Church of England Diocese of Chichester Willingdon

About our Church

St. Mary's is the ancient parish church of Willingdon. Its worship reflects the fact that we are a church which tries to meet the needs of all who live in the Parish. We are a Eucharistic community - that means that our main service on a Sunday is Holy Communion, where we gather to listen to the word of God and break bread together as our Lord commanded. We also recognise the needs of those who have little experience of church with a weekly Family Eucharist, which is simplified and has a children's address. Alongside these, we have Sung Matins once a month and Sung Evensong each week which is followed once a month by Benediction, a service where we kneel before the throne of God seeking his blessing. Something for everyone, old and young, those who have been to church all their lives and those who may have no experience whatsoever. Everyone is welcomed and valued.

During the week we have the offices of morning and evening prayer each day and a daily Eucharist, which once a month has the sacrament of the laying on of hands and anointing, and once a month uses Taize-style chants and is more reflective.We also have a weekday service for pre-school children, with action songs and simple prayers. Messy Chuurch is held the first Saturday of the month, in the Church Hall 3.00pm - 5.30pm with the occasional morning session at Willingdon Trees Community Centre- check church website for full details.  

We have an outreach at our Church on the Trees, on the Willingdon Trees estate, where a weekly Cafe+Church takes place on Tuesdays at the Community Centre, Maywood Avenue, Coffee, Tea and Cake served from 10.00am, Service starts 11.00am.  An after-school club is held at Oakwood School, Magnolia Walk on Tuesdays in term-time.

We see the church as a sacred space for all people. God's space in the midst of often very hectic lives- and it is here for you.

The Vicar and Churchwardens with the Parochial Church Council manage the day-to-day running of the church. Pastoral care is given through the clergy, the ministry team, dedicated lay pastoral team and ministers of Communion.

Music fills the church through worship and recitals led by our church organist and choir.  We have a dedicated team of volunteers; welcomers, sides people and servers, the church Archivist, a talented church flower guild, a dedicated band of bell-ringers, the magazine team and social committee, coffee makers etc. who generally do whatever is necessary to keep the church going.

There are three regular services every day, as well as those for special occasions ranging from baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals to carol services, Remembrance services, as well as visits from local schools and others.

We seek to support every age group in church including our Sonbeams pre-school worship every Wednesday, Kids on Sunday, junior church and the popular Messy Church. These are the church of today and the hope of tomorrow.

Jesus said "I come to give you life that you might have it more abundantly'. Friendship is so important in life , we come together to worship God- and this spills over into our life together- concerts, barn dances, quizzes, pantomime, rambles, prayer walks, family day......people coming together under God.

St.Mary's has a well-stocked library.

The church uses fair -trade goods wherever possible and runs a Traidcraft stall when coffee is served after the main Sunday service, in the church hall.