Hopesay: St Mary
St Mary’s Hopesay is ancient for the most part, having been built in the 12th century with later medieval additions and with some more recent late Victorian refurbishments particularly in the chancel area. The church is well used and carefully looked after, is clean and welcoming and it has a good atmosphere, with a constant supply of flowers. Regular weekly use ensures that this welcome is kept up and the maintenance and repair of the church is looked after by an enthusiastic PCC.
Because it is situated in magnificent countryside between Hopesay Hill and a significant iron age fort, St Mary’s is also visited by many walkers and the PCC has a policy of keeping the door open throughout the day. When the first lockdown ended we made it possible for visitors to continue to visit for individual prayer in a safe and hygienic environment. Many visitors comment appreciatively on the setting of the church with its wild, rural graveyard which often has sheep grazing within it to keep the grass in trim. We were perhaps too famous for our unkempt rural style where the grass had to be held down to view the gravestones; nowadays enthusiastic PCC members work hard to keep the main surrounding graveyard and pathways in good trim. We adhere to a conservation mowing plan when keeping the paths clear.
The PCC has for many years maintained services at the Church every Sunday. Making this possible has in large part depended on the efforts of lay service leaders, as well as the involvement of retired priests living in the community, particularly for Holy Communion services.
The 3rd Sunday services are usually led by the Churchwardens with growing involvement from other members of the congregation. There is some flexibility in this respect as we have a Reader who is normally able to lead one service per month which may either be the first or the third. (The Reader, Sonia Phippard, organised and led about six successive Sunday services by means of Zoom during the lockdown period in 2020.) There are special festival services on Good Friday, at Easter, Harvest and Christmas, with Crib Services, Carol Services and Midnight Mass.
See more information on our 'About Us' page
The parish of Hopesay is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own Parish Safeguarding Officer(s), PSOs. The Diocese of Hereford’s safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) who advise our PSOs. If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact the DSA. If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority Children or Adults Services.
Discover what's at the heart of Christmas with us
Celebrate and share the good news of Christ’s birth with special services and events this Advent and Christmas.