8am Holy Communion
A quiet, reflective service, using traditional language, with a short address.
9.15am Informal Eucharist (2nd & 4th Sunday of each month)
We have recently introduced this service twice a month especially for families with young children, though people of all ages are welcome. We begin with music practice at 9 am. The service is a simplified version of the parish eucharist, with a gospel reading, a very short all-age talk and easy-to-sing songs. Children are particularly invited to take part by playing percussion instruments, bringing up the offertory and acting as servers and stewards. The service finishes before 10 am and afterwards there are refreshments and the opportunity to speak to people and make new friends.
10.30am Parish Eucharist
The Eucharist is the heart of our life at St Mary’s. Our worship is enriched by good music, colour and ceremonial, with a sermon that is reflective and relevant. Christians of all denominations are welcome to receive holy communion. During the Eucharist our large and thriving Sunday School meets (term-time only). The children join the congregation either at the Peace or in time for communion. Several times a year we celebrate an All-age Eucharist at 10.30 to bring the whole parish family together. After the service, which lasts an hour and ten minutes, there is an opportunity to meet and talk over coffee.
6pm Evening Service
The pattern of evening worship varies, but all the services (apart from Compline) last about forty-five minutes. A schedule is published monthly and may include the following:
This traditional service from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer has been sung at St Mary’s for over a hundred years, and forms a central part of our musical tradition. It is an undemanding, gentle service in which the choir takes the leading role in singing the psalms and evening canticles of the Church, enabling us to pause and worship God.
These evenings are opportunities to contemplate in the company of fellow travellers, and are an antidote to the stress of modern day living. Following the pattern of Julian meetings (named after St Julian of Norwich, a medieval mystic) the core of the evening is thirty minutes of silence, which is introduced by a short reading and music, and closes with an opportunity for intercession
Taizé Music and Prayers
The ecumenical community of Taizé in France has given its name to a style of worship which is both informal and reflective, using a meditative style of chant which enables us to be still and open to God.
These services are informal in style, using a variety of contemporary music and imagery in worship. The services have a relaxed format and attract a slightly younger crowd, but are open to people of all ages.