Church of England Diocese of Canterbury Dover Castle ex. Par

About Us

Seen by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year as they tour Dover Castle, St. Mary in Castro is, first and foremost, a working place of worship. 

Services are usually at 10am every Sunday, (unless highlighted below)
They are normally Holy Communion, with Sung Matins on the second Sunday each month

* DURING NOVEMBER THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO THE CASTLE IS BEING RENOVATED 
   TO DRIVE ON SITE YOU MUST BE IN THROUGH CONSTABLES TOWER BEFORE 10am,

Services  October- December
* Sun 17/Nov/19 10:00 2nd before Advent
* Sun 24/Nov/19 10:00 Christ the King
*Sun 01/Dec/19 10:00 Advent / St Andrew
* Sat 07/Dec/19 09:00 Becket Service in Great Tower (Access from 08:30-please sign up in Hall)
Sun 08/Dec/19 10:00 St Barbara Sunday
Sun 15/Dec/19 10:00 Advent 3
Sun 22/Dec/19 10:00 Advent 4
Sun 22/Dec/19 18:00 Carol Service
Tue 24/Dec/19 16:00 Christingle
Tue 24/Dec/19 23:30 Midnight Mass
Wed 25/Dec/19 10:00 Christmas Day
Sun 29/Dec/19 10:00 Christmas 1 / St Thomas Becket


Once the local Garrison church, it is now an Extra-parochial Church in Canterbury Diocese,  but it still keeps a military ethos. All services are open to everyone,  if attending worship, an entry ticket from English Heritage is not required. The church is inside the Castle grounds and, from its Saxon beginnings, has served garrisons within the castle and in the surrounding area.

There is still an active congregation, with a Church council and Co-coordinating Chaplain and is part of the Church of England, if not technically the Deanery of Dover.

The Churchwardens are  : Marianne Slater  - 01304 212775
                                               Bob Joslin             - 01304 363344

Although we have no parish we have many thousands of children visiting each year. Our Church Council takes Safeguarding very seriously and has appointed a Safeguarding Coordinator for both Vulnerable Adults and Children - Monica Russell - who may be contacted on 01304 85281.

Sited on the White Cliffs of Dover with a 360 degree panorama the age of the church is uncertain but the current building dates from 800 to 1000AD (late Saxon ). It is likely that it is on the site of earlier Roman foundations, either a place of worship or a building linked to the Roman lighthouse, Pharos, which is by the West door. Roman building materials, especially tiles, were re-used by the Saxons in walls and arches.

At the end of the seventeenth century, church attendance dropped, the church fell into ruins. It was later used as a fives court, a coal store and rubbish dump. In 1862 the church was restored by George Gilbert Scott and the distinctive mosaic work and other cosmetic additions were added by William Butterfield in 1889/90.

The church played a major part during the two world wars as a place of worship and contemplation for those stationed in the castle, or those heading overseas. During the spring and summer of 1940 services continued despite almost constant air-raids and anti-aircraft fire