to Climate Emergency

How can you make a difference to the environment? The Church of England’s lead Bishop for the Environment, Nicholas Holtam, writes: “There is a climate emergency and we are all called to exercise leadership in this area, prioritising the fifth mark of mission ‘to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew… Read more »

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St Albans’ Medieval heritage brought to life using 21st century technology

This autumn, visitors to St Albans Cathedral have the chance to be amongst the first to see the Nave of the Cathedral as never before as breath-taking light projections lift the veil of time and reveal how the south facing wall paintings in the Nave may have looked in all their medieval glory. Dating from… Read more »

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Defenders of the faith: keeping watch at Ayot St Lawrence

Ann Wight from Ayot St Lawrence writes about her experience sleeping overnight in the Palladian Church to deter lead thieves, along with members of her book club. When lead was stolen from part of the roof of the Palladian Church in Ayot St Lawrence, there was concern the thieves would return for more during the… Read more »

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Prepare for Inter Faith Week 2019

Did you know that among the aims of Inter Faith Week is increasing understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs? This year Inter Faith Week will take place from Sunday 10th – Sunday 17th November.  The three aims of the week are: Strengthening good inter faith relations at all levels Increasing awareness of the… Read more »

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#FollowTheStar

Follow the Star 2019: big discounts on bulk orders during October

By popular demand, Follow the Star returns for 2019 with 12 brand-new reflections for the Christmas period.  Follow the Star invites you to experience the wonder and excitement of the Wise Men’s journey as they travel towards Jesus over the twelve days of Christmas, starting on Christmas Day. The Follow the Star materials are ideal… Read more »

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St Peters Choir Tour to Barcelona

From Berkhamsted to Barcelona: St Peter’s Choir Tour 2019

Robin McMorran, a member of the choir at St Peter’s Church Great Berkhamsted writes about their recent tour to Barcelona For a short time in early summer this year the choir of St Peter’s Church Great Berkhamsted went on tour to export English choral music to the Catalans. The tour was organised by former head chorister… Read more »

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Fundraising

A gift of fundraising help for parishes

Ecclesiastical Insurance is providing free practical fundraising support and guidance for churches in the Diocese of St Albans. They are trialling two options: fundraising seminars and a funding insights website. During the trial, they are aiming to understand what works best for your Church, so that they can look to target their support where it… Read more »

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Is localism the church’s answer to life after Brexit?

This article first appeared in issue 2 of Alban Life (March 2019) – a quarterly printed magazine which is distributed to all parishes in the diocese. Click here to read more articles from the ‘Alban Bites’ blog. The Revd Lucy Dallas offers a longer view of what the church offers our fractured nation after Brexit…. Read more »

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Walk on the moon at St Albans Cathedral: where will your ‘one small step’ take you?

“Cathedrals specialise in awe and transcendence,” says the Dean of St Albans, Dr Jeffrey John, and the Space Voyage installation coming to the cathedral this autumn could take that to a whole new level. He continues: “They were built to remind us that we are small and finite in the universe, yet surrounded by the… Read more »

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A Slow and Green Christmas won’t cost the Earth

This article first appeared in issue 1 of Alban Life  (December 2018) – a quarterly printed magazine which is distributed to all parishes in the diocese.  Click here to read more articles from the ‘Alban Bites’ blog. Predictions point to the biggest consumer Christmas yet, and thoughtful people are beginning to question the spending, overproduction… Read more »

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St Paul’s Church, Bedford is awarded ‘Major Parish Church’ status

St Paul’s church in the centre of Bedford is celebrating its award as a Major Parish Church and being granted membership of the Major Churches Network, in recognition of its importance to the town. The Major Churches Network is a body set up by the Church of England which comprises 350 of the largest and… Read more »

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The Archdeacon of Bedford’s Walking Pilgrimage of Bedfordshire

Click here to hear Archdeacon Dave talking to Mike Naylor on BBC Three Counties about what an Archdeacon does and what he has learnt from his recent walking pilgrimage of Bedfordshire. An excellent interview, well worth a listen!   The new Archdeacon of Bedford, the Ven Dave Middlebrook led a walking pilgrimage of the six deaneries in… Read more »

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St Mary's Church, Reed

£20,000 National Churches Trust grants for two churches 

St Mary’s Church, Reed in Hertfordshire and St Edmund or St James, Blunham are each being granted £10,000 from the National Churches Trust, two among 48 churches sharing a total of £290,000 in grants. St Mary’s, Reed (pictured above) dates from the early 11th Century, making it among the oldest in the diocese.  According to… Read more »

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Six new Readers for the Diocese of St Albans

  The following Readers were Admitted and Licensed by the Bishop of Bedford on 7th July 2019 at St Albans Cathedral: Ruth Gray to All Saints’, Clifton and Southill Lindsay Hall to Chellington Team Sarah Ibrahim to All Saints’, Bedford Hilary Pask to Harpenden (St. Mary’s) Mary Rathbone to Bishop’s Hatfield Team Julie Taylor to… Read more »

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Archdeacon of St Albans to retire in 2020

Archdeacon of St Albans to retire in early 2020 10/09/19 After almost 12 years in post, the Archdeacon of St Albans has announced that he will retire in early 2020. His retirement will fall in his fortieth year of ordained ministry. This has included serving in rural North Bedfordshire, suburban Hertfordshire and in chaplaincy to… Read more »

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Canon David Cheetham MBE, RIP

St Albans Diocese has learned with great sadness of the sudden and unexpected death, on 5th September 2019, of Canon (Emeritus) David Cheetham MBE, Diocesan Registrar and Bishop’s Legal Adviser from 1978 to 2011. The Bishop of St Albans led tributes to David: “David was an excellent Registrar and servant of the diocese. His deep… Read more »

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Starting Rite course for babies at Christ Church Bedford

Becky Guynn, Children’s Minister, Christ Church Bedford writes about the launch of ‘Starting Rite’, a course for babies and their carers “We ran the Starting Rite course as part of the re-launch of our under 1’s group, Little Fishes (we had to take a break from running the group during the building works of our… Read more »

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Diocese of St Albans Ordinations 2019

On Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th June, 17 priests and 14 deacons were ordained at St Albans Cathedral.  They will serve in parishes across the diocese. Photo galleries from the two ordination services are now online: Ordination of Priests: Saturday 29th June 2019 Ordination of Deacons: Sunday 30th June 2019 Below are details of the… Read more »

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Free Social Media Surgery Sessions for Parishes

As a follow-up to the Social Media training courses earlier this year, we are offering parishes a free one-hour ‘surgery’ session with a member of our Communications team.  The session will give you whatever help you need to get started or make the most of your parish social media accounts. Perhaps you would like help… Read more »

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Digital Charter

New Digital Charter making the web a more positive place

The Church of England has launched a new ‘Digital Charter’ – a voluntary pledge for individual Christians as well as churches to sign to help make social media and the web more widely positive places for conversations to happen.  Its seven principles aim to make conversations in the digital world as loving and generous as… Read more »

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The do’s and don’ts of sharing photos from summer holiday clubs

Photos from your church’s holiday club are likely to be some of the most youthful, colourful, and energetic that you will take all year and as such are great publicity for your church.  Sharing photographs of children doesn’t mean pixelating their faces or just showing the backs of their heads.  As long as you make… Read more »

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Hitchhiking vicar raises £5,900 for mental health charity

The Vicar of Redbourn, Revd Will Gibbs has successfully hitchhiked across the country to 26 destinations, each beginning with a consecutive letter of the alphabet, in a fundraising challenge for the St Mary’s Charity of the Year for 2019, Youth Talk St Albans. Will’s three-day challenge began on Friday 12th July when he set off… Read more »

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Furneux Pelham Lead Theft

Lead roof at Furneux Pelham targeted twice by thieves

St Mary’s Church, Furneux Pelham, Hertfordshire is facing a six-figure repair bill after thieves targeted the lead roof twice in two days.  The thieves fled after being disturbed by a member of the local community on their second attempt, highlighting the importance of vigilance from near neighbours and congregations. The East Herts Rural Policing Team… Read more »

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Diocesan Synod hears about tackling Modern Slavery

***Modern Day Slavery Helpline – 08000 121700*** Note the number now June 2019’s Diocesan Synod heard a presentation about the Clewer Initiative, tackling modern day slavery, given by the Revd Kevin Woolmer and the Revd Atalie Gaines. You can hear the presentation here. The video which is shown at about 6 minutes into the presentation… Read more »

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Living Churchyards

Exposing the natural life in a churchyard: Conference

A conference funded by National Lottery players, on managing churchyards for the benefit of wildlife and communities will take place next month in Potton, Bedfordshire where the council-managed churchyard underwent just such a transformation in recent years. The Council achieved this with input from the Diocese of St Albans Living Churchyards project and the Vicar… Read more »

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#NewRevs

Meet the Deacons

On Sunday 30th June, 14 new deacons will be ordained at St Albans Cathedral.   Below they tell us a little about their background, call to ministry and the move to their new parishes.   Joshua Brocklesby is being ordained to the Parish of St Mary, Watford: “Before I started training, I was working for a… Read more »

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Alban Way Pilgrimage

St Albans Pilgrim Way launched by pilgrims at St Paul’s Cathedral

On Wednesday 19 June at midday, a giant 12-foot puppet of Britain’s first saint, St Alban, was joined by visitors and pilgrims outside St Paul’s Cathedral to launch a new walking pilgrimage route.  The sun shone as the pilgrims and puppets set off on their journey, though the weather turned as the party reached Regent’s… Read more »

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Beating Knives Peace Vigil

Luton Peace Vigil #BeatingKnives

Luton activists and faith communities gather to beat knife violence Visitors to Luton’s Mall on 18th June were among the first to encounter the ‘#BeatingKnives Peace Vigil’ passing through the shopping centre.  The vigil was one of only three similar events in the UK, the others being in East London and in Birmingham. Each is… Read more »

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Thy Kingdom Come Beacon Celebration

Thy Kingdom Come Beacon Celebration at St Albans Cathedral

In the atmosphere of expectation appropriate to Pentecost around 1000 people from around Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, Luton and north London, came together to celebrate Thy Kingdom Come’s ten-day wave of prayer for new disciples of Christ. The service was attended by people of many denominations, some coming with their churches and some independently, all joining… Read more »

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25 Years of Womens Ministry

Service marks 25th anniversary of women’s ordination as priests

This year is the 25th anniversary of women being ordained into the priesthood in the Church of England.  Although many want to celebrate, and indeed did, there was also a feeling of drawing to a close these reminders, so that women’s priestly ministry can just become priestly ministry. I perceived a tension in how to… Read more »

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Find ‘2018 in Focus’ in Alban Life

St Albans Diocese’s annual report for 2018 is contained in the pages of Alban Life’s Pentecost edition. The stories there provide a glimpse of the many and varied activities in our parishes, schools and chaplaincies, in pursuit of the vision to Live God’s Love. Our aim is to create flourishing Christ-centred communities inspiring people of… Read more »

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Aldenham School honours D-Day heroes

Two old boys from Aldenham School who were in Normandy 75 years ago today were remembered with gratitude at the school this morning, with school chaplain Revd Philip Green:    

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Tring Park win BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year

Hertfordshire school choir win BBC Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year 2019

Tring Park School for the Performing Arts have won the much-coveted BBC Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year 2019 competition for the second time in four years.  The final, which was aired on Sunday 2 June on BBC1, saw the Tring Park School Chamber Choir, also known as the Tring Park 16,… Read more »

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It’s Plastic Fantastic in Church!

Plastic credit or debit cards have been around a VERY long time; so much so we don’t think twice before tapping our card, smart phone or smart watch and moving on. Contactless payments have made these devices more usable than ever and 2017 was the first year that saw more plastic payments than cash payments… Read more »

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Could your church become an EcoChurch?

St Stephen’s with St Julian’s Church, St Albans have provided a week-long display during the St Albans’ Sustainability Festival 2019 about how they are making St Stephen’s more environmentally friendly: raising awareness of awareness of climate change, environment, pollution and cherishing their churchyard. St Stephen’s have been using the EcoChurch framework from A Rocha UK,… Read more »

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Bishop Richard Inwood, RIP – obituary

Obituary. A correspondent writes: AS THE congregation filed quietly into St John’s, Walton, in Chesterfield, for the Rt Revd Richard Inwood’s funeral last month, a series of photographs of Richard were being projected on to the wall of the church: Richard as a young schoolboy, as a student at Oxford, as a young priest, at his… Read more »

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Reactions to bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday

Prayers were offered and silences kept in churches across the diocese over the Easter weekend, following the shocking news from Sri Lanka of bombings of churches during their Easter Sunday services. Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, the Bishop of St Albans said: “I share the widespread horror that people feel about this atrocity. With… Read more »

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Rise in use of foodbanks “lamentable,” says Bishop

The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, said: “On the day after the Institute of Fiscal Studies has pointed out that 2 million claimants of Universal Credit will be at least £1000 a year worse off, the Trussell Trust has announced that the number of food parcel distributed over the last 5 years has… Read more »

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Fine weather and joyful singing on Easter Monday

Sunshine brought around 1300 pilgrims from all over Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire to St Albans Cathedral for this year’s Easter Monday Pilgrimage. There was a great spread of ages and people had travelled from all over the diocese to attend. Some were coming for the first time, some had attended for 40 or 50+ years of… Read more »

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Year 4 Passion Play at Stotfold

Tea towels are not just for Christmas! Passion Play in Stotfold, Bedfordshire

In a move that could prompt another bonanza for supermarket tea towel sales, The Rector of Stotfold, Bedfordshire has staged a Passion Play with Year 4 of the local primary school, St Mary’s Academy. The Rector, the Revd Bill Britt, has called it: ‘Oberammergau comes to Stotfold.’  The Passion Play at the school is in… Read more »

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Bishop Richard Inwood RIP

Bishop Richard Inwood RIP Obituary: A correspondent writes: AS THE congregation filed quietly into St John’s, Walton, in Chesterfield, for the Rt Revd Richard Inwood’s funeral last month, a series of photographs of Richard were being projected on to the wall of the church: Richard as a young schoolboy, as a student at Oxford, as… Read more »

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Bishop Alan: Proposed Gambling Enquiry will break the silence

The House of Lords may begin a lengthy and detailed enquiry into the social and economic consequences of the gambling industry if the recommendations of its Liaison Committee are approved by the House. In January 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith submitted a proposal for the House of Lords… Read more »

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Big Church Survey

The Big Church Survey is coming

Churches have asked how they can encourage people to grow in faith, discipleship and mission. The Big Church Survey has been developed to help, and it will be piloted with around 200 churches in the spring. The survey is easy to use, available in several accessible formats and will take people an average of five… Read more »

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Together: Brexit Prayer Initative

Brexit will be a cause of celebration for some and lament for others, but one thing is clear – we can no longer continue to define one other by how we voted in the referendum. The time has come for communities to come together to serve the common good, in our nation and in our… Read more »

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Bishops respond to NZ mosque attacks

Responding to news of the mosque attacks in New Zealand yesterday. the Bishops of The Diocese of St Albans have today made this statement: “Following the murderous and cowardly attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, NZ yesterday evening in which 49 people killed, we send our prayers and condolences to those who are grieving the… Read more »

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Kaitlin student at All Saints Academy Dunstable

Oxford success for Kaitlin at All Saints Academy, Dunstable

Last summer, Kaitlin, a Year 13 student at All Saints Academy, Dunstable, achieved 3 A*s at ‘A’ Level in English, History and Psychology. She had already been offered a place at Lancaster University to study Psychology.  After receiving the results, the Principal and Chair of Governors decided to make her an offer of employment at… Read more »

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Bishop Alan Smith speaking at General Synod

News from General Synod: February 2019

Some of the major debates and motions discussed at February’s General Synod were: Prayer for Political Leaders: Members voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York calling for every parish and diocese to hold their local MPs, politicians and the members of the Government and civil servants in their prayers…. Read more »

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Bedfordshire Police Community Cohesion Awards

Church Recognition at Police Community Cohesion Awards in Bedfordshire

There was recognition and appreciation for the work of a number of people and projects connected to the diocese at the Bedfordshire Police Community Cohesion Awards ceremony on Friday 1st February.  The awards scheme, now in its fifth year, was set up to celebrate and say thank you to individuals and organisations who go above… Read more »

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Bishop of St Albans comment on Shamina Begum

“This highly controversial and complex case touches on aspects of law and morality as well as politics and needs to be decided away from the spotlight. “The theological principle that I believe is most pertinent in this case is the Christian responsibility to protect the vulnerable. Clearly Shamina Begum’s new born baby is vulnerable and… Read more »

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New Chancellor welcomed

  The Bishop of St Albans welcomed Lyndsey de Mestre as the new Chancellor of St Albans Diocese during evensong on 9th February at St Albans Cathedral. In the same service, the bishop also bade farewell to outgoing Chancellor, Roger Kaye QC, admitting him to the Order of St Alban, “in recognition of his faithful… Read more »

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St Albans Pre-Lambeth Conference Hospitality Initiative: Can You Help?

The next Lambeth Conference will take place in Canterbury in the summer of 2020 – this is a ‘once-every-10 years or so’ meeting of all the bishops and their spouses from across the Anglican Communion. It is a unique opportunity in the life of the Church in England to get to meet and know the… Read more »

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The Flourishing Churches Team Grows

It is a great delight that the Flourishing Churches Team is growing, with the imminent arrival of Revd. Paul Davies, who is coming to the Diocese to be Priest at All Saints, Bedford and part-time Church Growth Officer in the Mission Department. Paul is no stranger to balancing a complex and challenging working life coming… Read more »

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St Albans Diocese’s ‘Living Churchyards Day’ wins National Lottery support

St Albans Diocese has received a National Lottery grant of £7,500 for an exciting heritage project which will spread good practice in managing churchyards for the benefit of wildlife and people A one day event, made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, will be held in Potton, Bedfordshire, in July 2019 to draw… Read more »

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Lent with New Daylight Bible Reading Notes

New Daylight is the Bible Reading Fellowship’s most popular series of Bible reading notes, with many thousands of devoted subscribers. Now, for the first time, BRF is breaking new ground with a special edition of New Daylight for Lent 2019. As well as daily reflections from some of the series’ best-loved writers, Lent with New… Read more »

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St Paul’s Church, St Albans church brings the Bible to life

St Paul’s Church, St Albans will be hosting an exhibition that brings the Bible to life for people of all ages.  The free ‘Bible comes to life’ exhibition will be at the church over the weekend Friday February 1st to Monday February 4th.  It features interactive and multi-sensory displays, with large models, fascinating artefacts and talks delivered… Read more »

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The Church of the Ascension Cadenabbia Lake Como Italy

Should you be considering a trip to Italy and to the region of Lake Como you might like to consider calling in on the Church of the Ascension at Cadenabbia, (immediately opposite Bellagio), on Lake Como. The Church is open daily and their regular Sunday Morning Service in English is at 10.30am to which all… Read more »

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Colin Bird Elected DBF Chair

St Albans Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF) has elected Colin Bird as Chair, following the retirement of Canon David Nye after ten years’ service. The DBF, with the Bishop’s Council, forms the trustee body of the Diocese of St Albans. Speaking about his election, Colin said: “I feel privileged to be able to serve as… Read more »

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Archdeacon’s farewell fills church with people from every corner

The Archdeacon of Bedford, The Venerable Paul Hughes, took his leave from the Diocese of St Albans on his retirement in a farewell service on Saturday (12th January). The Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire and the High Sheriff were both present. A packed service at St Paul’s Church, Bedford, drew people from every part of his… Read more »

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Bishop’s Christmas Sermon: Let us open our doors to others

Luke 2. 1-14St Albans Abbey Christmas Sermon 2018 Last week the town of Redbourn, just five miles up the road, hit the national press. Rather than making do with the traditional cardboard Advent Calendars, the good folk of Redbourn had greater aspirations. They organised a Living Advent Calendar. On each of the first 24 days of December at 6.15pm there was a surprise event which took place… Read more »

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Community gathers round after devastating fire at Royston church

Revd Heidi Huntley and team from St John the Baptist Church receive gift cards and a trolley dash around Tesco to replace the toddler group toys Church, community and emergency services have rallied to the support of St John’s Church Royston, following a devastating fire during the night of 8th/9th December. The alarm was raised… Read more »

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Significant Roman finds under St Michael’s Primary School’s new extension

A new extension to St Michael’s Primary School, St Albans, is now complete.  The opening celebrations were led by the Bishop of St Albans on Tuesday November 27th with a service in St Michael’s Church followed by a tour of the new facilities for invited guests.  Two new classrooms, a new entrance porch and significant internal… Read more »

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Thirst after Righteousness: Rector and Publican in Charity Job Swap

Canon John Williams, Team Rector of Hemel Hempstead and Ben Satchfield, proprietor of the Olde Kings Arms, Hemel Hempstead, opposite St Mary’s Church, took part in a job swap on Sunday 25th November.   John worked a two-hour shift at the pub, pulling pints and serving during a busy lunchtime shift, and Ben gave an address at the Sunday Eucharist at… Read more »

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Pilgrimage

This article first appeared in issue 1 of Alban Life  (December 2018) – a quarterly printed magazine which is distributed to all parishes in the diocese.  Click here to read more articles from the ‘Alban Bites’ blog. Earlier this year millions of TV viewers watched as seven well-known people embarked on what was billed as “a… Read more »

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Do you take cards? Contactless donation units for churches

You can take your church collection by contactless card this Christmas! As less and less people carry cash, it’s becoming increasingly important for parishes to look at alternative ways to receive donations. There is a new category on the Parish Buying website to help churches consider the different types of contactless machine. Alongside small hand-held… Read more »

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Candlelit Stillness in Berkhamsted: an oasis of peace on the high street

Photo credit: Colin Drake St Peter’s Church, Berkhamsted held a Candlelit Stillness event on Sunday 25th November, to coincide with Berkhamsted’s big lights switch-on event, the Festival of Light. The church looked stunning with over 1,000 candles and tealights flickering, and visitors were given the opportunity to light a candle and take a few minutes… Read more »

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A prayer for Brexit by the Revd Peter Crumpler

Light of the World, Lord of the Nations, We turn to you at this crucial time in the life of the land that we love. Grant our leaders wisdom, Bring our politicians insight. Help them to work together To serve all the people of this land. Let calm surround their discussions, And mutual respect shine… Read more »

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Hoddesdon Church opening following shooting

Following a shooting near Rye Park, the Vicar of St Cuthbert’s Church, the Revd Nick Sharp, says: “As soon as the Police cordon is lifted, we plan to have the St Cuthbert’s Church (Rye Park) available for quiet prayer, and to have people available for anyone who wants to drop in and talk. We are… Read more »

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Registrar to leave for senior post in Church in Wales

The Registrar to St Albans Diocese, Matthew Chinery, has been appointed to the post of Head of Legal Services in the Church in Wales. Matthew will take up his new post in Spring 2019. Matthew has been Registrar to St Albans Diocese since 2015 and has also been Registrar to Chichester Diocese since 2013. Speaking… Read more »

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Next Archdeacon of Bedford

18/11/2018 The next Archdeacon of Bedford is to be the Revd Canon Dave Middlebrook, currently Vicar of the thriving St Luke’s Church, Watford. He will be one of three archdeacons in the 1100 square miles of the Diocese of St Albans. Their role is popularly and historically described as being ‘the eyes and ears of… Read more »

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Lyndsey de Mestre QC appointed Diocesan Chancellor

The Lord Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith has appointed Lyndsey de Mestre, QC to be Diocesan Chancellor. The Chancellor is the judge of the consistory court of the diocese, which rules on matters of ecclesiastical law in the diocese, chiefly changes to church buildings. Welcoming Chancellor de Mestre to her… Read more »

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Celebrating Holy Communion – in Farsi (Persian)

To celebrate the translation of the Common Worship service of Holy Communion into Farsi, there will be a service held in Wakefield Cathedral to which people from across the country are invited. Of particular interest to places where there is a Farsi-speaking congregation, the service takes place on Saturday 2nd March 2019. See the invitation… Read more »

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The Bamboo Effect – Encouraging Mental & Emotional Resilience

How can the Church provide spaces where our young people develop the ability to manage and reduce their stress and anxiety levels? How do we actively create culture which is an antidote to the driven, stressful world we all live in? How is our faith a radical way to encourage a generation of mentally and… Read more »

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Dedication of Eversholt’s Restored Bells

Bishop Alan led a service of dedication for the returned and re-hung bells at St John the Baptist Church, Eversholt on Saturday 6th October.  The restoration of the bells was supported by the Bedfordshire Association of Church Bell Ringers Restoration Fund and Luton District’s Belfry Repair Fund. Bishop Alan is pictured above with Revd Stephen… Read more »

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Community Crafters join Poppy Production Line in Sawbridgeworth

A team of craftspeople have been working on a poppy production line to create a stunning ‘poppy fall’ for the Memorial altar in Great St Mary’s Church, Sawbridgeworth. The talented team included members of the Great St Mary’s congregation alongside others from Hailey Centre for older people in Sawbridgeworth. The completed ‘poppy fall’ will sit… Read more »

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St Leonard’s Church Flamstead wins National Lottery support

St Leonard’s Church, Flamstead has received initial National Lottery support for its “Living Histories, Lasting Journeys” project.  The project aims to protect and share the valuable heritage of this 12th century church for generations to come.  12 months of structural repairs are planned to start in 2020, in parallel with an exciting programme to involve… Read more »

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Top Tips on Roof Security in the light of “one of the worst church lead thefts in recent years”

The news of the theft of 20 tonnes of lead from All Saints Church, Houghton Conquest, a Grade 1 listed church near Bedford, has been widely reported across national media, as one of the worst church lead thefts in recent years.  Replacing the lead and repairing damage caused by the theft is likely to cost… Read more »

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‘Alban Life’ Magazine is coming to St Albans Diocese

Named after our founding saint, St Alban, Alban Life is a new quarterly printed magazine for the people of St Albans Diocese. To be published at Advent, Lent, Pentecost and Harvest, each edition will give you 28 pages of encouraging, informing and inspiring stories about current issues and themes relevant to the life of people… Read more »

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TV Documentary on transforming work of Christians Against Poverty

‘The Debt Saviours’ is a BBC2 documentary featuring the work of Christians Against Poverty with people in debt. There are stories of lives transformed  It will be broadcast on Friday October 5th at 9pm (on BBC2) Churches are encouraged to pray for the broadcast of the programme and its effects and encourage personal prayer. Pray… Read more »

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Archdeacon Paul to retire at year end

Farewell service: Saturday 12th January at St Paul’s Bedford at 4pm. All are welcome After a ministry spanning 36 years as curate, Vicar and Archdeacon, the Venerable Paul Hughes, Archdeacon of Bedford since 2003, has announced that he will retire on 31st December 2018. During his time as Archdeacon he has served the hundred or so… Read more »

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Licensed and ordained this summer

Readers – 17 June 2018 Deacons – 1 July 2018 Priests  – 30 June 2018

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Card readers for parishes special offer ending

Start taking card payments in your church. As fewer and fewer people carry cash, it’s becoming important for parishes to look at alternative ways to receive money. The company SumUp are kindly offering CofE organisations their Air Card Reader for just £19, and new joiners will get 0% fees for up to £250 of transactions… Read more »

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Order of St Alban recognises years of service

The Bishop of St Albans has recognised several decades of service given by four people, two from Bedfordshire, one from Luton and one from St Albans, with the award of ‘The Order of St Alban.’The four recipients, supported by friends and family and contingents from their churches were Helen Hutchison, Hannah Potter, Clive Richardson and… Read more »

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Safe Car Wash App Launched

Drivers urged to join information-gathering effort against modern slavery in hand car washes For immediate release  4.6.18 – released by the Church of England Drivers are being encouraged to join an unprecedented national information-gathering campaign launched by the Church of England  and the Catholic Church in England and Wales  aimed at eradicating  modern slavery in hand car washes. Anti-slavery campaigners and other key agencies, including the police and… Read more »

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Fixed Odds Betting Terminals: £2 maximum stake is ‘right decision’, says bishop

ABOVE: The Bishop of St Albans speaking in response to the Government’s announcement on 17th May The Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith, has welcomed Government plans to limit the maximum stake on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) to £2. Dr Alan Smith said the decision was an “essential” step in curbing the harm done by… Read more »

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Archbishop’s Prayer for Syria

The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued the following prayer for Syria: Lord of all power and might, wisdom and love, You gave your only Son to live with the suffering and poor, to die for our sins and rise from the dead so that we may live. In your hands justice is perfect, and mercy… Read more »

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Card Payments in Churches

Parish Buying Scheme For more information on how to get a card reader see the Parish Buying article here.  News from the Church of England The Church of England has announced that it is making contactless, virtual terminal, and SMS mobile payments available throughout England, in a bid to make transactions faster and easier for the… Read more »

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Bishop pays tribute to the Revd Billy Graham

Speaking following the news of the death of Billy Graham, The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, said: “I join millions of others mourning the loss of Billy Graham and giving thanks for his life and ministry. He always demonstrated his passionate conviction that Christian faith was too good to keep to oneself with… Read more »

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Safeguarding Audit published

An independent audit of safeguarding arrangements in the Church of England Diocese of St Albans strikes a positive note about safeguarding in the Diocese. It has affirmed the commitment shown to safeguarding by the Bishop and his senior staff in the diocese. The independent review was carried out by the Social Care Institute for Excellence… Read more »

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Bishop’s Bill to Put Mothers’ Names on Marriage Certificates Passes First Stage

A move to end the “historic injustice” of excluding mothers’ names from marriage certificates has passed its first parliamentary stage in a Private Members’ Bill brought by the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith. The bill, which also includes provision to modernise registration with electronic registers, received its Second reading in the House of… Read more »

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Covenant signing in Sweden

Bishop Alan visited the Diocese of Linköping, in Sweden to sign the covenant the two dioceses, Linköping and St Albans, on 21 January 2018. The sermon he preached on that occasion can be read here. Just as when the covenant was signed at St Albans Diocesan Synod in October 2017, Bishop Alan referred in the… Read more »

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The Bishop of St Albans’ New Year Message 2018

HEAR Bishop Alan speaking on Three Counties Radio on New Year’s Eve about looking back and looking forward (opens in new tab) The Bishop of St Albans message for the start of 2018 provides a message of hope for the start of the year. It recalls the opening words of the uplifting and inspiring poem of Mary… Read more »

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Bethlehem had no walls for centuries; why are we building them?

READ: the whole sermon here In his Christmas sermon at St Albans Cathedral, the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, will speak about modern political leaders’ predilection for wall-building. He will contrast this with the good news of the Christmas story, in which the birth of Jesus seeks to bring people together, rather than build walls which separate. In… Read more »

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How are you spending this Christmas?

The Bishop of St Albans Christmas Message 2017 Deck the aisles with tinsel and turkey! This year’s Christmas ads are out! John Lewis’s wants to end your fears of monsters under the bed, Tesco’s says it makes everyone welcome and Marks and Spencer’s shows a life-changing encounter between Paddington Bear and a burglar he mistakes… Read more »

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Mothers’ Union gets behind ’16 Days of Activism’

St Albans Diocese Mothers’ Union has got behind the ’16 days of activism against gender-based violence’ which runs until 10th December. An all-day meeting drew more than 100 people from all over the diocese to hear Nicola Lawrence, Head of Development and Policy for the Mothers’ Union, speak movingly about the various forms of gender-based… Read more »

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Five New Canons

During evensong at St Albans Cathedral on November 11th 2017, the following were installed as Honorary Canons in St Albans Cathedral: Left to right: The Revd Canon Steven Liley, Rural Dean of  Sharnbrook and Vicar in the benefice of Clapham. The Revd Canon Ruth Pyke, Rector of the benefice of Barkway, Barley, Reed and Buckland…. Read more »

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Church Resources for Parliament Week

Parliament week (13-19 November) is a programme of events and activities that connects people with the UK Parliament and democracy. There is something for everyone: whether you attend or organise an event or simply take part in conversation online @YourUKParl. Resources for churches have been produced which major on themes of service and participation and also… Read more »

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Bishop speaks ahead of Government’s review of gambling stakes

Speaking ahead of the publication of the Government’s review of maximum stakes for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, (FOBTs) the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, said: “I remain deeply concerned that if the Government recommends a higher maximum stake than £2, this will not go far enough to address the harm these machines cause… Read more »

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Statement about the late Bishop Hubert Whitsey

The Church of England has been supporting the police on an investigation into allegations of sexual offences against children and adults by the late Bishop Hubert (Victor) Whitsey. The allegations date from 1974 onwards when he was Bishop of Chester and while he was retired and living in Blackburn diocese. Bishop Whitsey also served in this… Read more »

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Bishop’s concern about Monarch Airlines collapse

The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, has spoken about the collapse of Monarch Airlines. He said: ‘The news of the collapse of parts of Monarch’s business has come as a shock, and my prayers and concern are for those whose jobs and livelihoods are now at risk, as well as for those whose travel… Read more »

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Airport Chaplaincy comments on Monarch Airlines

The Chaplaincy Team at London Luton Airport is saddened by the announcement yesterday that Monarch Airlines has gone into administration. Monarch Airlines has an almost 50 year relationship with London Luton Airport and the Chaplaincy Team has been visiting its staff in and around the airport for the past 30 years. We have been in… Read more »

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Renewed link with Diocese of Linköping

Bishop Alan and the Bishop of Linköping, Bishop Michael Modeus, signed the covenant between the two dioceses for a further five years at Diocesan Synod on 30 September 2017. Hear Bishop Martin’s address to Synod.  

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Caribbean Bishop’s news of Devastation

The Bishop of St Albans has received the following letter from Bishop Errol, Bishop of North East Caribbean and Aruba following hurricane activity affecting Aruba and Domenica. Money collected in the Diocese of St Albans has already been sent to the Caribbean, but more is needed and the Bishop’s Appeal for funds for relief in… Read more »

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A Church learning to grow

Around 100 people from 26 of our benefices are attending the conference Leading Your Church into Growth. Training is being delivered by a fantastic team from a number of dioceses and from a range of different contexts and traditions.  Subjects we’ve covered have included Committing Ourselves to Growth, Developing a Community of Invitation, Welcome and… Read more »

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Prayer for the Hurricane Victims in the Caribbean

Gracious and loving God, We hold before you all those in the path of Hurricane Irma, In particular, Bishop Errol and our link Diocese of North-East Caribbean and Aruba. We pray for the bereaved, the injured and the many displaced from their homes; for all who are fearful and distressed; for congregations whose churches have… Read more »

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Urgent Appeal for Hurricane Victims

Bishop Alan has issued this urgent message for parishes in St Albans Diocese, this morning, 8th September. “You will have seen reports in the media about Hurricane Irma and the devastation caused across the Caribbean which has badly affected parts of our companion diocese of North East Caribbean and Aruba, in particular the islands of… Read more »

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Back to where it all began for one couple

It wasn’t just any Sunday when Simon and Louise Moore decided they would worship at St Paul’s Church, St Albans on the last Sunday in July, 2017. It was the last Sunday before they departed for a new life in St Helen’s, Merseyside. They choose St Paul’s because, in Simon’s words, he had survived three… Read more »

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Bishop tastes New Wine

The Bishop of Bedford visited New Wine on 24th July 2017 during their ‘United 2017’ week away equipping local churches. He said: “Greeted by  John Hookway (Vicar of Christ Church Ware), now the local Regional Director for New Wine, I had the welcome opportunity to both experience a taste of New Wine and to catch… Read more »

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Thousands Join the Alban Pilgrimage 2017

(photos by Arun Kataria, Patricia Kataria, Richard Gillin) Thousands of people took to the streets of St Albans on Saturday to join the Alban Pilgrimage procession, celebrating Britain’s first saint, Alban.  The spectacular event attracted all ages as giant puppets retold Alban’s dramatic story. The event engaged the local community with hundreds of local children… Read more »

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Dennis Yates RIP

The Diocese of St Albans has learnt with sadness of the death of Dennis Yates. Dennis Yates was Diocesan Secretary from 1966 until the end of 1989, when he retired. He was made a Lay Canon of St Albans Cathedral in 1977 He died on 23rd May, aged 87. A requiem Mass will be held… Read more »

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Finding Hope after Manchester

(This article reproduces the message given by Bishop Richard at the Luton Vigil for the victims of the Manchester bombing) This is written in the immediate aftermath of the horrific bomb blast in Manchester, and the murder and maiming of so many people, especially the young. At times such as this, most ask the question:… Read more »

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Prayers for Manchester and London

After recent terrorist attacks and the fire disaster: O Lord our God, source of all goodness and love, accept the fervent prayers of your people; in the multitude of your mercies look with compassion upon all who turn to you for help; for you are gracious, O lover of souls, and to you we give… Read more »

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Archbishops’ Election Letter to Parishes

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written a pastoral letter to parishes and chaplaincies of the Church of England concerning the General Election on 8th June. They have asked that it receives as wide a circulation to all parishes and chaplaincies. Click the links below to read or download a copy. Read a copy here…. Read more »

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Bishop’s pastoral letter re 2017 General Election

Dear Colleagues, We were all taken by surprise by the Prime Minister’s decision to call for a General Election which will take place on 8th June. I am sure that most of you will already be thinking and praying about our role in the election and the way we, as Christian leaders, can play our part…. Read more »

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Bishop of St Alban’s Easter Message 2017

The events of the first Easter were characterised by surprise and joy, despite the fact that they took place amidst suffering and death. A century ago, three appalling genocides were taking place within the Ottoman Empire (which ruled over parts of South-eastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa). The focus of the killing was its… Read more »

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Prayer for International Women’s Day

God our Creator, you have built up your Church through the love and devotion of women everywhere: inspire us to follow their great example that we may with them share in the vision of your glory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, Amen. Christian Aid has also released prayers here  

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Bishop on Vauxhall: I will be watching closely with the people of Luton

Above:Bishop Alan at Vauxhall’s Luton plant in 2009 The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith has commented on the sale of Vauxhall to PSA Peugeot Citroen. He said: “Vauxhall is a vital part of Luton’s economy. The managers and workers have a strong track record as a flexible and highly efficient business. In the light… Read more »

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Ash Wednesday – share your stories

Ash Wednesday, 1 March, is the day when Lent begins, the forty-day period of fasting and preparation for the joy of Easter, when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. The Rector of Bushey, Fr Neil Kelley was at Bushey Station very early on Ash Wednesday morning offering people a chance to mark the beginning of… Read more »

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Alleged computer misuse: St Mary’s Baldock 2010

The Diocese of St Albans Safeguarding Adviser, Mr Jeremy Hirst, has conducted an investigation into alleged computer misuse at St Mary’s Baldock, in 2010. The Diocese has co-operated fully with the Police over this investigation. The findings of this investigation are published below. The Bishop of Hertford, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Beasley, who received… Read more »

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Three Bishops respond after Synod sexuality debate

Dear Friends in Christ Last week’s meeting of General Synod addressed a wide range of issues, such as the role of lay people, problem gambling, wedding banns and pensions. However, the main focus of the synod was undoubtedly the debate on the House of Bishops’ paper on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations. You… Read more »

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Bishop of St Albans on ending of child asylum admissions

The Bishop of St Albans didn’t get the chance to respond to the Government statement in the House of Lords announcing an end to child asylum admissions under the Dubs amendment. Here’s what he’d planned to say: “My Lords, I join with many in this House, and indeed many of my colleagues on these benches,… Read more »

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William Harvey Research Institute hosts Church of England clergy visits

Ten Church of England vicars have visited the William Harvey Research Institute this week to experience clinical and genomic research at first hand. These visits form part of a national initiative to help scientists and faith leaders engage in dialogue and enhance understanding of ethical issues in medicine. The Reverend Professor Nick Goulding, Professor of… Read more »

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Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations

Last Friday the House of Bishops published a report Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations. This comes after a two year process of talking and listening which involved many people from this diocese, sometimes at great personal cost. I want to thank all those who have shared honestly about themselves during this… Read more »

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Holocaust Survivor spoke at Hertfordshire Holocaust Memorial Day

Hertfordshire SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education) hosted their annual Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration on  Tuesday, 24th January. Holocaust Memorial Day is celebrated nationally on 27th January Their guest speaker,  born into a family of 11, was Ivor Perl BEM (right). He  was just 12 years old when he and his family were transported… Read more »

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Free book on growing churches

The Director of Mission will give a free copy of a new book to clergy in St Albans Diocese, on request. The book is ‘Going for Growth,’ by Jeffrey John, the Dean of St Albans, and is a strategy for growth for smaller parishes in the central and catholic traditions. The book contains a straightforward,… Read more »

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The Revd Dr Mike Ovey RIP

Oak Hill Theological College, based in the Diocese of St Albans, has announced the sudden and unexpected death of its Principal, the Revd Dr Mike Ovey. Dr Ovey died on Saturday, 7th January. He was 58. He leaves a wife Heather and three children, Charlie,Harry, and Ana. Bishop Alan said: “Mike Ovey was not only a… Read more »

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New Year Message from the Bishop of St Albans: We can make a better world

Whilst for many of us 2016 has been a good year, for others it has been difficult and challenging. The refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria have had a harrowing time and many have died.  In Yemen, the ‘forgotten famine’ has left seven million people near to starvation. The photos of emaciated babies and… Read more »

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Make room for Christ this Christmas

Bishop of St Albans Christmas Sermon St Albans Cathedral – 25.12.2016 A few years ago I had eighteen members of the family staying for Christmas. My brothers, sister and mother arrived with children in tow, several of whom had brought musical instruments. My wacky sister was determined that we would go out carol singing. I… Read more »

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Bishop of St Albans’ Christmas Message: Entering into the real spirit of Christmas

People have many words to describe their babies, some kindlier than others, some just meaning baby, some quite different, some tongue in cheek. There’s cherub, nipper, bairn, brat, imp. I’ll stop there. Earlier this year I spent some time with a young couple who had just had their first baby – a little boy they… Read more »

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Sleepout 2016’s two degree night

The 23rd Sleepout at St Albans Abbey overnight on Friday 2nd December drew over 330 sleepers raising money for eleven charities across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. They joined the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of St Albans and the MP for South West Beds Andrew Selous. The Mayors of Stevenage and Berkhamsted were also present earlier in… Read more »

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The Revd Sarah Eynstone RIP

The Diocese has learnt with sorrow of the sudden and unexpected death of the Revd Sarah Eynstone, Team Vicar in the Tring Team Ministry with responsibility for Aldbury. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, has paid tribute to her: “I was deeply saddened to hear of the sudden death of… Read more »

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Three New Canons

The Ven Janet Mackenzie, the Revd Jane Hatton and the Revd Mike Pilavachi were installed as Canons of St Albans Cathedral on Saturday, 19th November. Archdeacon Janet was recently collated as Archdeacon of Hertford and Archdeacons in St Albans Diocese are also appointed as Canons of the Cathedral. Honorary Canonries are appointed for distinguished service of… Read more »

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#JoytotheWorld this Christmas

**NEW** 18 November – A page of resources from the Church of England to help people find your Christmas Services has been published here   Upload service details: On 1 December a new website will go live, inviting people across the country to attend local parish services at Christmas. Parishes can visit: www.AChristmasNearYou.org/upload from NOW and complete a simple form… Read more »

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Taizé Youth Pilgrimage video released

A video about the 2016 Taizé Youth Pilgrimage has been released. In it are the reflections of many of the young pilgrims about what they had got out of their time on the Pilgrimage, going deeper into God. 2017 pilgrimage dates: Saturday 22 July – Monday 31 July. Click here for details.

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Co-Chairs comment on Inter Faith Week

The Co-Chairs of the Inter Faith Network for the UK, The Rt Revd Richard Atkinson OBE and Mr Jatinder Singh Birdi, said: “In all the nations of the UK this coming week an amazing array of events will be taking place to showcase the way in which faith and belief groups are making their contribution to… Read more »

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Prayer for Remembrance

The Church of England has released the following prayer and video for Remembrance

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New Benefice

The joining of the parish of Aston with the benefice of Bramfield Stapleford, Waterford and Watton at Stone in the diocese of St Albans (now informally known as the Beane Valley Benefice) was celebrated in a packed All Saints-tide service led by the new Archdeacon of Hertford the Revd Janet Mackenzie followed by cake and… Read more »

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Anglican – Methodist Covenant: Champions Sought

The Bishop of Liverpool, The Rt Revd Paul Bayes,  Lead Bishop on the Methodist-Anglican Panel for Unity in Mission, writes: “The Church of England and the Methodist Church in Britain have been in Covenant relationship for many years now. This Covenant is enabling us to work closely together on the ground, and also to address… Read more »

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‘Becoming Reverend, A Diary,’

Matt Woodcock’s frank, funny real-life diaries reveal what it was like for him to train as a vicar while struggling against all odds to become a father. In them he lays bare his joys and struggles as he attempts to reconcile his calling as a vicar with his life as a party-loving journalist, footy-freak and… Read more »

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Special guest at installation

The Revd David Short was until recently curate-in-training at Christ Church Chorleywood. He left to take up a post in Oxford Diocese. The Prime Minister was an extra-special guest among the 220 people who came to his licensing and installation as Vicar of St Peter’s and St Mark’s Maidenhead. Maidenhead is the Prime Minister’s Parliamentary constituency. The Bishop… Read more »

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Bishop responds to BBC Panorama

The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, has responded to Panorama’s programme: “Why are Gambling Machines Addictive?” He said: “Wendy Bendel and the Panorama team have done an exceptional job in highlighting the very real dangers that gambling machines pose to those at risk of gambling related harm. While the betting industry continues… Read more »

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Vicars seeking invitations to science labs in bid to reacquaint science and religion

A new project, in St Albans Diocese: ‘Take your Vicar to the Lab,’ aims to promote healthier co-existence between religion and science and deepen peoples’ appreciation of both. Although not all scientific endeavour is in a lab and the work of clergy takes place outside a church too, the project will seek invitations for clergy… Read more »

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New Archdeacon of Hertford’s Ministry Begins in Stevenage

The Revd Janet Mackenzie became The Venerable Janet Mackenzie on 6th September when she was ‘collated’ as the Archdeacon of Hertford, a member of the senior clergy in St Albans Diocese and the most senior woman in ministry in the diocese. The service of collation, led by the Bishop of St Albans at St Andrew’s… Read more »

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Prayer for those awaiting exam results

As thousands of students across the country await exam results that will determine the next stage in their life’s development, the Church of England has issued a prayer to support them through the anxious moments of waiting. The prayer, written by a gap-year student when receiving her own results was still fresh in her mind,… Read more »

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Safety in church

Here is the text of a letter sent by Bishop Alan today, 28th July to clergy and Readers in St Albans Diocese: “I know you will be joining me in praying for Fr Jacques Hamel and the others injured in Tuesday’s terrorist attack near Rouen. We also pray for the safety and unimpeded ministry of… Read more »

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The Rt Revd Randolph George, RIP

The Diocese of Guyana has announced the death of its former bishop, the Rt Revd Randolph Oswald George, on 18 July at the age of 92. He was Bishop of Guyana from 1980 until 2009, when he was succeeded by the late Bishop Jerome Cornell Moss. The Diocese of Guyana is linked with the Diocese… Read more »

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A Prayer for Nice

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Fr David Warner is @OurCofe

Father David Warner, Curate at St Lawrence,  Abbots’ Langley, soon to be Vicar of Moistly in the Diocese of Manchester, is taking on the Church of England Twitter diary, “Our Cofe,” from today, Monday 11th July, for a week. David (@DavidWarner) has already tweeted information about the parish where he is curate: “The parish is the… Read more »

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New Archdeacon’s Collation date

The date for the next Archdeacon of Hertford’s collation has been announced. The Revd Janet Mackenzie will be collated as Archdeacon of Hertford on Tuesday,  at 7:30pm  6th September, at St Andrew and St George’s Church, Stevenage. All are welcome. Clergy who wish to robe are asked to wear cassock, surplice and black scarf. ends

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New Deacons and Priests

Eleven priests (above) and sixteen deacons (below) began ministries in St Albans Diocese on July 2nd and 3rd,  to serve in 15 of the diocese’s 20 deaneries. The diocese’s ministry strategy, to increase the number and geographical and age spread of curates in training is bearing fruit. There is also a desire to see more vocations to Reader… Read more »

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Archdeacon of Hertford’s Retirement

  This weekend, July 2/3, will see the ordination of new deacons and priests for the Diocese of St Albans and the moments of the Archdeacon of Hertford’s public ministry. Last Saturday the Diocese of St Albans said farewell to Archdeacon Trevor and his wife Sue at Evensong in All Saints Church, Hertford. In a packed church,… Read more »

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Bishop of St Albans responds to EU result

The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, has issued this statement following the EU Referendum: “The people of this nation have spoken, although the referendum has also highlighted the deep divisions that exist in our country. We must now move forward together. However, healing the divisions will require an acknowledgement that… Read more »

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A prayer following the EU Referendum

The Church of England has released these prayer resources following the EU Referendum yesterday, 23rd June. Also available as pdf A prayer following the result of the EU Referendum Eternal God, Light of the nations, in Christ you make all things new: guide our nation in the coming days through the inspiration of your Spirit,… Read more »

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Mothers Union Worldwide President’s visit

Mothers’ Union Worldwide President,  Lynne Tembey, visited St Albans Diocese from 14-16th June. During her brief time in the diocese, she met the Mayor of Stevenage, visited Yarlswood Detention Centre, spent time with Flitwick Deanery and with the Bishop of Bedford and met past and present MU Diocesan Presidents at St Albans Cathedral. She says… Read more »

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Betting Licences Bill: tackling gambling-related harm on the High Street

The Bishop of St Albans’ Private Member’s ‘Betting Licenses Bill’  received a First Reading in the House of Lords on Monday, 13th June. The Bill seeks to correct an anomaly which limits Local Authorities’ powers in relation to Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs). The Bishop, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, describes this anomaly as… Read more »

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New Readers licensed

The Bishop of Hertford, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Beasley admitted and licensed seven new Readers and licensed a further two incoming Readers  for ministry in St Albans Diocese on 12th June 2016. In his sermon he preached on a text of St Paul and spoke of the Body of Christ being made of many… Read more »

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Bishops’ message to Muslim communities for Ramadan

The Bishops of Bedford and Hertford have sent a message to Muslim communities in the Diocese of St Albans for the month of Ramadan: “It is with deep love and regard for you, our Muslim friends and neighbours, that we send our blessings as you begin your fasting and prayers during the month of Ramadan…. Read more »

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Bishop John Taylor RIP

UPDATE – Bishop John’s Funeral Sevice will take place at 2pm on 16th June in St Albans Cathedral* ARCHDEACON’S tribute on BBC Three Counties Radio: listen It is with great sadness that we announce that Bishop John Taylor died peacefully in his sleep, yesterday evening, 1 June 2016,  at the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted. Bishop… Read more »

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Bishop Alan tables Private Member’s Bill

The Bishop of St Albans tabled a Bill in the House of Lords on 18th May which would help local authorities to better protect vulnerable people from the potential harm caused by Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. The Betting Licences (Category B2 Gaming Machines) Bill was entered into the House of Lords’ Private Members ballot. First… Read more »

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Rowan Williams visits Cathedral for Christian Aid Week

Former Archbishop Lord Rowan Williams preached at St Albans Cathedral on Sunday,May 15th,  to mark Pentecost and the start of this year’s Christian Aid Week. More photos and article below. Lord Williams, Chair of Christian Aid, spoke about the importance of sharing what we have with others, as we live in one world and share… Read more »

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Four new Honorary Canons

On Saturday 7 May, four new Honorary Canons of the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Albans were installed at Evensong in the Cathedral: The Revd Lindsay Dew, Rural Dean of Biggleswade and Rector of Dunton with Wrestlingworth and Eyeworth (far right) The Revd Peter Wadsworth, Vicar of St Saviour, St Albans (far left) Mrs… Read more »

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Next Archdeacon of Hertford

The Bishop of St Albans, has appointed the Revd Janet Mackenzie, to be the next Archdeacon of Hertford, in succession to the Venerable Dr Trevor Jones, who retires this summer. Janet is currently the Vicar of St Augustine of Canterbury, Luton. Following a career in education, Janet was ordained in St Albans Diocese in 2006… Read more »

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The Dean’s Sermon for Easter Sunday 2016

There is an American company with agents in the UK which offers to sell you immortality by freezing your body after death. The process is called ‘Cryonics’. For around £100,000, they promise to get to you within a couple of hours after you die, with ice packs and big syringes to pump you full of… Read more »

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Bishop encourages Christians to engage with Europe debate

Bishop Alan’s call for a more generous debate about membership of the EU calling much of the current debate “mean spirited and narrow minded,” has been reported in the Observer, today, Easter Day (27/3). He recalls the birth of the EU out of the search for peace after two world wars and there many of the… Read more »

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Churches and charities warned about ransomware

The Charity Commission issued an alert on 11 March 2016, as regulatory advice to trustees, warning them of online extortion or ‘ransom’ demands currently affecting UK businesses. Charities could also be vulnerable to attack and so are encouraged to be vigilant. What to look out for: a number of businesses throughout the UK have received… Read more »

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Bishop welcomes decision on Sunday trading

Following the vote in the House of Commons this evening (9/3/16), the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, who speaks in the House of Lords on economic affairs as a Lord Spiritual, issued the following statement: “MPs have listened to the concerns of the many people, community groups and businesses opposed… Read more »

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Ecumenical letter on Sunday Trading Deregulation

SIR – As leaders of Christian communities England and Wales, we oppose the government’s plans to further deregulate Sunday Trading laws. The current Sunday Trading arrangements offer a balance between consumer needs and the wider health of local communities. They make space for shopping, while preserving the common leisure time essential for family life and… Read more »

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Bishop’s letter on Mental Health

The following letter was published in ‘The Observer’, 21 February 2016 SIR – I welcome the Prime Minister’s initiative on mental health care, but I am puzzled why the Government at the same time wants to cut out-of-work benefits to those with mental health problems. Before Christmas, the House of Lords voted to remove two… Read more »

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Hertfordshire pupil wins national ‘Queen’s 90th’ competition

The winner of a Church school competition to design a logo for the Church of England’s celebrations in honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday has been announced. The logo, designed by Lucas Salinger, aged 10, from Potten End C of E Primary School in Hertfordshire, was picked from over 1000 entries. Lucas, whose… Read more »

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Bedford Clergy visit neighbour – in giant hangar

There was much ‘episcopcal excitement,’ as Linda, his PA put it, when the Bishop of Bedford was invited to visit Airlander. He took her, the clergy from Bedford Deanery and the Dioesan Communications Officer to join him. Apart from being a highly innovative project creating a hybrid aircraft that is helicopter-cum-aeroplane-cum-ballooon, the project is sited… Read more »

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Statement on Government plans to extend Sunday trading

The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Rev Dr Alan Smith, has responded on behalf of the Church of England to the announcement by Business Secretary Sajid Javid that a Commons amendment will be tabled to the Enterprise Bill to devolve the extension of Sunday trading hours. Dr Smith said: “In its submission to the Government’s… Read more »

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Archdeacon of Hertford to retire in late 2016

The Venerable Dr Trevor Jones, the first Archdeacon of Hertford, is to retire on 31 August, the Diocese of St Albans has announced. The Archdeaconry of Hertford was created in 1997 from part of the Archdeaconry of St Albans. Dr Jones came to the Diocese in 1997, having previously had a distinguished ministry in Hereford… Read more »

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Bishop’s New Year Message

There is one photo which stands out more that every other one in 2015. It was taken in September. It is a shot of the body of Alan or Aylan Kurdi, the three year old Syrian boy, lying dead, face down in the waves on a Turkish beach. He and his family were fleeing the… Read more »

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Bishop of St Albans speaks of Christ’s birth as the true Force Awakening

In his Christmas sermon, given at St Albans’s Cathedral during Matins on Christmas morning 2015, the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, compares and contrasts the Star Wars story, ‘The Force Awakens,’ the the story of Christ’s birth, to address some of the complexities of bringing peace in the world before, in conclusion, quoting… Read more »

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Bishop’s Christmas message on BBC Three Counties

After an autumn when thousands of people are fleeing war in Syria, five weeks after the Paris massacre, three weeks after our Parliament voted to bomb Syria, and a week after the stock market fell to its lowest level in three years, it will be Christmas. In the midst of such problems, how can we… Read more »

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New Canons installed

The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, installed the Revd John Williams, Vicar of Cheshunt, and Carol Taylor, a member of the Diocese’s Safeguarding Management Group as Honorary Canons of St Albans Cathedral on 5th December 2015.

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Bishop of Bedford gives keynote on Living Well Together

Read Bishop Richard’s keynote speech here Sixth form students, teachers, advisers and faith leaders came together this week to share ideas on how schools and colleges foster living well together and to identify and overcome the challenges they face in promoting peaceful coexistence. Richard Atkinson, Bishop of Bedford, Co-Chair of the Inter Faith Network for… Read more »

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St Mary’s Luton and ISIS

St Mary’s Church: statement This is in relation to allegations in today’s (10.12.15)  Daily Mail that a meeting to recruit for ISIS was held in its church hall in Summer of 2015. “St Marys Church in Luton have no knowledge of any meeting to recruit for ISIS alleged to have been held in its church… Read more »

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Over 400 sleep under the stars for eleven charities

  The 22nd Abbey Sleepout for eleven charities local to the Diocese of St Albans took place in probably the highest temperatures in the history of the event. Night temperatures of 10 to 11 degrees Celsius on Friday 4th December were however tempered by fierce winds, with a cooling edge – this was the night… Read more »

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Advent message from the Bishop of St Albans

Are you ready? Traditionally preparations for Christmas began on Advent Sunday, signaling the start of a period of prayer and fasting in readiness to celebrate the birth of Christ. When I was young we knew that the countdown to Christmas had started because of the Advent calendar on the mantelpiece. I still remember the sense… Read more »

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Bishop of Bedford’s reflection for Inter Faith Week

‘Do not be led astray’ – Inter Faith Week 2015 In Blackburn it is football; in Birmingham it is spirituality and music; in Barnet it is ‘welcoming the stranger’; in Eastbourne the focus is peace; and in Scunthorpe it is a big conversation. Just a handful of the hundreds of events across the country where… Read more »

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Bishops’ response to Paris terrorist attacks

The three bishops of St Albans Diocese have issued the following statement, today, Saturday, 14th November, in response to the attacks in Paris on the 13th. “Friday’s terrorist atrocities in Paris break our hearts as well as opening them to the families of those who have been killed and to those who have been injured…. Read more »

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DDO to be New Archdeacon for Wilts

Following the appointment of the Ven Ruth Worsley to be Bishop of Taunton, the Bishop of Salisbury is delighted to announce that the Revd Canon Sue Groom is to be the new Archdeacon of Wilts. Currently completing a DThM (Doctor of Theology and Ministry) with Durham University, she will leave her two posts, as a… Read more »

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Bishop welcomed at Samuel Ryder Academy

The Bishop of Hertford, Dr Michael Beasley, visited Samuel Ryder Academy, St Albans, responding to an invitation made in connection with his visit to the parish of St Luke’s Church, St Albans, in which Samuel Ryder Academy is situated. Samuel Ryder is a community school, not a Church of England school, but Church of England… Read more »

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New Bishop of Guyana elected

The Revd Charles Davidson, currently a parish priest in Philadelphia, USA, has been elected Bishop of Guyana in succession to the Rt Revd Jerome Cornell Moss RIP. Guyana is one of Sat Albans Diocese’s overseas links in the Anglican Communion. Fr Davidson is a graduate of the United Theological College of Jamaica and the Codrington… Read more »

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New Team Vicar for Elstree and Borehamwood

Monday, September 28th was a special day in the life of St. Michael and All Angels Church, Brook Road, Borehamwood as they welcomed Revd. Louise Collins as their new team vicar. The Bishop of Hertford, the Right Reverend Dr. Michael Beasley licensed her and she was installed by the Archdeacon of Hertford, the Venerable Dr…. Read more »

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It’s Bishop Anne

The Rt Revd Anne Hollinghurst, Bishop of Aston as she now is, was consecrated at St Paul’s Cathedral on 29th September 2015, along with the Bishop of Taunton and the Bishop of Islington. She is pictured here with Bishop David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, her Diocesan Bishop, on the steps of St Paul’s following the… Read more »

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Assisted Dying Bill lost

The motion debated in the House of Commons on Friday, 11th September, for the legalisation of Assisted Dying for terminally ill people with less than six months to live was lost, with 330 votes against and 118 in favour. James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle, and lead bishop for the Church of England on health care… Read more »

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Sheriffs met at the border

  High Sheriffs of two counties met at the common border of their territories on 12 September. Jonathan Trower, High Sheriff of Hertfordshire met Isabelle, Countess of Errol, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, near to Eyeworth, Bedfordshire.   They were not riding horses but bicycles, as part of the annual Bike ‘n Hike, organised by Beds and Herts… Read more »

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Ven Christine Hardman: next Bishop of Newcastle

The Venerable Christine Hardman, who trained for the ministry on the St Albans Ministerial Training Scheme, is to be the next Bishop of Newcastle, Downing Street announced this morning, 2 September. Christine later studied for an M.Th. in Applied Theology from the University of Oxford. She was ordained Deacon in 1987 and served her title… Read more »

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How to attend Anne Hollinghurst’s consecration

The Revd Anne Hollinghurst will be consecrated as Bishop of Aston, at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, 29th September, 11 am A number of people have already expressed their wish to receive details of the Revd Anne Hollinghurst’s consecration service at St Paul’s in September. Anyone who would like to attend the service is most welcome…. Read more »

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Golden Jubilee celebrations flushed with success

Among the many ways that All Saints Church, Harpenden, celebrated its Golden Jubilee, one has achieved prominence on Three Counties Radio: the creation of a new toilet and its twinning with one in Africa. The new accessible church toilet has been created out an old cloakroom and toilet area in the entrance foyer; replacing the… Read more »

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Tweet your favourite Psalm to celebrate new app

Tweet to #mypsalm to @chpublishingUK The latest publication from the Church of England brings an ancient tradition of following the Psalms to mobile devices and e-readers. Adding to the popular ‘Reflections’ series, Reflections on the Psalms is a standalone book, ebook and mobile app written for anyone wishing to follow the ancient practice of the… Read more »

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Canon John Kiddle to be Archdeacon of Wandsworth

The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, has appointed Canon John Kiddle to be the next Archdeacon of Wandsworth, he will take his new role in November. He is currently Director of Mission Diocese in St Albans Diocese and a Residentiary Canon of St Albans Cathedral. John Kiddle was ordained in 1982 in… Read more »

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Prayers for Remembrance (for Tunisia)

The Church of England has released the following prayers for remembrance for Tunisia: Father, you know our hearts and share our sorrows. We are hurt by our parting from those whom we loved: when we are angry at the loss we have sustained, when we long for words of comfort, yet find them hard to… Read more »

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St Albans Vicar to be Bishop of Aston

The Revd Anne Hollinghurst is to become the next suffragan Bishop of Aston, in the Diocese of Birmingham, Downing Street announced this morning, 2 July. Anne has been Vicar of St Peter’s, a city-centre church in St Albans, since 2010, where she has led the church in a strategic vision for mission and ministry. She… Read more »

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Canon Philosopher’s Inaugural Lecture

Canon Dr Andrew Davison, Starbridge Lecturer in Theology and Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and Fellow in Theology at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, was installed as Canon Philosopher in St Albans Cathedral on 8th June. His appointment, and that of the Canon Scientist, Revd Professor Dr David Wilkinson, installed in February, are the Bishop of… Read more »

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Christina Rees awarded CBE

Christina Rees, a leading lay woman in the Church of England, has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her ‘services to the Church of England’. A member of the General Synod for 25 years, she was also a founding member of the Archbishops’ Council and has served… Read more »

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Bishop Alan moves Lords’ debate on role of Civil Society

The Bishop of St Albans,The Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, led a debate in the House of Lords yesterday, 11 June 2015. The motion debated was: “That this House takes note of the role played by civil society, in the light of the pastoral letter from the Church of England’s House of Bishops, ‘Who is… Read more »

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Bishop Cornell Moss RIP

St Albans Diocese has learnt with deep sadness of the death of the Rt Revd Cornell Moss, Bishop of Guyana, on Saturday, 30 May. He was in Miami, where he had been receiving medical treatment. Bishop Cornell had been Bishop of Guyana, one of our overseas link diocese, since 8 December 2009 and had visited St… Read more »

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Consecration of Bishop Michael

He is now the Rt Revd Dr Michael Beasley, following a service of consecration at Westminster Abbey this morning, 14th May. Lord Williams of Oystermouth, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, preached and the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, presided. Bishop Michael will be welcomed to the diocese on Saturday, 16th… Read more »

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Ring your church bells to mark VE Day anniversary

The ringing of church bells has long been part of commemorations of significant moments in national life. The 70th anniversary of VE Day, the moment in 1945 when peace broke out and brought an end to nearly six years of war and chaos across Europe falls on 8th May. The Government would like to invite… Read more »

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Bedford Church now takes deposits for ‘community bank’

Bedford Credit Union has opened a new branch inside St Mark’s Church Bedford. Uniquely among its outlets, the branch will be open every weekday from 9am-5pm. The Bishop of Bedford, the Rt Revd Richard Atkinson, opened the branch on Monday, 30 March. Volunteers at the church have been trained so they will be able to… Read more »

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Bishop of St Albans Easter Message 2015

Mark 16. 1-8 The story is told of a motorist getting lost remote countryside and, seeing a local farmer, pulls over and asks the way. ‘Well’, said the farmer, pausing and scratching his head, ‘if you want to get there, you don’t want to start from here’. And that’s what I want to say about… Read more »

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Priest and scientist appointed Bishop of Hertford

(double click the album to see full size) Hear Canon Michael on BBC Three Counties Radio on Sunday, 8th March. Click below: BBC 3CR 08MAR15 New Bishop L The Revd Canon Dr Michael Beasley has been named as the next Bishop of Hertford, in succession to the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, who is now Bishop… Read more »

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Bishop says it’s time to ‘Bite the Ballot’ on Voter Registration Day

  The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, is calling on schools to help sixth formers approaching voting age to engage with politics and prepare to vote by joining the Register of Electors if they are over 16. He says that all who seek the common good should engage with the… Read more »

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Bishop’s New Year Message 2015

As we bid farewell to 2014, we face a new year which is filled with potential and possibilities. Among the many events that will take place will be the general election on 7th May. Later in 2015 we will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta. This was a landmark event which… Read more »

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Bishop’s Christmas Sermon 2014

St Albans Cathedral: discomfort and joy The full text appears further down the page. Addressing one of the most familiar of Christmas messages: “peace and goodwill to all,” the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Revd Dr Alan Smith said, in his Christmas sermon, that politicians and soldiers cannot bring peace to the world. It… Read more »

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Church of England’s first woman bishop to be in Chester Diocese

The Revd Libby Lane is to be the next Bishop of stockport, Downing Street announced today, 17th December. Bishop Alan, on hearing of the appointment said: “I warmly welcome her as one of my episcopal colleagues.” Read about her appointment here Hear her speak about her appointment here

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Four Mayors, an MP and 470 People Support Homeless People

Four mayors and an MP attended the twenty first annual Sleep Out at St Albans Cathedral in sub-zero temperatures last Friday night (December 5th) in support of homeless people. Among the mayors taking part were the Mayors of Luton, Berkhamsted and Hertford and the Chairman of Three Rivers Council. They were joined by the MP… Read more »

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The Dean’s Christmas letter

Owing to an unfortunate error, for which we apologise, the Dean of St Albans’ Christmas letter printed in See Round Dec/Jan issue was severely truncated. Read the full version below.   Years ago I led a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, including a visit to Bethlehem. I remember the bus arriving in Manger Square. It… Read more »

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Goldington’s Golden Gardens Award

St Mary’s Goldington’s involvement in the ‘Golden Gardens’ community project has had a good year. In addition to winning a prize for ‘best community garden’ in the Times and Citizen newspaper awards, they were also delighted to scoop a top award at the CPRE Bedfordshire ‘Living Countryside Awards’ held at Moggerhanger Park. CPRE described the… Read more »

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St Albans Diocese joins Living Wage Employers

The Living Wage Foundation has announced that it has accredited the Diocese of St Albans as a Living Wage employer. The Living Wage commitment sees everyone working at the Diocesan Office, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or thirdparty contractors and suppliers, receive a minimum hourly wage of £7.85 -significantly higher than the national… Read more »

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Lock In 14 welcomes 300 young people for fun, fellowship and faith

300 people attended from parishes across Beds and Herts, Luton and Barnet. And from 1 school. Fun, fellowship and food was provided music, laser guns, toast, hot choc, pampering, computer games, lego movie. Also on offer were several opportunities for the young people to reflect on their own life and faith journeys using some unusual… Read more »

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Church and community together win new primary school for Watford.

The Department for Education approved the proposal for St John’s Church of England Primary School, Watford, to move to the pre-opening phase on 30 September 2014. It will provide 420 much-needed primary school places in September 2016. For over a year, the rigorous application process has assessed St John’s Church’s proposal, made in partnership with… Read more »

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Found: long-lost radio series which got people talking about God

An award-winning BBC Radio 4 series presumed lost for over 30 years has been found and painstakingly pieced together again for broadcast this autumn. Priestland’s Progress was a ground-breaking personal exploration of the Christian faith, presented in 1981 by the then BBC Religious Affairs Correspondent, Gerald Priestland. The series received 22,500 letters and that year… Read more »

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Flower festival ‘Music in Bloom’ – come and be part of it!

The Cathedral’s Flower Festival, Music in Bloom, this autumn invites participation from all over the diocese and promises to be a spectacular event, full of fun and memorable experiences for all ages. Come and be part of it! The choice of its title “Music in Bloom” brings together two strands of Abbey life with broad… Read more »

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Celebrating our successful festival: Celebrate 100

From Bishop Richard, on behalf of the Celebrate 100 team Thank you on behalf of the organising team and myself for all of the hard work that you put into making Celebrate 100 such an amazing event. We have been overwhelmed by the number of people who came, the kind words everybody has expressed about… Read more »

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Bishop Paul to be confirmed as next Bishop of Liverpool

The Archbishop of York, The Most Revd Dr John Sentamu will confirm the election of the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, currently the Bishop of Hertford, as Bishop of Liverpool at a special service at York Minster later today, 23rd July. The confirmation of the election by the College of Canons of the Diocese of Liverpool… Read more »

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Luton included in Near Neighbours’ grants

Starting this week (20 July), Luton’s communities will share £1.8 million in small grants over two years, being made available by Church Urban Fund’s Near Neighbours programme. Around £140,000 is available for Luton. Grants between £250 and £5,000 are available, providing seed capital for local groups and organisations who are working to bring together neighbours… Read more »

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Called to Coventry

The Reverend Stephen Fielding, Team Vicar in the Ash & Quin Team Ministry and formerly Vice-Chair of the Diocesan Board of Finance is to leave St Albans Diocese to take up the new post of Canon Treasurer at Coventry Cathedral, with an installation date of 12th October. As a member of the Cathedral’s Leadership team,… Read more »

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Twelve Readers licensed

The following Readers were Admitted and Licensed on 6th July 2014 at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban by the Bishop of Hertford: Richard Butler – St Albans, St Peter Belinda Copson – Hitchin Team Ministry Stephen Fletcher – Sunnyside with Bourne End Helen Ford – Mill End and Heronsgate with West Hyde… Read more »

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Vote in favour of women bishops carried

After debate in the Church of England’s elected governing body, the General Synod, at which he was present, The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, has expressed his pleasure at the ‘yes’ vote as well as affirming the place of those who hold a different view within the family of the… Read more »

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Icon Relay for Celebrate 100

  Yvonne Bell, a well-known and experienced icon writer, has created an icon for St Albans  Diocese’s 100th anniversary celebration. It is travelling around the diocese for the 100 days leading up to the Festival Day of Fun and Praise in Keysoe on 25th August, Bank Holiday Monday. Why an icon? Icons have been used… Read more »

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Eleven priests and seventeen deacons ordained

Seventeen deacons and eleven priests were ordained in St Albans Cathedral on the 28th/29th June. Eleven priests were also ordained. Canon Sue Groom, Diocesan Director of Ordinands said: “It was wonderful to see 17 people ordained deacon this Petertide, more than for many years. It was also good to see a reduction in the average… Read more »

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Sun shines on Alban Pilgrimage

  The sun brought crowds onto the streets of St Albans for the annual Alban Pilgrimage on 21 June. Parishes from all over the diocese take part and people of all ages join in : some  in costume, some not. In the cathedral, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA preached at… Read more »

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It’s Cathedral: but not as we know it!

Two hundred children, 168 adults and a further 100 volunteers who helped on the day made up the almost 500 people in St Albans Cathedral for Messy Cathedral in June.  

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