Well, one of the oldest at least. Its home is St Mary’s church in Little Hormead, which at 900 years old, is also one of the oldest churches in the country and an unspoilt survivor from Norman times. I went to visit this church last week with the Churches Conservation Trust which cares for 2 redundant churches in North East Hertfordshire. Both have been classified as having “exceptional historic, architectural and archaeological significance, but are no longer required for regular worship”. It was a little sad to stand in a church which had obviously been at the centre of so many generations of families’ lives in the past yet today is almost unused.
At St Mary’s, Rebecca Rees of the Trust and Mr Cater, the volunteer key holder showed me the door and explained the conservation work the Trust are carrying out to protect it. Afterwards we went to visit St Andrew’s church in Buckland, another beautiful medieval building deep in the heart of east Hertfordshire. Here I was met by more volunteers who were enthusiastic about the work of the Churches Conservation Trust which has enabled the church to be used by the local community for events and services, including a Christmas Carol concert. I was told that St Andrews has a nursery which meets there and that each church has about six services a year.