A Brief History of All Saints’
The foundation stone of our church was laid in 1905 – so it just missed being a ‘Victorian’ building. All Saints was built as a ‘chapel-of ease’ to the parish church of St Peter, in order to meet the need for an additional place of worship following the housing expansion in the Kitsbury area in the late 19th century.
The building was not fully completed as in the original plans. These included twin towers at an extended western end of the church to rival those of Westminster Abbey!
In the 1970s, the Anglican congregation at All Saints and the Methodists in Berkhamsted began the first stages of coming together. All Saints church hall (then a separate building) was in need of repairs, and the Methodists were outgrowing their chapel on the High Street. It was agreed that All Saints should be a shared building, which could be modernised and enlarged.
Work began on alterations in 1974. Upper and lower halls, toilets and a kitchen were created at the west end behind a new interior brick wall. The main altar was moved from the east end of the church to the west end, with new seating facing west. A legal Sharing Agreement was signed in November 1980 on completion of that work.
Local Ecumenical Partnership
The two congregations decided in the early 1990s to move from a level of mutual co-operation to a new depth of commitment. A Local Ecumenical Partnership deed was signed in January 1993, but still as separate congregations sharing the building. After a further period of working together, and acknowledging the many paths that had brought us to the point of being one worshipping community, we became a Single Congregation Local Ecumenical Partnership in June 2008. In July 2013, having adopted a nationally and ecumenically agreed new Constitution, we were registered by the Charity Commission under number 1153162.
Our Church Today
As an Anglican-Methodist Church, we are part of the Parish of Great Berkhamsted (with St Peter’s Church) in the Berkhamsted Team Ministry in the Diocese of St Albans, and part of the West Hertfordshire and Borders Circuit in the Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire Methodist District.