The parish is part of the Deanery of St Albans. The church was built in 1987 and consecrated on the 13th November 1987.
This parish, which at present serves the districts of Adeyfield, Leverstock Green and Bennetts End was set up as part of the New Town of Hemel Hempstead in the early 1950s.
The architect, Mr Archard designed an imposing building for us, topped out with a small ‘Hertfordshire’ style spire.
Sadly, it did not last, the structure proved unsound. It was painful to have to pull it down. “We were married in that church” said one. “My children were baptised there” said another. Last of all to come down was the great altar mural of the Coronation of Our Lady as Queen of Creation by R J Lloyd. That was in August 1985 – a sad day for him and for us.
While rebuilding work was in progress we moved into the old hall in Ritcroft Street. The condition of that hall made us aware of the need for a new hall as part of the new church complex, so the shell of a new hall was put up with the new church. Expense forced us to leave its fitting out until money became available. The church was ready for use in November 1986 and was solemnly blessed by Bishop O’Brien in February 1987. Cardinal Hume came to consecrate it in November 1987.
Statues, Stations of the Cross, tabernacle, crucifix, confessional and other furnishings of excellent quality were salvaged from the old building. An organ was salvaged from the St Charles Borrameo’s church in Ogle St, London, and rebuilt by Vincent Woodstock of Redbourn in 1987. The stained glass window behind the altar was made by Brother Gilbert of Prink Nash Abbey, and installed in December 1990.
The next job after rebuilding the church was to re-roof the sacristies and office, to say goodbye to the leaky and cold flat roofs. The work was completed in the summer of 1987 by a parishioner who made colossal savings by acting as contractor bringing in specialist craftsmen.
In the last 6 years the church has been completely redecorated, new lights installed around the perimeter with security fencing around the Presbytery, both the Church Hall and Parish Hall have been modified, installing disabled toilets and new kitchens in both. The original parquet flooring in the Church Hall was salvaged (again by volunteer labour) from a disused convent chapel in London.
The kitchen, 2 sacristies and office have very recently been refurbished, having now been brought into the 21st Century after not being touched for 50 years.
St Albert the Great Primary School is situated just a few minutes walk away from the church in Acorn Road. Indeed the children enjoy regular class visits to the Church where they take part in Exposition and Benediction. They attend as a School on Holy Days and lead the liturgy by singing, reading, and bringing up the gifts. Within the school Fr regularly celebrates class Masses and school Masses on special feast days, such at St Albert the Great’s feast Day, to which parents are welcome to attend.
Choir sing at the 12pm Mass and rehearse on Wednesday evenings from 7pm – 8.00/8.30pm. We are in need of some more men to help boost our tenor and base sections so if anyone has any talents in respect of conducting, organist or singing, please make yourself known.
The 10.30am also have a folk group so if you play an instrument which may enhance their liturgy, again make yourself known.