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Welcome to London Colney Parish Council

Welcome to London Colney, one of the biggest villages in Britain with a population of nearly 10,000 residents. London Colney has a lively and cosmopolitan community, with many groups and activities adding to the richness of village life.

At one time the High Street was one of the main routes to London and its abundance of inns were a popular stopover with coach travellers to and from the Capital. It has an interesting history, especially as it was within the London Colney area that the Romans captured Alban, before taking him to Verulamium (St Albans) for execution.

Chantry Island Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage is back in fashion.  The popularity of the BBC show is proof – if we needed it – that whatever people’s doubts about institutional religion, they are still interested in the idea of the spiritual.  They’re still attracted, too, to combining a physical journey with a spiritual one, making geographical exploration into spiritual exploration.

Whether it’s celebrities in northern Britain, Muslims on the Hajj to Mecca, Hindus visiting to the River Ganges, or Christians following the ancient route to Santiago de Compostella, a pilgrimage captures the imagination, whatever our religious views.  And this year a very local pilgrimage comes back to life right here in London Colney.  Previously an annual event, the Chantry Island Pilgrimage, which stopped during the pandemic, returns on 19 June.

Chantry Island has been regarded as a holy place for over a thousand years.  A chapel, built on a small island created by a bend in the River Colne, already existed in time to be recorded in the Domesday Book.  In 1191 the landowner gave money for it to become a ‘Chantry Chapel’ – guaranteeing masses would be said for his family forever.  And so they were – for a good 300 years until the chapel fell into disuse during the plagues of the Middle Ages.

The tales go back even further, however, to the story of Alban, Britain’s first saint who gave his name to St Albans.  Although the evidence is a little hazy, the legend is that Alban lived on Chantry Island in the 4th century, and was arrested there before being taken to his death.

We may not be sure of the location, but we do know the story: Alban, a Roman, gave refuge to a Christian priest, Amphibalus, who was fleeing persecution.  While sheltering him, Alban was so impressed by what Amphibalus taught him that he decided to become a Christian himself, and when the soldiers came he put on Amphibalus clothes and was executed in his place.

That dramatic and moving story is remembered in the annual Alban Pilgrimage which this year takes place on Saturday 22 June in St Albans.  But why shouldn’t London Colney have a piece of the action too?  And whatever the history, the site feels like a ‘thin place’, where the gap between heaven and earth is stretched so fine that you can almost glimpse the spiritual realm amidst the quiet lush greenery.

It is a tranquil haven to which all are warmly invited for an early evening stroll on 19 June.  We welcome pilgrims of any faith or none: whether you are interested in the history, seeking some peaceful reflection, or simply curious, please join us.  We will set off 6.30 from opposite St Peter’s Church.  The route follows the River Colne to Chantry Island, where we will pause for a while before returning for refreshments.  It’s muddy when wet, so please choose suitable footwear.

We look forward to seeing you.

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Latest News


  • Nominations for London Colney Community Awards are Open!

    8 December 2021
    in Front Page

    In March 2022 we will be hosting the 3rd London Colney Community Awards! Over the past 2 years we have seen our community support each other, and go above and beyond for each other, to support those in need, our neighbours and businesses throughout the pandemic/Covid-19 crisis, which has effected every person in our community.  Now is the time for us to recognise those unsung heros!

     

     

    Nominations for the London Colney Community Awards are now open!

    Nominations close on Monday 31st January to be considered for an award.

    Winners will be announced on Friday 11th March from 7pm at the Caledon Community Centre at the Community Awards Ceremony.

     

    There are 3 categories you can nominate for:

    Good Neighbour Award
    This award is for someone who enhances the lives of a neighbour or neighbourhood.
    Service to the Community
    This award could be a volunteer or simply a person who goes the extra mile, that provides enhancement of the service being given.
    Business in the Community
    Nominate a business in the community that deserves to be recognised for their contribution to the village.

     

    Complete your nominations on the online form below:

    https://forms.office.com/r/CvVLV1RFa1

     

    Paper versions of the form are available from the Parish Council office, and can also be found on page 7 of the December issue of the London Colney News.