St. Mary’s Church, a Grade 2 Victorian listed building, was consecrated in 1871, and was the vision of Charles Longman, a senior partner in John Dickinson’s paper mills which dominated the old industrial village of Apsley. The village was the birthplace of paper’s industrial revolution, now being preserved as a unique industrial heritage site. The church is a fine gothic, flint building, with spire and six bells. The village of Apsley in recent years has changed beyond all recognition with the disappearance of the paper mills and very significant housing development taking place.
Over the last few years the church has experienced growth in membership and commitment, with a large number of young families and children now part of the church community. Following a Five year Development Plan the church is currently exploring new initiatives of being Church in the local community as well as continuing to nurture and develop the faith, ministry and mission of the congregation as a whole.
A discussion and exploration has begun by the congregation to consider re-ordering the interior of the church to make it fit for the purposes of 21st century worship and mission.
Among its community involvements St Mary’s currently organises a number of inter-faith events throughout the year and supports financially and practically two local charities – Druglink, which seeks to support those affected by substance misuse and DENS which seeks to meet the needs of homeless people in the Borough of Dacorum.
The relevant website links are below.
A Capital Appeal Fund has been launched to raise £100,000 to carry out repairs to the roof, refurbishment of the toilets and kitchen, and also to the stonework and windows, as well as work on the church bells. There are also plans to raise an additional £5,000 to inject into the ongoing revenue.
Since 1847 there has been a church school in the district. The school was built by John Dickinson for the children of his employees at the paper mill. The school continues to draw children from the local community and beyond. The school and church links grow stronger by the day. The school is assessed as a good school with a strong Christian ethos with seven governors appointed by the church or being strong church members.
This is an exciting and challenging time to belong to St. Mary’s and a very warm and sincere welcome awaits anyone who wishes to join us.