We are situated in the centre of the village of Abbots Langley.
We exist to worship God, proclaim his Kingdom and serve our neighbours. That purpose shapes the following priorities for the years 2017-2020:
Going Deeper into God
Renewing our liturgy in terms of quality and diversity; offering opportunities for all to learn more about the Bible, faith, and prayer; helping all our members translate the core habits of discipleship into their daily lives; and discerning God’s call to each of us in the church’s life and the wider world.
Making New Disciples
Welcoming and building relationships with all who come for christening here; sustaining our Anglican-Methodist Messy Church; offering teenagers friendship and the space to explore life’s big questions; reconnecting with all on our electoral roll.
Educating ourselves about the needs of our local community; encouraging volunteering within the community; supporting our local schools; developing our relationships with our partner communities in Malawi and Kenya.
More about us
We are a friendly, welcoming congregation of around 100 members on any Sunday morning. Our main act of worship on Sundays is a Eucharist at both 8.00 am (said) and at 9.30 am (sung, with a robed choir except Second Sunday when the Youth Choir lead the singing). We have a creche for the tinies and Seekers for those aged 3 to 10 years during the 9.30 am service, except on the second Sunday when we are all in church together for the whole service. Morning Prayer are said daily, Monday to Friday, in church at 9.00 am, often lay led. There is a midweek communion on Wednesdays at 10.15 am and a time of Quiet Reflection at 11.15 am, also on Wednesdays is a 12 noon Holy Communion followed by a light lunch in the Breakspear Room. On a Sunday Evening on the last Sunday of each month at 6.30 pm we hold a Taize service.
St Lawrence Church is a Grade I listed building with the oldest parts dating back to around 1150, although we believe there was a church on the site prior to that. The main fabric is Totternhoe flint and stone. The tower dates from 1190 and has a peal of six ringable bells. The interior was part modernised in 1970 and 1971, following a fire in 1969. A fine Nicholson organ was then added. The seating, for around 250, is mainly fixed wooden pews. In October 2016 a new extension was opened on the north side of the church (the Breakspear Room) housing toilets (including one for the disabled), a small meeting room and a small kitchen area; this was funded mainly by a legacy from a former parishioner, Miss Elizabeth Hill, together with grant applications and fund raising within the parish. The extension gives access to the church for the disabled and for parents/carers with buggies. We have a church hall which is used extensively for both church and community activities.
Two acres of churchyard surrounds the building. This is closed for burials but there is a Garden of Remembrance for the burial of ashes. There is a conservation approach to churchyard maintenance to encourage wildlife. There is external floodlighting, installed in 2000 with a Millennium Grant.
We have a Friends of St Lawrence which exists to support the preservation of the fabric of the building. It is a registered charity which raises funds by subscription (why not become a Patron? - contact 01923 261795 in the first instance) and by planned events including concerts, suppers and coffee mornings.
The only English Pope was born in Bedmond which is in the parish of Abbots Langley and there is a plaque in St Lawrence to this effect. Nicholas Breakspear was elected in 1154 and became Pope Adrian IV. He died in post in 1159.
Since 2012 we have been supporting the people who live in Malosa in Malawi in Central East Africa. We started the link by raising money, together with St Luke's, Watford, to build a Maternity Unit in Nksala, an outlying village. in 2014, a small group went from the two churches to Malosa, the nearest town to Nksala (about 40 km away over rough terrain). They were able to see the Maternity Unit, at that time only a little over half completed. They also spent time at St Luke's Hospital in Malosa as well as visiting the Church of the Ascension and Malosa Secondary School. A further group visited Malosa in 2018, again visiting the Hospital, Church and School, taking with them £21,000 to spend on buildings, projects and items for the three institutions. They were also able to see the Maternity Unit completed and in use - with five babies born there the day before they arrived; two born on the day they were there; and four mums-to-be waiting for the big day. Many friendships have built up over these years and we will continue to support the people of Malosa, in what is one of the poorest countries in the world.