The church of St Mary the Virgin, Walkern.
On our electoral roll we have 57 members, with an average attendance of 30 at our main services. Most of us who attend are involved in reading, serving, welcoming or assisting worship in some way. Our choir (10+ at most services) is ably led by our organist, who is also developing a youth orchestra who play at our monthly all-age worship. Other special services include Evensong, Taize worship and celebrations of the Christian year, particularly Christmas, Remembrance Sunday, etc. which attract a large congregation from the village.
We are very proud of our beautiful, historic church building which has housed worship since Saxon times; in particular, we have some connections with the Magna Carta, a fact which was the centre of great celebration in 2015 and sparked the creation of several groups – Walkern Historical Society, Twinning with Lanvallay (France) and Walkern Players – all of which have close links to St Mary’s.
As well as the historic aspect of our church, we were delighted in 2016 when we were able to have kitchen and toilet facilities built into the north-west corner which has enabled us to use the building for a much wider variety of purposes, including fund-raising concerts and Christmas Tree Festivals, Open Sundays, rehearsals and performances by Walkern Players and many others. The church hosts services for Walkern Primary School on festive occasions. St Mary’s has also been the space where our recent project ‘Life Stories’ has displayed the large photographs and individual books telling the stories of people with long association with the village, an occasion which culminated in a service of music and readings.
The village of Walkern
With a population of nearly 2000, Walkern is about 4 miles from the town of Stevenage. There is a variety of housing, including affordable housing and some new building, as well as a very busy shop, several small businesses and award-winning Tea Rooms! There is a thriving primary school, a playgroup and toddler groups. There is a wide range of groups for different interests and a strong sense of community spirit. The playground has recently won an award for its renovation of the playing and meeting area.