Facilities and features
St Marys Church is Grade 1 listed. Historic England's description of the reasons for listing are as follows:
A fine C14 and C15 flint church with stone dressings. The C14 west tower, in 3 stages, has diagonal buttresses, a castellated parapet and a 3-light Decorated window in the upper stage. The nave arcade and clerestory are C14 and the aisle walls, chapels and the north and south porches are C15 with good flushwork panelling. The aisles and chancel have castellated parapets and the windows have Perpendicular tracery. In 1447 money was left for a south window, in 1454 for a north window and for clerestory windows in 1474-5. The north aisle roof has carved beams and there is a C15 carved font. Graded for its architectural historical and topographical value.
We have registered St Mary's church with the Ecochurch scheme in spring 2021 and recently achieved a bronze award. Volunteers have set up a wildlife/conservation area in the churchyard and some nesting boxes for swifts have been installed in the church tower. All our electrical power is supplied by a 'green' energy company. We are currently switching over our lighting to LEDs, though this will take some time to complete fully.
Music and Worship
St Mary's has a ring of 6 bells, the largest or tenor weighing around 14cwt. Practices are on Mondays 8-9pm except for Bank Holidays. Established ringers, learners or the simply curious all welcome.
St Mary's has a fine 2 manual Victorian pipe organ made by Forster and Andrews of Hull. Installed in 1877, it has given valiant service with only routine maintenance (and an electric blower added) since. It was granted a Grade ll* Historic Listing by the British Institute of Organ Studies in 2018. We have started raising funds for a full restoration of this splendid instrument - donations welcome!
In our current pattern, the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) Order of Service is normally followed for the 9a.m. Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the month.
Groups, Courses and Activities
'The Coffee Shop' is held in The Old School Hall in the centre of Glemsford village, 10am-11.30am every Tuesday. In the summer, weekly gatherings move round the village, being held in the gardens of some of the 'regulars'. There are no charges for coffee and cake, but donations are invited towards various aspects of the upkeep and mission of St Mary's Church. In recent years, those attending Coffeee Shop have made valuable contributions in this way.
Messy Church started in Glemsford in 2014, organised jointly with Glemsford Methodists Church. We normally meet every 2 months on a Saturday, 4-6pm in Glemsford Village Hall. We enjoy games and crafts, a celebration with songs and a story and a shared meal to finish with. Meetings are currently being paused, but we hope to restart soon.
Help for Visitors
A new edition of our Church Guide was produced in 2014. Copies are available for purchase in the church.
We are currently opening the church on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10am - 3pm. Entry to St Mary's at other times can be arranged by contacting us or 'phoning one of the keyholders (numbers on the church noticeboard). We are hoping to extend opening hours as the days lengthen.
St Mary's Church is in the village's conservation area, in a beautiful setting overlooking the Glem Valley. We are part of the EcoChurch Scheme run by the Christian charity A Rocha and have gained a bronze award for improved care for the environment. A small area for fostering wildflower development has been set aside in our churchyard, with regular mowing supended.
For many years the church has had use of a hall in the centre of Glemsford village. Recently renamed the Old School Hall in view of its origins, it is available for bookings for receptions, birthday parties, club meetings and much more. Please message A Church Near You for further information.
The church is committed to using and serving Fairtrade products on its premises where possible, to give a better deal for small producers in developing countries.