Latest Church Re-opening Update: Issued by guidance from the UK Government & the Church of England Diocese

St Mary’s is open for normal Church Services including Sunday Prayer and Said Mass, Thursday's Walsingham Mass and Weddings, Christening/Baptisms and Funerals.

There has been a recorded rise in the number of people praying and turning to religion during the pandemic, and it is hoped that opening church buildings for individual prayer will provide places of sanctuary and reflection for people at this extraordinary time. To protect any folk coming to church, the Churchwardens and Father Andrew have been through the current Church of England and Diocesan advice and guidance

re: preparing to re-open the church building for normal services;

If and when you might come to church, please take special note of the following:

  • Entry and exit is by the South Porch only (to the right of the tower as you face the building up the hill). 

  • Please do not enter the building if you are displaying any of the symptoms of corona virus.

  • Please sign in when coming to church using your own pen, to help with the NHS Track and Trace

  • Please use the hand sanitiser provided on entering and leaving.

  • Please always maintain social distancing.

  • The toilets and kitchen areas are closed to reduce the church building’s cleaning regime.

  • For the same reason, the Children’s Corner is also closed. Families are encouraged to bring suitable books/toys etc for their children and have them with them on their pew.

  • You are welcome to light candles as an aid to prayer, but please use your own lighter/matches.

  • Please bring your own Bible/devotional books/items to use.

  • There is no access to the church building between 10am on Thursdays and 9.15am on Sunday. Leaving the church building unoccupied for 72 hours will reduce the church building’s cleaning regime

  • The kitchen area is closed to reduce the church building’s cleaning regime.  For the same reason, the Children’s Corner is also closed. Families are encouraged to bring suitable books/toys etc for their children and have them with them on their pew.  Whiz Kidz leaders are providing an activity pack each week for children to take away with them.

  • There will be no physical sharing of the Peace.

  • The priest (and anyone who helps prepares the elements) will sanitise their hands before touching the elements, and again after the priest has administered them to himself and before offering the bread to communicants.  If others assist in preparing the elements, then hand hygiene and physical distancing precautions will apply.

  • Communion will be administered in one kind only with no sharing of the common cup. The celebrant alone will take the wine, consuming all that has been consecrated; other communicants will receive the bread only, in the hand.  As the Church of England Liturgical and Faith and Order Commission has made clear, this is still ‘complete communion’.  In order to minimise overall risk, intinction (dipping the bread into the wine) is not to be practised.

  • In order to avoid touching the altar rail and to maintain physical distancing communicants should not come to kneel at the altar rail, but instead they should form a line maintaining two metres distance to receive the bread from the priest.

  • The Church of England recognises that it will not be possible to maintain the normal social distancing for the brief time that the priest administers the sacrament.  However, the risk associated with this is relatively low.  Some benefit might be gained if face-coverings are worn by both communicants and the priest when administering the sacrament. 

  • If you are able to wear a face-mask, please bring one with you.

  • As ever, there is no pressure to receive Communion if you feel unsure.  Some may prefer not to receive Communion physically but to receive a blessing from the priest, or to receive ‘Spiritual Communion’ instead.  In the case of the latter, the following prayer can be said by the individual whilst remaining in their pew during the Distribution:


For folk who are shielding, or who may feel uncomfortable about the idea of returning to church in June, our Licensed Lay Ministers and Father Andrew will still be recording services for each Sunday and posting them on YouTube and you can also find them below.  Any orders of service, sermons, notice sheets and magazines will be uploaded onto the church websites and social media. 


Thank you for your attention in this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Father Andrew or our Churchwardens.

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Church Services in February 2021
Three Wise Men
Church Services in January 2021
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Church Services in December 2020

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Vicar: Father Andrew: 0115 9755358

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