The History of a Parish

Marjorie Bray

Oxhey Parochial Church Council


A booklet of 28 pages and 4 pictures

No index, plans or maps


Oxhey booklet, St Matthew's Church, The History of a Parish

Oxhey Park Lodge, Oxhey, Hertfordshire, from booklet by Marjorie Bray

Oxhey Park Lodge (now demolished)



  1. The Land

  2. The Church

  3. The Vicars of Oxhey St Matthew

  4. The Parish Magazine

  5. Around the district

  6. Past Residents of note

  7. The Railway

  8. What of the future?

There are 4 photographs by Miss M Stone

[sample text]


For twelve years previously there had been suggestions that there was a need for a place of worship in the rapidly growing district of New Bushey. The railway had stimulated the expansion of Bushey to the north facilitating easier access to the stcttion opened in 1841. At first, a site at the corner of Aldenham Road and Chalk Hill was contemplated but the Rev'd Newton Price, then Chaplain of Oxhey Chapel, with a foresight that was almost visionary, urged that the western side of the railway should be considered, saying that it was on the hitherto unbuilt land that the district would develop.

The Ecclesiastical Commission of March 25th, 1879 agreed that a sum of 50 a year was to be paid in aid of an endowment on behalf of a church to be set up under the constitution of the new Parishes Act ­ the Peel Acts. These Acts passed in 1843 authorized the establishment of new Church of England parishes under certain conditions - the population of the new parish had to be at least 4,000 and half the sittings in the church had to be free. The decision to constitute the parish of Oxhey was opposed by the Vicar of Watford, the Rev'd. Richard Lee lames, once Chaplain of Oxhey Chapel, who felt that a place of worship was not needed in the district and if it were to be built then it should be an offshoot of St. Mary's, Watford. Because Oxhey Parish was constituted under the Peel Acts (the only one in the neighbourhood) the proposed Vicar, The Rev'd. Newton Price refused to countenance this and declared that New Bushey /Oxhey must be separate from Watford. This meant that the incumbent was entitled to the fees and emoluments, a fact established in June 1894 when Counsel's Opinion confirmed this.

The designs for the church were prepared by Messrs. Coe & Robinson. 2,625. 2s. 6d. was to provide an endowment of 100, 50 annually was promised by the Rector of Bushey and Exeter College, Oxford, which with the grant from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners made a total endowment yearly of 200. This is recorded in the London Gazette of December 23rd, 1879. On the 23rd January, 1880, in the same publication, it is stated that "the Queen's most excellent Majesty in Council" agreed to the parish of Oxhey being established and there follows details of the endowments and boundaries with reference to the Oxhey District boundary stones erected in 1879. ... ...


Vicars of St Matthew

Newton Price


John Wilfred Lewis


Herbert Allen


Richard Edward Parsons


Charles Winford Alington


Julian Victor Langmead Casserley


Robert John Pearce


Bernard Bruce Edmonds


William Robinson Peverley


Peter Malcolm Palmer


Some WW1 memorials in the Church

Under the west window ... are two plaques commemorating young soldiers killed in 1916, John Richard Gutteridge Smith of Wiggenhall and Eric Lillywhite Lailey. Outside in the porch is a marble tablet to John MacDonald and Frank Martin, bell-ringers killed in the First World War.

    A very useful booklet    
Locating Books
At the time this page was last updated second hand copies were available online
July 2012   Page Created