The new vicar of a church in Leavesden said his inaugural ceremony went "absolutely brilliantly" despite it having to hold it in a nearby school.

Reverend Eddie Green has taken over as vicar of All Saints Church, but due to poor state of the its roof his welcome service was held in Francis Combe Academy.

The 38-year-old vicar said: "The service went absolutely brilliantly. Francis Combe is a great school and gave us a great welcome. It was also great to have representatives from other churches and community groups at the service.

It went really well despite the fact we couldn’t hold it in the church building. The important thing about church is the people though, not the building."

The alter, organ, cross and candle sticks, as well as the ceremonial chairs used by both the new vicar and the Bishop of St Albans had to be moved to the Garston school.

The roof of the church, in All Saints Crescent, began to leak earlier this year, prompting the start of a £250,000 fundraising drive in order to carry out repair work. The work started in October this year but will not be finished until April 2014.

Reverend Green said: "I am brand new to the area, although I do have family roots here even though there is no family here at the moment. My mother’s side of the family always lived in Watford and are big Watford FC fans.

“When I visited I felt so welcomed and at home, I felt called here. The area has a huge amount going for it, in terms of facilities and green open spaces, but it’s the people you meet that are the most important thing."

Reverend Green has been was ordained eight years before coming to Leavesden and previously worked in Bicester.

He said: "I felt a call to be ordained from about the age of 12 or 13. It was through R.E. lessons at school. My mum died when I was in my 20s and from there I really felt I needed to get on with what I wanted to do."

Reverend Green added: "All Saints is already really welcoming to everyone and I just want to expand on and continue that. I want to build on the community and family aspect and on relationships."