The Parish of St Paul’s, St Albans was formed in 1910 when a large new church was built to replace a mission founded in 1899 as St Albans expanded under the Victorians. Situated in the area of the city known as Fleetville, the parish has a population of about 11,000 with most housing being Victorian or later – largely owner-occupied residential housing.
Originally Fleetville was an artisan area with workers in local print works, a rubber factory, the Marconi factory and psychiatric hospitals. All of these have now closed and their sites re-developed with new housing. With a fast rail link to London in the parish, there has been a big increase in the number of commuters, many of whom are accountants, bankers, journalists and computer experts. The housing is now expensive partly due to the ambiance of the city and because the education provision here is good. There are three primary schools, two secondary schools and a FE college campus in the parish.
We also have a significant community of Bengalis in St Albans and two mosques in the parish.
The first vicar Alexander J Barff was appointed in 1908 to oversee the building of the new church and became vicar in 1910 and stayed until 1938. He was followed by the Canon Frederick Brenchley (1938-1956), Rev Arthur Bennett (1956-1964), Rev Richard Gill (1965-1991), and Canon Tony Hurle (1991-).
St Paul’s is an evangelical charismatic church. When Tony became vicar he felt that God was saying that as a church we needed to grow, especially in intimacy with God, a deep love of and knowledge of His word and also ministry, both in the power of and with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. The motto of the church is ‘To listen to God, enjoy Him and do what He says’.
St. Paul’s has had big changes to the church and the halls and this work was completed in September 2010. We have facilities which are widely used by the church and community.
Before and After
In line with our policy on all giving, 15% of donations to the project are being put into a “Mission tithe” to be given to other projects taking forward God’s work in the UK and abroad.