St Mary the Virgin, Stansted, Kent

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The church at Stansted, first mentioned in the Textus Roffensis complied at Rochester in the 1120's, was a small Anglo-Saxon church probably predating the Norman Conquest.  Religious worship at Stansted has been evolving ever since Archbishop Islip decreed in the early 1300’s that it was the duty of the Vicar of Wrotham to provide one fit chaplain to celebrate in the chapel of Stansted. The church we see today is known to have been in existence on October 8th 1312, when a thief John de Hynton took sanctuary there. However, St Mary’s is not included in the Taxatio of Pope Nicholas IV, which was completed in 1291, so it is assumed to have been built between these dates using materials from the original Saxon chapel. The church was constructed in one phase, overlooking the village beside a 300 year old yew tree, comprising chancel, knave side aisle and tower.    More than seven hundred years later that tree is still standing just outside the original porch.

In 1883 the Victorians restored St Mary’s, replacing almost all the windows, adding the vestry and pews.  Many original features still exist and visual clues to the past construction can be discovered.

In 1992 the Church was once again improved when the Ringers’ Gallery was installed, and the three bells were augmented to six. Within St Mary’s belfry hangs what is thought to be the oldest bell in the district. Cast before the Reformation, it bears a Latin inscription, which reads ‘His name is John’. A second bell is engraved ‘William Hatch made me in 1656’.

The oldest tombstones in the churchyard date from 1715. One gravestone belongs to the author and composer William Edward Hickson (1803-1870) whose words feature in the English national anthem.

Sir Sydney Waterlow, politician and philanthropist, was also buried in Stansted churchyard in 1906. He was a commissioner at the Crystal Palace Exhibition and was director of the Union Bank of London. I n 1872 Sir Sydney became Lord Mayor of London.

In the early 1980’s the parish of Stansted and Fairseat was combined by act of parliament with Vigo Village in order to create a more sustainable missionary congregation with three churches, St. Marys Stansted, Holy Innocents Fairseat and Vigo Church in Vigo village hall.

In 2009 the Rector, Rev. Christopher Noble,  proposed an extension to St Mary's to provide toilets, kitchenette and a room for children and coffee after services.  A seven year period of planning and fundraising  began, culminating in the construction of a free standing extension known as "The Cloisters", joined to the tower of the main church by a glazed link.


Parish boundary view Bird's eye view

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Rev. Chris Noble
(01732) 822494

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  • Regular Services
  • Other Events
Printer friendly list of events


Holy Communion
Holy Communion service in St Mary's church. Children are able to leave part way through the service to gather in the Cloisters room for children's church, joining the service later for communion. The service is followed with coffee and biscuits in the Cloisters room where we gather for a chat and to make new friends.
Each month
Every first Sunday at 10:00 AM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Sunday School Refreshments Common Worship
Church in the Cloisters
Church in the Cloisters' happens twice a month on the second & fourth Sundays at 10am - 11am. It is a contemporary Morning Praise service with music group, time of encouragement, Bible reading, prayer, worship and a talk. Coffee and home made cakes to follow.
Every second and fourth Sunday at 10:00 AM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Refreshments
Family Service
A family service, lighter than the communion services, children leaving half way through the service to gather in the Cloisters room for children's church. The service is followed by coffee and biscuits in the Cloisters where we chat and make new friends.
Every third Sunday at 10:00 AM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Sunday School Refreshments Common Worship


Prayer Meeting at Holy Innocents Fairseat
Every Monday at 7:30 PM for 1 hour


Bible Study at 54 Timberbank, Vigo Village
Hosted by Colin and Jill Redwood at 54 Timberbank, Vigo Village,
Every Tuesday at 10:00 AM for 2 hours


Coffee in the Cloisters
A pop in for coffe, homemade cakes, quizzes and a chat with friends
Every second third fourth and fifth Thursday at 10:30 AM for 2 hours
Family Friendly Refreshments
Printer friendly list of events
Grove Singers Concert
Friday 8th December 2017 at 7:30 PM for 2 hours
Service of Nine Readings and Carols
A traditional Christmas festival of nine bible readings and carols with choir, celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Sunday 17th December 2017 at 6:30 PM for 1½ hours
Family Friendly Refreshments Christmas Carols Mulled Wine Mince Pies
Children's Carol and Candle Service
The story of Christmas with carols and the lighting of the children's candles as the children leave.
Sunday 24th December 2017 at 4:30 PM for ¾ hour
Christmas Carols
Midnight Communion
Sunday 24th December 2017 at 11:00 PM for 1 hour
Morning service
Monday 25th December 2017 at 10:00 AM for 1 hour



Wheelchair accessible toilets

(Hymn Books / Orders of Service etc.)

Assistance dogs (eg guide dogs, hearing dogs, dogs for the disabled) welcome
Stained Glass Floodlight
wifi Free wifi      
Other information
A Church Near You ID (venue number): 16929
Our Patron: The Bishop of Rochester
Archdeaconry: TONBRIDGE (313)
Deanery: SHOREHAM (31303)
Benefice: Stansted w Fairseat and Vigo (31/183 J)
Parish Legal Name: Stansted with Fairseat and Vigo (310217 )
CofE Church Info: (631217 31/217)
Short URL:
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The current editor is: Colin Evans

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This page was last updated on Tuesday 3rd October 2017
St Mary the Virgin : Tumblefield Road, Stansted, Kent, Kent, TN15 7PP

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