St Albans methodist church celebrates 125th anniversary

Rev Andrew Prout will be leading a range of services to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Hatfield

Rev Andrew Prout will be leading a range of services to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Hatfield Road Methodist Church in St Albans. Picture: Peter Wallace - Credit: Archant

A methodist church in St Albans is holding a series of services and events to mark its 125th anniversary.

Hatfield Road Methodist Church held its first service in 1894, renting space in an old shoe factory on Cavendish Road, and has occupied its current premises since 1906.

Following a service for ascension, including communion, on Thursday, there will be an all-age service on Sunday (June 2) at 10.30am, with a special invitation to anyone who has been baptised or married at the church.

On the same day there will be a pilgrimage at 4pm, starting in Verulamium Park and finishing at the church with tea and cake. The walk is about three miles long and will include pauses at significant places along the way for prayer and reflection.

Afterwards there will be a 'Songs of Praise' service at 7pm, which will celebrate the church's history in song, with members of the church today talking about what their faith means to them.

There will also be a public exhibition on display telling the story of the church and its work today, which will be open from 9.30am to midday and from 7pm to 9pm on Tuesday, June 4 and Thursday, June 6, and from 9.30am to midday on Saturday, June 8.

On Wednesday, June 5 local historian Mike Neighbour will give a talk about the history of Fleetville at 7.45pm. On Sunday, June 9 there will be a celebratory service at 10.30am to mark 125 years, followed by a service outside in the church grounds at 6pm.

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The evening service will be preceded by tea party for the church family and its immediate neighbours, which will be attended by the new Mayor of St Albans Cllr Janet Smith and Clarence ward Cllr Caroline Brooke.

The church's current minister, Rev Andrew Prout, said: "It is my privilege to be minister of the church at this special time.

"Hatfield Road Methodist Church can be proud of its past and its long-standing service to the local community. It remains a welcoming and inclusive congregation and is home today to people whose connections lie not only with Fleetville but many places around the world.

"It is a forward-looking church and is pleased to work with all the other Churches, faith groups and community organisations in the area."