Get involved - See what's going on
There are many different groups at St Mary's. There is so much more to our church community than you may see on a Sunday. You will, on occasion, find us quiet and contemplative; other times we are a hive of activity and laughter.
Here's a list of activities and groups. If you want to join any of these, do contact us. ([email protected])
Home Groups: Home Groups are an important part of church life - they are small groups which meet in someone's home. They read the bible together, pray, support, question, encourage and grow.
Wednesday - Meet Oct - April at Theale Farm, 15.00 - 16.30 They sing hymns, pray, tell stories, study the bible, and eat chocolate cake . Call (01934) 713311 for more details.
Tuesday - fortnightly in Stoughton, 20:00 - 21:30 . This group focuses on informal bible study. Contact [email protected] for more details.
Wednesday - Meeting fortnightly in term time either in a home or online 19:30 - 21:00. Key Christian texts are looked at using video, discussion and a prayerful reading of the bible. Contact Richard Neill (01934) 713566) for more details.
Visitors often comment on the flowers which adorn our church. Throughout the year, with the exception of Lent and Advent, flower arrangements at the altar, lectern, Guild Chapel and in the Lady Chapel give the church a welcoming and well cared for look. The flower arranging team is 30 strong, many of whom are not regular church members. If you want to join this team, you would be made very welcome. Please contact Anne Blandford ([email protected])
A ringing team assemble for weddings, Armistice day and on Sundays. A full team can ring all of the eight bells from the bell chamber in the tower. We always welcome new members; there are currently seven trainees, (the youngest being 15). Training sessions are Monday evenings 5pm until 7pm. The Tower Captain is Steve George. Do get in touch if you want to join this growing team.
Here’s a video taken in the bell tower a few years ago.
The Tea Set
This initiative started from a desire to offer companionship and care to those in the local community who are alone and possibly feel isolated. The Lady Chapel is set up for afternoon tea and there is the opportunity to catch up with familiar faces and make new contacts. The time ends with a short ‘thought for the day’. If you know of someone who might benefit from coming along, please get in contact with us.
Fair trade Coffee morning
The first Sunday of each month. This is a very popular event, where visitors and regulars always find a warm welcome. There’s a Traidcraft stall, second book stall, EXCELLENT home made cakes and GREAT coffee (and tea). This happens in the Lady Chapel, but we often spill out into the Guild Chapel too! There’s a large team of volunteers and bakers who make this a very successful event. Do pop in, we are sure that you won’t regret it. If you want to join the team, drop us a line.
There is a hard working team of 12 volunteers who keep our church looking lovely. This team deserves a very big thank you for their ‘behind the scenes’ work which helps St Mary’s look welcoming for everyone - worshippers, concert goers, those attending fairs and village gatherings, interested visitors, the curious and the casual. If you would like to join this vital back stage team, please do get in contact.
The Friends of St Mary's
“Friends of St Mary’s” gathers together the efforts and support of those who do not regularly come to services but who nevertheless feel warmly towards the church as a community centre, as a beautiful building and as the backdrop to their village lives.
Please join us and help maintain and enhance this lovely building.
A faithful and happy choir enjoy singing together on Sunday morning and for weddings, funeral and festivals. The choir is led by our very talented organist, Liam. The choir meet to practice on Thursday evenings at 7:30pm in the Lady Chapel. If you want to join, contact us, or just turn up for practice, we guarantee you a warm welcome. No auditions necessary, just enthusiasm. If you love to sing, but are unsure about reading music, you might be encouraged to know that not everyone in the choir reads music, but they all love to sing in harmony.
Sunday Coffee makers.
Making the coffee after Sunday services, this group enjoy providing refreshments while the congregation (old and new) catch up. They also provide great biscuits!
Messy Church team
Messy church is fun for children and grownups of all ages. Families arrive and are immediate immersed in creative play/craft activities; they can rotate around all the activities. After an hour all the activities are drawn to an end and the families gather around to listen to Richard (our vicar) talk about the theme of the day. Then it’s time for tea and cakes in the Lady Chapel. If you want to join in, just check our events for the next Messy Church and turn up and register. If you want to join the organisers, drop us a line.
Start the Week
This is a time of tranquillity and peace for 45 minutes from 6pm on Sunday evenings (see weekly notice sheet for dates). A number of people from St Mary's take it in turns to lead this service and whilst each has their own style, the common factors are: reflection or meditation to focus on, music and a time of silence. The appeal of this service is in its simplicity and quiet meditation or contemplative prayer. If this is for you - Just turn up, it takes place in the Lady Chapel.
The locking up team
This is the team of people, who take responsibility for opening and closing the church daily. We aim to keep our church open for visitors daily during day light hours.
The Sacristan Team
This team prepares the altar for Parish Communion twice a month, and for the benefice and special services. They care for the altar linen. A very special group, who feel privileged to have this responsibility.
Little Lambs baby and Toddler Group
Tuesday 9:15 am until 11 am. Play, coffee, and songs in The Lady Chapel for all pre school children and their carers.
The PCC (Parochial Church Council)
A parochial church council (PCC) is the executive committee of a Church of England parish and consists of clergy and churchwardens of the parish, together with representatives of the laity.
Legally the council is responsible for the financial affairs of the church parish and the maintenance of its assets, such as churches and church halls, and for promoting the mission of the church.