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History

Church History

The more recent history of the Parish of Roxbourne, and St Andrew’s Church, begins in 1941. At that time, the Mission Hall, built in a corner of St Paul’s parish to cope with the growing population, was declared a Mission Church. During the war years the Mission church had several different priests and it was difficult to progress. The buildings became dilapidated with only a handful of attendees, until a new, young, priest - the Reverend Edward Nadkarni - arrived in December 1949.

He and the few people who remained painted the small church inside and out and removed the front hedge to make the building more welcoming. More people were encouraged to attend and soon the growing congregation led by Father Nad had the vision of building a new Parish church.

altarWithin a couple of years the process began to make Roxbourne a Conventional District, from parts of the Parish of St Paul to the south and St Alban in the north. By 1954, with the aid of house-to-house collections, £4000 had been raised. The life of the church was invigorated with Sunday Schools in various locations, attracting over 700 children and with regular drama performances, borrowing the local school and assembly hall to house the ever increasing audiences. All this helped to bring St Andrews to the attention of those in charge of church building and in 1954 the first foundations were laid on the present site.

east window600 local families pledged money to become church builders and the remaining funds came from the War Damage Commission in respect of the bombed-out church of St Stephen’s Poplar which was not to be rebuilt. Much of the furnishings came from other destroyed churches: the pews and pulpit from St Mary’s Edmonton and five of the bells from St Thomas’ Bethnal Green. St Stephen’s Poplar had had beautiful stained glass windows which were thought to have been worth about £4000 and so that money from the War Damage Commission had to be used for the windows in St Andrew’s. A Dutchman, Max Nauta, was chosen to design the windows and these  help to tell the story of this building.

The new church was opened in October 1957 and the spire, with its cross, is the landmark of the parish. Since 1957 there have been six vicars and the present incumbent, Lyndon North, was installed in September 2012.