St Alban Church
- Original design
- Arthur Kenyon, 1936
The 2017 programme is now past. We will be launching the 2018 programme in July.
In The Buildings of England: London 3: North West (1991) Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner state that St Alban was much praised at the time of its construction as a bold departure from Gothic traditions and give this description of the church:
“Brown brick, with a fine square NW tower, slightly Swedish in feeling and one of the best of its style in England. The rest of the composition has early Christian reminiscences: simple white interior with concrete tunnel-vault and narrow aisles. Oddly shaped stepped window-heads. Little altered inside, apart from the removal of the modernistic light fittings.”
The Church can seat up to 400 people and is used by a number of schools, charities and organisations for concerts and services.
The Font is made from Portland stone. This was paid for in the 1930s by Sunday School children bringing pennies to church. It is used for all baptisms, however the whole church floor dropped by more than an inch and was raised by by pumping resin underneath. When this was done the drain from the font was blocked. As a result the water has to be removed by the duty Warden after each use.
The Children’s corner is near the font at the back of the church. There is a selection of toys and books for visiting children to use.
The Lady Chapel panelling had a problem with woodworm and could only be treated by removing all panels and treating each from the back. While off, all panels were cleaned and restored to their original condition. The beading was replaced with oak beading in line with the original build and additional lights were fitted in the centre of the Chapel.
In addition the damage which had been caused by a bomb in WW2 was exposed. Shrapnel from the bomb which exploded just outside the church had come in the windows and is still embedded in the walls behind the panelling. The bomb hole was converted to a rose bed and is still maintained as a flower bed today with a rambling rose in the centre of it.
Morning and evening prayer are held in the Chapel; a Tuesday Eucharist at 10am is followed by a social time for coffee and on the third Tuesday of the month soup and sandwiches are also served. A Quiet Prayer time is led after the 9.30am Eucharist on the first and third Sundays of the month. Recently we have installed glass doors to the Lady Chapel improving both heat and sound.
The Courtyard garden is situated between the church and the hall. This area is enclosed and safe for children to play in. It is used after services when the weather is good and by playgroups and mothers and toddlers in the week. The area is used for teas on Sunday afternoons in the summer, for Easter Sunday early services and many other functions.
This sculpture of a bird is made from guns and weapons from the Mozambique civil war. The Christian Council of Mozambique encouraged people to hand in the weapons and the Swords into Ploughshares Project decommissioned them, and with the help of local artists turned them into amazing sculptures.
This example was bought by a member of the St. Alban’s congregation who donated it to the church, where it serves as a poignant reminder of a much loved parishioner and her constant striving and prayer for peace in our world. It also reminds us of the link between the Diocese of London and Mozambique and Angola, ALMA (The Angola London Mozambique Association).
Below the statue of St Alban is a plaque showing the names of all members of the parish that were killed in WW2. There is a book below with a page for each person telling about them and how they died.
If you look carefully at the angel’s wings these have been made by cutting material around the fingers of the children. The older banner was made by a Sunday school teacher shortly after WW2 when material was limited, using her own wedding dress.