New St Alban’s Church
New St Alban’s Church
The present St. Alban’s Church was dedicated on 22nd December 1967 by the Rt. Rev. George Reindorp the Bishop of Guildford.
The Bishop officially opened the new Church by knocking three times with his staff on the entrance, commanding “Open in the name of the Lord”.
Dedication St Alban’s Church 1967.
In his opening speech, he told the story of St Alban, venerated as the first British Christian Martyr in the fourth century of Roman Britain. The earliest versions of his history say that he gave shelter to a Christian Priest fleeing from persecution. Alban was so moved by the priest’s faith and courage that he asked to be taught more about Christianity, then still a forbidden religion. Before long the authorities came to arrest the fugitive priest, but Alban, inspired by his new-found faith, allowed the Priest to escape. Alban was arrested and martyred for his refusal to sacrifice to the emperor and the Roman gods. He is reputed to have said ‘I am called Alban and I worship and adore the true and living God, who created all things’.
From the left
The Revd. John Hoskyns.
Rector from 1962 – 1972. After leaving Worplesdon he had an active ministry in Herefordshire, assisting in the parishes awaiting amalgamation.
Deputy Warden at St. Mary’s. John ran a plant nursery at Mount Pleasant off Salt Box Lane. He had a long-standing ambition to farm and moved to Torrington in North Devon in 1978 with his wife Evelyn.
Deputy Warden at St. Alban’s. He lived on Pound Hill and was a stalwart supporter of St. Alban’s before the new church was built. He gave the bell in memory of his wife.
The Revd. John Fowles.
Curate with special responsibility for St. Alban’s 1963 – 1969. Since then he has been the Vicar of Chessington, Vicar of Horsell and Rural Dean of Woking. He was made a Canon of Guildford Cathedral in 1993.
The Right Revd. George Reindorp
Bishop of Guildford 1961 – 1973. Bishop of Salisbury 1973 – 1981.
The Revd. Michael Stokes
In 1967, the ‘Sheffield formula’ (which restricts the number of clergy in a diocese to get a fairer spread of ordinary ministry) had not been thought of and Mike was our second Curate. He lived with his wife Pat at 8, Littlefield Way on Fairlands, having a particularly effective ministry on what was then a fairly new estate. The house was later sold to help pay for St. Alban’s hall. On leaving, he joined the RAF as a Chaplain and spent 25 years in this role. He retired to a large group of parishes in rural Oxfordshire, but was soon appointed Chaplain to St. Andrew’s Kyrenia in North Cyprus where he and Pat led a thriving Christian church.
Dr. Anthony Hillard
Rector’s Warden and Local GP. Although he lived in Worplesdon, he worshipped at St. Alban’s with his family; the Rector intended that his appointment should help to unify the two ‘ends’ of the Parish.
People’s Warden. “Eb” lived in Thatchers Lane and worked in partnership with Len Primmer opposite St. Mary’s. This was next to Philp’s shop and petrol pump (now Perry Hill Antiques). Forge cottage now stands on the site. Eb was a wheelwright and general carpenter (gates, fencing etc.) Len was a Blacksmith shoeing horses and doing ironwork. Together they were local undertakers.
Memorial gifts included various contributions including the bell which previously hung in Eashing Cemetery Chapel. The altar cloth was a gift from St Mary’s Training College at Nonika, Tanzania.
The design was by Architects David Evelyn Nye, diocesan architect. The builders were Messrs. Jackson & Gocher Ltd. Of Farncombe. The cost was sixteen thousand, three hundred and twelve pounds, seventeen shillings.
Much of the monies were raised by parish fund raising efforts including the ‘sponsor a roof tile’ for six old pence each ( 2 ½ new pence ) – hundreds of villagers participated. Other events included a mid Summer Gala and ‘pennies’ in the local White Hart Public House:
Rev’d CJ Fowles with neighbour Mrs Gilliat and the White Hart Landlord Wally Thorn & Meg Thorn
For Other Church History & Information
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