Azalea means beautiful and dignified in ancient Greek and its mission is to empower and facilitate sustainable transformation in the lives of the men, women and neighbourhoods impacted by sex trafficking through several different projects. Sex trafficking is when an individual is coerced, forced, or manipulated into providing sexual access or services to a ‘punter’ often through threats of, or acts of, violence from a perpetrator. So what work does Azalea do?» Read more
The Church of England wants churches to take a stand on the ecological challenges we face. The diocese is encouraging all of us to better support our church as stewards of God’s creation.
We can do this by participating in Ecochurch, which is an award scheme that recognises the work done by churches to care for the Earth. Churches complete a survey covering a wide range of questions such as how well they are caring for the wildlife in their churchyards or how environmentally friendly their church buildings are. Depending on the answers given by each church, they can work towards an award, and All Saints Church and St. Mary’s Churches already have Bronze Awards. We are not doing this just as a box-ticking exercise to get an award. The award scheme is a means of motivating us as a church to bring about ecological change in our daily lives.» Read more
Join a Course run by Harpenden Learning for Leisure (HLfL)
If you are interested in the world, keen to keep your brain active and want to participate in an activity with like minded people then an HLfL course may just be what you are looking for.
10am: The Sunday morning service alternates between Holy Communion and a more informal Morning Worship.
Music is provided by one of our two classically trained pianists and includes the best of both traditional hymns and contemporary worship songs.
Morning Worship is often led by a lay member of the church, and in all our services we strive to engage the children in reading etc.
During term time, the children and teenagers go to the hall for their separate activities in several age-related groups. At other times, worksheets are sent out by email for them to complete during the service. In both cases, a highlight of the service is towards the end when they are encouraged to share their work with the whole congregation.
You can join the service either in person in the church building or online (joining details are emailed to church members or may be obtained from our Associate Vicar or a church member to whom you are known)
Our innovative use of Zoom allows online participants to engage on an equal basis by offering a reading or intercessions, and for children to show their work, displayed on the screen for the church congregation.
For the time being (Autumn 2021) and whilst the shadow of Covid and its variants still hang over us we are continuing the pattern or worship above established at the start of the pandemic with the flexibility to worship online or in person however people feel most comfortable.
Discussions are underway for the longer term as to whether we continue with one service or revert to the pre-pandemic pattern of separate communion and more informal services. Whilst we have greatly appreciated meeting together as one congregation and the sense of unity that has brought, we also know that people meet with God in different ways and want to encourage spiritual health in all our members.
A History of The Church of St Mary the Virgin
Kinsbourne Green, Harpenden, Hertfordshire
The story of St Mary’s is the story of a small country church and the way in which it has continued for the greater part of a century and a half to meet the needs of the community it serves.
The original early Victorian building, as the architectural style bears witness, still forms a large part of the present day Church. It was purpose built in 1869 as a combined church and school on a site given by the then Lord of the Manor of Annables, the Reverend William Smyth. A few years earlier in 1865, Canon Vaughan, the first Rector of Harpenden, had arranged for meetings and children’s classes to be held in the kitchen of Mrs Grips who lived in a house facing the Green. When the Church-cum-school was completed, the first school mistress was a Miss Freeman. A separate classroom for infants was added to the original building in 1892. When St Mary’s was rebuilt in 1968, this classroom was incorporated in the present Church Hall.» Read more