This, the parish church, built at the top of the hill ( known as Fore Street) in the old town of Hatfield enjoys a great deal of history.A church has been known to have been on this site since at least 680AD. Accounts of the church can be found in part 7, Churches in the set of books – Hatfield and its People published in September 1961 – the books on Bishop’s Hatfield by the Reverend Jocelyn Antrobus and more is to be found in the Guide to the Parish Church (published 2009) in the church.
Since that time much has been done to improve and maintain the structure of the building and its facilities. However there is still further work to be done – interior decoration requires a lot of attention
Along with other repairs and refurbishments, and following an appeal the Tower and the clock were restored. the Carillon, installed in 1786 by Emily Mary, Marchioness of Salisbury (but thought to be from another church as it appears to be over 100 years older) was overhauled. The original tunes – set to be heard at 9 am, midday, 3 pm and 6 pm daily – are as follows:-
- Sunday Hanover
- Monday Clasper Clown or Jingling Johnny
- Tuesday Auld Reekie
- Wednesday The Old BellIsleMarch
- Thursday Adam and Eve
- Friday Malbrooks’en va-t-en guerre
- Saturday Step In
The carillon was again overhauled in 2015 by Mr. Peter Jackson (whose business card was still in the bell tower) and who was contacted by Mr. Jon Brindle – a Hatfield history buff.
At the west end of the church a new room-“the Bolt Hole” became the vestry and serves as a place for the preparation of refreshments and the storing of vestments. Pews were also removed from the area at the south west of the church to make a family corner.
The old pipe organ had become almost useless so a new pipe-less one was installed and has proved pleasing to congregations ever since.
Another change which has been made and has proved a success with the people who had , on occasion, had to sit through services muffled up against the cold, was the upgrading of the heating system.
Other beneficiaries are the many visitors who, in the season when Hatfield House is open to the public, call in to the church where they can better appreciate the connections with the House and the many historic facts concerning the church and its many memorials.