England’s first multi-faith church holds 40th annual flower festival in Stevenage

It was the church's 40th annual flower festival

It was the church's 40th annual flower festival - Credit: Archant

England’s first multi-faith church celebrated its 40th annual flower festival last weekend.

The signing of the agreement between the three faiths in July 1974

The signing of the agreement between the three faiths in July 1974 - Credit: Archant

The All Saints Church in the Oval Community Centre, Stevenage, is home to Anglicans, Methodists and, until last year, Roman Catholics, and has held the event every year since it opened in July 1974.

The celebration was part of the church’s Harvest festival which was attended by more than 100 people from various faiths.

Organiser Averil Dron has been part of the Methodist congregation since the church opened and helped to realise this year’s festival.

She said: “It was an absolutely wonderful weekend and the church looked absolutely beautiful. In all the years I have been coming here I have seen a lot people come and go but the essence of the building has remained.

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“It has been a great place of worship since it opened and still is.”

The building also serves as a community centre used by groups such as the scouts, guides and YMCA.

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The original opening ceremony in 1974 was attended by the future Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Westminster Christopher Butler and Jack Kaye the Methodist chair of district who signed an agreement to work together to support the local community.

It stood until the Roman Catholics decided to withdraw from the partnership in July 2013, but the Anglicans and Methodists continue to meet, now as one congregation.

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