News Articles All Saints’ celebrates 100th anniversary

All Saints’ celebrates 100th anniversary

Bishop David cutting the church’s birthday cake with Rev Ros Rutherford

The Bishop of Basingstoke visited All Saints’ Church, Basingstoke recently to join the congregation in celebrating the church’s 100th anniversary, and to lead a Eucharist of Thanksgiving.

Built during some of the darkest stages of World War One, when news of deaths in action were a part of daily life, All Saints’ has stood as a sign of hope throughout its 100 year history. As many young men had joined the war effort, the church had to be constructed by stonemasons too old to be called up, and it was finally completed in September 1917 as the Battle of Passchendaele was raging across the Channel. Since then the church has remained a source of fellowship, comfort and encouragement to the local community, providing a place of worship for a faithful congregation of young and old, where everyone is always welcome.

The Right Reverend David Williams, the Bishop of Basingstoke, said:

“It is a pleasure to be part of All Saints’ centenary celebrations, and an honour to lead the congregation in worship. The church of All Saints is a beautiful, peaceful and inspiring place and has been at the heart of the local community throughout its history.  The congregation here ensure that the Church is a place of true Christian welcome.”

The Rev Rosalind Rutherford, Vicar of All Saints’ Church, said:

“I’m very pleased that Bishop David has been able to join with us in celebration of this significant occasion. The dedication of a new church in 1917, in the midst of a campaign which resulted in about a quarter of a million casualties on each side, was certainly a sign of Christian hope. In the same way, as we celebrate the centenary of All Saints and the people who have created the community here, we continue to find joy and hope in the midst of an unpredictable and violent world through our Christian faith.”

Brian and Eileen Spicer. Brian was baptized in All Saints and never lived further than a mile from the church. He and Eileen were married in All Saints 60 years ago this June. He spoke in the service about some of his many memories, including serving during World War 2 and a family story of how his father’s horses and carts hauled the stone for the church up the hill from the railway station.

Sunday’s Thanksgiving Eucharist celebrated the community that has shared their Christian faith and made the church the place of welcome it is today. As part of centenary celebrations there was also a talk about the history of the church by local historian Debbie Reavell, and a festival of “Living Stones, Flowers and Faith” which featured displays including copies of drawings and plans of the church, the originals of which are held in the RIBA archive at the V&A.