All Saints’ Church Life
Church life carries on throughout the week, and we encourage members to engage in whatever ways they feel comfortable, and according to their gifts and inclinations, though we recognise that many members hold demanding jobs placing limits on their free time.
Before the pandemic there were several housegroups offering Bible study, fellowship and prayer, which out of necessity had to shut down and adapt. A ladies’ Bible study group continued successfully using Zoom.
As the shadow of the Covid recedes we will be re-establishing and forming new housegroups
Pastoral Care Team
A small team of church members assist our Associate Vicar in pastoral care, particularly of frail and housebound members.
A larger group tries to ensure that we stay connected, in a light touch way, with all our church members and are alerted if anyone needs support or hasn’t been seen in a while.
An email prayer chain is activated whenever an urgent need of prayer arises in the church.
All Saints’ has registered as an EcoChurch. We have completed an audit on our environmental friendliness including assessment of our building, land, teaching and worship. We expect to achieve the bronze award shortly. We hosted an event “Creatures Great and Small” during St Albans SustFest21 and have designated an area of the church garden as a no-mow area as a small sanctuary for wild flowers and insects. Our carbon footprint is being reduced with low-energy lighting, and upgrading our heating and insulation. In September 2021 we celebrate the “Season of Creation”, in which we will be encouraged to consider God’s creation and our place in it.
A small but dedicated and talented bunch of church members provide beautiful flower arrangements for the church week by week. They would welcome any budding flower arrangers who would like to join them, and would be delighted to pass on their expertise and experience to anyone who has never tried their hand at flower arranging before.
All Saints’ is famed for its food, thanks to a dedicated team comprising the Catering Committee. They provide a fine spread on any excuse for a celebration including hot food and delicious desserts for a church lunch, or cakes and nibbles for a special occasion. Week in, week out, and with additional helpers, they provide coffee, tea and biscuits after the service on a Sunday.
A small group has been regularly cleaning the church for many years and would be delighted for any younger members to join them before they have to hang up their mops, brooms and brushes to rest their weary bones.
Church Working Party
Normally on the first Saturday morning of a month, a jolly band of helpers tackle some of the outdoor jobs needing attention in the garden and grounds. Coffee, a chocolate biscuit and the chance for a chat are offered as an undisguised bribe.
Outreach Knitting Group
The Outreach Sewing Group has met for many years on the first Wednesday of each month. This was inevitably curtailed by the pandemic. Nevertheless they have still had a hugely productive season of knitting having sent 31 black bin liners full of blankets to the Ukraine via British Humanitarian Aid as well as baby clothes to India, and teddies and puppets to a school in Uganda.
Over the years, a number of outreaches into the community have been initiated by All Saints’ members or are associated with the church.
Harpenden Child Contact Centre, meeting in All Saints’ church hall, provides a neutral meeting place when there is no viable alternative, where children of separated families may enjoy contact with one or both parents, and sometimes with other family members, in a comfortable, friendly and safe environment.
Harpenden Money Advice Centre operates from the church premises and provides free and confidential face to face debt and budgeting advice, negotiating affordable repayments with creditors and helping to maximise income and minimise expenditure. Support is continued until a client is debt free.
Harpenden Spotlight on Africa was founded in 2007 by All Saints’ members and pursues sustainable long-term development to help transform the lives of some of the poorest people in Africa.
Community Meeting Point provided support to those with mental health and other problems, but was forced to close after more than 25 years when its premises were no longer available and funding was withdrawn.