All Saints Church in Abingdon have been celebrating their Diamond Jubilee this weekend.
All Saints was opened in October 1959, and Lady Cockcroft from the Harwell Atomic Energy Research Establishment was there at the opening. Sir John Cockcroft was a renowned physicist who helped set up Harwell.
Abingdon was expanding northwards in the 1940s with the development of the Fitzharry’s and Manor Estates and then Rush Common Estate in the 1950s. Housing was needed for the workers at Harwell – scientists and technicians.
Members from Trinity Church Abingdon, in an act of faith, bought a plot of land for a new church at the centre of the new housing. Generous contributions ensured it opened free of debt. Members from Trinity left to set up the new church.
The anniversary celebrations took place over All Saints Day on Friday 1st November 2019 and continued with services, exhibitions and activities over the weekend. A lot of former members came back to visit.
The last service was a Songs of Praise that began with the hymn ‘For all the saints’. There was also a hymn specially written by two church member for the celebration called ‘Lead us On‘. The chorus went:
We cannot see where all our paths may lead
We cannot know where each of us will go
We thank you for the grace
that brought us to this place
and we trust in your love to lead us on.
All Saints Church continues to act as centre of community in 2019. Lots of other community groups use the church buildings.
A display of diamonds at the front, and a large display on the side wall had been created by the groups that use that place.