St Mary Magdalene

Welcome to St. Mary Magdalene Church, Great Offley. 

This village, Offa's Lea (field), has existed since King Offa, in 757, took control of the kingdom of Mercia (by vanquishing his cousin Beornred) at a battle fought here.  King Offa built an encampment which he visited from time to time as he travelled round his kingdom.  As a Christian, Offa would have worshipped here and there must have been a primitive church to start off with.

St Mary Magdalene church was built in the 12th century to serve the community which by that time had grown into a village.  It is the oldest building, is at the heart of the community and it is here to serve any one who comes to it.

As you enter the building you come into a simple nave of the 12th century.  To your left is the font which escaped being damaged by Oliver Cromwell's men in mid 1600, perhaps because Offley was out of the way.  Babies have been christened in this font for hundreds of years and there are many living locally and further away who can claim to be one of them.

Now look towards the chancel and the unexpected beauty takes one by surprise.  It was dramatically altered in the Georgian period and provides a striking focus as one looks East.  The Salusbury's, from Offley Place, commissioned the best that money could buy to provide a memorial to their family.  The contrast with the rest of the church is striking.  Many couples have been married here and we always welcome couples who choose Offley Church for their wedding.

There is always a warm welcome and friendly atmosphere for those who wish to worship with us, and there is a variety of ways to do this, from formal and traditional to an informal monthly gathering called Messy Church which is a joyful mix of all generations including activities for children linked to a Biblical theme.

We are a friendly, growing community and we would like to hear from you if you wish to be married in our church, have a child baptised or bid farewell to your loved one.  If you are interested in finding out more about Christianity we regularly run courses to help you. 

The parish of Offley is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults.  Please see the Safeguarding box below for details and links to contact our Safeguarding Officer, Diocesan Safeguarding officer and Safeguarding Policies.

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Get in touch

For Funerals or Ashes Interments contact Revd Chris Bunce (Vicar of St. Mary's, Hitchin) on:

01462 452 758

For all other matters call the Churchwardens

Catherine Noden - Churchwarden
07798 775 035
Veronica Alvarez - Churchwarden
07831 499 858
What's on

Bible Studies

Every Tuesday and Thursday at for 1 hour, 30 mins
via Zoom
via Zoom

Tuesday Group - 7pm
contact: Sara - 01438 833 151
Thursday Group - 7:30pm
contact: Richard - 07836 614 246
Thursday Group - 8pm
contact: Veronica - 07831 499 858


Our parish of Offley is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults from harm. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO). Our Diocese of St. Albans’s safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor who advises our PSO. If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact the PSO by sending an email to [email protected], calling 01462 769 117 or contacting the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor by sending an email to [email protected] or calling 01727 818 107. If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority’s children or adult social care services.

Safeguarding Policy