Film explores history of Hatfield church

PUBLISHED: 17:31 04 April 2016 | UPDATED: 17:31 04 April 2016

Steeple-keeper Rob Goss shows presenter Rosie Hancock how to ring the church bells.

Steeple-keeper Rob Goss shows presenter Rosie Hancock how to ring the church bells.


A dedicated Hatfield historian has made a film about the town’s partially-medieval church to raise much-needed restoration funds.

Jon Brindle’s 100-minute video about St Etheldreda’s Church covers its long history, from St Etheldreda herself in the seventh century, through to modern weddings, and recent services for Rememberance Sunday and Christmas.

Mr Brindle video-recorded aspiring actress Rosie Hancock, who lives in St Albans but works in Hatfield, interviewing key church figures and even trying bell-ringing.

Recorded discs of the film have gone on sale for £10, in aid of the church’s appeal for £500,000 to complete imortant repairs, and safuguard its future.

Mr Brindle, not a church-goer but a keen supporter of the Hatfield Local History Society, told the WHT: “It could easily have been an hour longer.

“I started looking into the story of the church, and was amazed how interesting it was. It is a major grade-one listed building.

”It took about 20 hours of editing.”

His film dramatises how three Tudor sovereigns. Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth 1, must have all have visited the church in childhood as they were partly brought up in the neighbouring Old Palace.

The disc can be ordered from churchwarden Malcolm Caie on 07817-053868 or at

Mr Caie told the WHT: “It is remarkably entertaining, especially for an amateur production.

”There is something in it for everybody locally.”

MP Grant Shapps, who also appears in the film, said: “Old Hatfield is such a hidden gem in our local area, and hiding away here is St Etheldreda’s, a beautiful time-stamp on Britain’s history.

“It’s awful to see how much disrepair the church has fallen into, but looking at and hearing about the plans for new developments, I 100 per cent support their campaign to modernise this incredible place of worship.”

The disc can be bought from the church when it is open, or from the Peta Shaw shop in Fore Street.

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