Letchworth Church, Hertfordshire

For some long time the Garden City of Letchworth had no parish church. The town’s founder, Ebenezer Howard was a Quaker and so did not really consider this to be an omission. Old Letchworth had St. Mary’s, and the other two villages on the edges of his planned town, Willian and Norton, also both have their own churches.

So it was not until 1964 that the decision was made to build a new church to replace St. Mary’s which – as Hertfordshire’s smallest parish church – could not cope with the growing number of residents.

Laurence King, a distinguished architect, was brought in to design a new church to stand in the centre of Letchworth. This was St Michael the Archangel which was consecrated in 1967 at which point St. Mary’s ceased to be the main church.

St. Michael the Archangel is a fairly standard modern church with an impressive “in the round” interior of the kind frequently used in 1960s churches. It somehow seems difficult to imagine the Garden City without it now, although it is barely 40 years old.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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