Parish of Northaw and Cuffley

Our church buildings

We are a single parish with two church buildings.  

St Thomas a Becket Church, Northaw.

The present church was built in 1882; unlike most old parish churches, it has remained much as it was originally.  However, this is at least the third church to have been built on this site: there has been a church here dedicated to St Thomas a Becket for around 700 years.

The first of which we have any knowledge, was a small, very simple church, which existed from Norman times until about 1808 when it was pulled down in order to build a larger one.  We still have two links with this church: the fine old fifteenth century font which now stands near the bell-ringing chamber, and a beautiful silver-gilt chalice given in 1636.

The second building, dedicated in 1810, consisted of a square embattled tower, a nave and two transepts all built of brick and covered with stucco, the whole roofed with slate.  On 29 February 1881 the church was completely destroyed by fire, only the lectern and Bible being save.

The present church is a fine example of Victorian Gothic style at its best.  The building was completed and consecrated in September 1882, although the North aisle and Vestry were added a few years later.

The tower is 73’ high, has parapet walls with pierced tracery panelling and four pinnacles, 12’ high.  There is a ring of six bells, the weight of the heaviest being nearly 13cwt.

St Andrew Church, Cuffley

The original Church of St Andrew, which stood at the top of Plough Hill, was built in 1910 as a Chapel of Ease and was a place of worship for 150 dwellers in the hamlet of Cuffley.  Built of corrugated iron, beautifully lined inside and decorated in delicate colours, the little Church served the community for over 50 years until 1965 and was replaced with the present building when the congregation became too large.

Cuffley became well-known overnight in 1916 when Lt Leefe Robinson shot down a German Army Airship SL11.  This was the first German Airship to be destroyed on British soil and fell in flames near the original St Andrew’s Church.

The new Church of St Andrew was consecrated on St Andrew’s Day, 30 November 1965, and is sited on the top of a hill overlooking the village of Cuffley.  The large cross in the apex on the east wall is lit internally and has become a well-known and loved landmark as it shines above the village.

Above the altar is an imposing sculpture in stainless steel by renowned artist Angela Connor, and along the south and north walls the beautiful vivid glass windows are unique due to the glass being melded together by a fusing process which proved too costly to continue.

The sloping site allowed for an undercroft to be constructed beneath the new Church and is regularly used today by the local community for all kinds of activities including celebration events, fitness classes and general meetings.