The Community is a fellowship wherein each man & woman should find a place of significant service & creative living

  Grovehill, Piccotts End, Woodhall Farm and Phoenix

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Churches, Community Centres

The Quakers 1667 onwards

 

The Quakers' Christian principles brought them into conflict with the Church of England which was dominant in the town. From 1667 they held their meeting at Cross Lane Meeting House which is at Wood End, where Cherry Trees Lane (not Three Cherry Trees Lane) joins the Redbourn Road until 1718 when they built the Meeting House above the High Street. The established church would not allow them to bury their dead in the consecrated ground of St Mary's Church and so they bought and consecrated land beside the Meeting House. As the DBC look for suitable fields for the planned expansion of the town they have found that this field, to this day marked Meeting House Field, is protected.

 

Many of the great ironmasters at this time were Quakers, and the Quaker Cranstone family set up the Cranstone foundry at one time they using an old Meeting House as a foundry for heavy farm goods. Much later the foundry was taken over by Hemel Hempstead Engineering whose foundry specialised in fine engineering parts and moved to Cupid Green.

 

Cupid Green Church, St Agnell's Lane was built in 1936 and rededicated in 1986. Click on the button to read more

 

 

The Church of the Resurrection and the Community Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An important aspect of building a new community is finding places in which people can meet and worship.

 

The Church of the Resurrection and the Community Centre were designed and built to meet these needs. Many people had left familiar churches behind; some were newlywed, some had young babies, children and teenagers and all missed having a place where they could join together with new friends and many wanted somewhere to share worship.

 

People who came to live in Grovehill came from many different church experiences. The Methodist church made them welcome but it was decided that the new church should be Ecumenical, that is, of shared denomination. Churches which already existed in the town began to think about the needs of these new people moving in.

 

 

     

 

                                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An aerial view of Grovehill Community Centre and the Church of the Resurrection. The car park for the Henry Wells Square shops can be seen on the centre left

 

The Anglican vicar, Alan Naylor Smith, and the Baptist and Free Church minister, Hugh Cross were both very active, and the Roman Catholic Father Harry Hamell flying around on a small motorbike with straps of his much too small helmet flying round was a familiar sight.

 

Someone recalled that Alan 'spent a great deal of time working with the teenagers'.

 

All were very active in drawing together a community from people who were mostly strangers to each other and to the town.

 

People began to meet in each other's houses and when numbers increased they found two blue builder's huts. Now the church held their services and meetings for young wives, mothers and toddlers, scouts etc and all social life centred around these.

 

One fundraising Christmas Fair held in the hut was so packed that the ladies organising it could only get round to the front by climbing through the window!

 

These blue builder's huts feature large in people's memory as the first centre of the community. They housed the church, the doctor, various health clinics, social groups and were where the first local Meals on Wheels were cooked.

 

The New Youth Club

How the New Youth Club came to be built.

Reminiscence by Alan Naylor.

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The Grovehill Community Centre  

 

It was recognised back in 1972 that the social world was changing with TV and the development of specialist sports but that there was still need for a central and public place for recreation, learning and social interaction. This is the function that the Grovehill Community Centre continues to strive to meet.

Plans to make the Centre, a 'Powerhouse' were discussed.

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The Liberty Christian Centre celebrating at the Community Centre Family Fun Day. They meet at The Astley Cooper School.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Crawley Drive Community Centre is well valued by the local people many of whom are elderly.

 

The Indian Society has a valuable supportive role in the lives of Indian people living in the area, with devotions, music and drumming.

 

 

 

 

 

Comm Cen Worship Time Cupid Green Church Aerial View 3

A Catholic priest, an Anglican clergyman and a Baptist minister were appointed,sometimes joined by a United Reformed Church minister.

 

The Catholic Church had much discussion about their part in an Ecumenical Church and put together a Local Covenant which they have allowed me to include.

 

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Powerhouse Plans The Youth Club - Alan Naylor Catholic Covenant 69/71.