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Our History

Although there is evidence that there was an earlier church building, the present church was completed around 1460. We are proud that we are part of a Christian witness which has been present here for over 550 years.

St Augustine’s is a Grade I Listed building with mainly flint-faced rubble walls with Ashlar dressings. The West tower has eight bells, which are rung every Sunday and at weddings. At ground level, near the tower, benefaction boards show charities going back to 1440. On the opposite wall is displayed a list of clergy, the first of whom, John de Somerby, ministered locally some hundred years before the present church was built.

The church has a nave and two aisles, and seats up to 320. Although the Chancel was reordered in 1980, the church retains many historical features. The sanctuary contains two late medieval chest tombs to members of the Say family, major benefactors of the church. There are numerous wall memorials (including to John McAdam, the road builder, and Edward Christian, brother of the leader of the Mutiny on the Bounty) and hatchments, and impressive monuments and brasses. The Royal Arms over the chancel hide a ‘doom’ painting of the Last Judgement, probably dating to 1512, on a lath-and-plaster wall behind the Arms. The East window is a beautiful depiction of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. The font is Norman.

The Churchyard, bounded to the North by the New River, is closed and therefore maintained by the Borough Council. There are two Gardens of Remembrance, one of which has recently been landscaped.

Extensive repairs to St Augustine’s in the past led to the formation of the Friends of St Augustine’s Church (FOSTA), which exists to help maintain and where necessary renew this magnificent building.

For information about membership of FOSTA, please contact:

Geoff Green
35 Carnaby Road
Herts EN10 7EG

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