Aldenham School, Founded 1597

Rededication of Aldenham Chapel 80 Years On

The Rt Rvd Dr Alan Smith, the Lord Bishop of St Albans led and preached at this wonderful celebration. Our very special guests of honour were two gentlemen, Mr Geoffrey Prall and Mr Philip Osmond, who were both present at the Consecration of the Chapel on 8th October 1938. Amongst the other special guests were two former school chaplains, The Revd Canon Andrew Stead and The Revd Dan Bond, Archdeacon Jonathan (Archdeacon for St Albans and a school governor), Mr Trevor Barton, the Chair of Governors and Mr James James-Crook, the President of the OA Society.

The service started with a hearty rendition of Lord of the Years, after which The Bishop welcomed everyone to this special service. The Headmaster gave a brief history of the School Chapel, reminding everyone that this is the third School Chapel and is still at the centre of our school community. The Junior Choir of pupils from Martineau’s, gave a wonderful rendition of Sing of the Lord’s Goodness. Mr Barton read the same Bible passage that was read at the service in 1938, (Matt 22:34-40) about the Greatest Commandment.

The Bishop spoke about why the Chapel is still a central part of many schools, when we live in such a secular society. He explored the relationship between science and religion and suggested that science can only answer the ‘How’, whereas religion answers the ‘Why’. Science cannot answer why at the heart of every community is the most important message of Love.

Following the singing of Amazing Grace Bishop Alan offered a prayer of Rededication. Head Boy and Girl, Michael Li and Sasha MacDonald read the prayers that The Revd Wealands Bell (School Chaplain 2004-2007) had written especially for this event. We concluded our service with robust singing of an all-time school favourite: Jerusalem.

One of the highlights of the service was when two of the youngest pupils, Jo Hime (Head Boy in Martineau’s) left the chapel with Mr Osmond, and Penzy Thairu, the junior Head Girl, with Mr Prall. Seeing the time span of the Chapel represented by two of our younger pupils and two much older former pupils, was particularly moving.

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