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The Photographs

These shows the church in a state of total dereliction as it was from 1917 - 1937.  

Why it was allowed to deteriorate to this degree - roof-lead hanging down the walls, north wall propped up with wooden buttresses, and an elder tree growing where the altar now stands - is not entirely clear.  

Local legend has it that it was the result of the vicar and the congregation falling out. He wanted to introduce high church practices - smells and bells. They said, 'If you do, we won't come.' He did. They didn't. And the result you see in the photographs.

 

St Margaret's in her derelict state
Photo courtesy of Luton News

Be that as it may be (or may not have been), in 1937-38 the church was restored, partly as a memorial to Archdeacon Parnell who had restored many Bedfordshire village churches, and partly for the explicit purpose of serving the newly developing area of Warden Hill.  

October 1938: the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Michael Furse, reopens St Margaret's
Photo courtesy of Luton News

Today, our church is very much one that has been born again, and to those who remember it back in those dark days it is a real joy to see it not only open again but thriving.

 St Margaret's - today

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Sunlight shining through the roof

The church, in even worse condition than the picture above-left



T
he north side of the church, showing the wall about to fall down

Parishioners queue to enter the church as it reopens
Photo courtesy of Luton News