St. Mary in Castro (St. Mary in the Castle) , Dover Castle, Dover

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Seen by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year as they tour Dover Castle, St. Mary in Castro is, first and foremost, a working place of worship. Services are usually  at 10am every Sunday, normally Holy Communion, or Sung Matins on the 2nd Sunday each month.(ring 01304 202979 or see ‘Services’ and ‘Calendar of Events’ for current details) 

For the Easter Period
Thu 02/Apr  19:00    Maundy Thursday
Fri 03/Apr    11:30   end of  Good Friday Walk of Witness -Placing of Crosses
Fri 03/Apr    14:30   Good Friday meditation
Sun 05/Apr   06:00   Easter Sunrise Service
Sun 05/Apr   10:00   Easter  Eucharist  (Limited Parking due to English Heritage Event)
Sun 12/Apr   10:00   Easter 2   Matins
Sun 19/Apr   10:00   Easter 3 Eucharist & ANNUAL CHURCH MEETING
Sun 26/Apr   10:00   Easter 4 / St George Eucharist (Limited Parking due to English Heritage Event)

Once the local Garrison church, it is now an Extra-parochial Church in Canterbury Diocese,  but it still keeps a miltary ethos.
All services are open to everyone,  if attending worship, an entry ticket from English Heritage is not required.

The church is inside the Castle grounds and, from its Saxon beginnings, has served garrisons within the castle and in the surrounding area.
Sited on the White Cliffs of Dover with a 360 degree panorama the age of the church is uncertain but the current building dates from 800 to 1000AD (late Saxon ). It is likely that it is on the site of earlier Roman foundations, either a place of worship or a building linked to the Roman lighthouse, Pharos, which is by the West door. Roman building materials, especially tiles, were re-used by the Saxons in walls and arches.

At the end of the seventeenth century, church attendance dropped, the church fell into ruins. It was later used as a fives court, a coal store and rubbish dump. In 1862 the church was restored by George Gilbert Scott and the distinctive mosaic work and other cosmetic additions were added by William Butterfield in 1889/90.

The church played a major part during the two world wars as a place of worship and contemplation for those stationed in the castle, or those heading overseas. During the spring and summer of 1940 services continued despite almost constant air-raids and anti-aircraft fire

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St Mary in Castro
Dover Castle
CT16 1HU
(01304) 202979 (Church Office)

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  • Regular Services
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Holy Communion Service
A Holy Communion service takes place at 10am.
Every first third fourth and fifth Sunday at 10:00 AM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Coffee Common Worship
Matins from BCP
Traditional service of Matins from the Book of Common Prayer
Frequency changes occasionally, please check with the verger if attending specifically for Matins.
Every second Sunday at 10:00 AM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Coffee Book of Common Prayer
Ours is a Listed Building Conservation Area Floodlighting Wall paintings / art Stained glass Guidebooks / notes Cafe / restaurant Shop Organ Church Open Hearing / Induction Loop Large Print Hymnbooks / Orders of Service Assistance Dogs Toilets Baby Changing Facilities Visitor Parking Available Foodbank

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Other information
A Church Near You ID (venue number): 5393
Built: 1000
Architect: Restored by Gilbert Scott and Butterfield
Style of worship: Traditional Catholic

The current editor is: Tom Russell

St. Mary in Castro (St. Mary in the Castle) , Dover Castle , Dover Castle, Dover, Kent, CT16 1HU

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