Church of England Diocese of St.Albans Bourne End: Saint John

About Us

In the 1850's the village of Bourne End was in
the parish of Northchurch and the Rector of
Northchurch, the Reverend Sir John Culme Seymour,
had felt for some time that the outlying
parishioners living to the East of Berkhamsted
should have their own place of worship. The
Rector engaged the Architect G. Gilbert Scott,
who later became one of the most commercially
successful practitioners of the Gothic Revival
Style, designing such famous buildings as the
highly ornate Albert Memorial, and the grandiose
St. Pancras Station Hotel, London. This is
believed to be one of the first churches he
designed. Work commenced in May 1853 and the
building was consecrated by the Bishop of
Rochester on May 23rd 1855. The stained glass
windows were the first designed by Alfred Bell
and made by Powells in 1854 and are particularly
good examples of his work. The church remained in
a plain and simple condition for 35 years until
1889, when Edward Curtis arranged for the church
to be decorated. He had moved into Berkhamsted
Hall and on November 6th 1888 had married Elca
Rose, daughter of Sir Francis Alscon. Tragically,
after only nine months of marriage, she died on
July 31st 1889 and Edward Curtis had the chancel
and sanctuary decorated and a new altar erected
to her memory. In 1915 the church became the
Parish Church to the new Parish of Bourne End and
had its own vicar who lived in the Vicarage next
to the Village Hall until the Reverend Smith
retired in 1956. Since then the Parish has shared
it's Vicar with the Parish of St.Michael & All
Angels, Sunnyside in Berkhamsted. In March 2001
four of the six Alfred Bell stained glass windows
were stolen. Fortunately the thieves were
disturbed before they could finish removing them.
In 2007 we opened our new extension providing a
Meeting Room and modern facilities. It was
designed by Architect Nick Wood of Blackwood
Architects of Aylesbury.