St Mary's on the Green

Saint Mary's is a dynamic, growing church.  We take seriously the call of the Church to simply worship God as her primary vocation.  Our life as a community is based around the regularity and repetition of the Eucharist.  We believe we are called to be a community of mercy and kindness who offer radical hospitality.  Our ministry of feasts and festivals shows this in an active way.  We also know the power of learning by laughing.

'People just coming to the church building is already a mystery.  A divine reality is hidden in their concrete coming...Behind every one of the baptized who has come to clelebrate the Eucharist, stands a magnificent personal story of grace, of struggle, and labor and rejoicing, and of all these united around that person's faith.' Jerry Driscoll OSB

We are the main and civic church for the town of Witney. Saint Mary’s was re-dedicated in 1243, although an earlier church stood on this site. We have an active role as the focus of civic ceremonies and outreach to the town and wider area. We are regularly used for special services such as Remembrance Sunday, the Mayor’s Carol Service, and BBC Radio Oxford broadcasts. However as the focal point of many local people’s lives, we also have strong pastoral links for baptisms, weddings and funerals.  And we are excited by the future.

As one priest put it, ‘hope hears the music of the future – and faith dances to it’

We are engaged in a £2million restoration and renewal project, Inspiring Change. There are a number of people exploring vocation. The church building hosts many outreach programmes and events, including an annual Food Festival; an annual Beer Festival; a conference for the Society of Catholic Priests on the Hospitality of God and Diocesan Mission Conferences. During the last year over 50,000 people have come through our doors and been welcomed.

We are committed to mission and outreach as a vital part of our life together.  We pray that the church will grow and flourish as communities of Christ have done through the centuries.  With the confidence of our patron, the young woman of Nazareth, we try to capture a vision which, like God, is ‘rich in mercy’.  

As S Bernard said of Mary ‘Following her, you will never lose your way; imploring her, you will never know despair; thinking of her, you will avoid all errors.  With her support, you will not fall; with her protection, you will have nothing to fear; under her guidance you will never be tired; thanks to her favour, you will reach the goal.’

 

At St Mary's we are committed to:

Worship

living as a community nourished by the Eucharist, sustained by scripture and prayer, and building the church in unity and faith

deepening our lives of faith in the beauty and holiness of worship

sharing in a transformational experience which shapes our individual and corporate journeys of faith

 

Discipleship

living as a community where our teaching, mission and ministry are refined and energised by God

deepening our sacramental life, linking life experience to the story of faith

sharing our lives in the love, joy and hope of the risen Christ

 

Pastoral care

living as agents of God's love

deepening our understanding of God's call on each of us to be his hands in the world

sharing wholeness and care among God's hurting people

 

Outreach

living out the Gospel beyond the walls of the church

deepening our expectant and watchful attitude as we look signs of God's kingdom in the world

sharing the joy and simplicity of faith, wherever people are

 

Hospitality

living joyful, generous lives

deepening our heritage as a place of hospitable Christianity where lives are renewed and refreshed together

sharing open, inclusive, sacrificial fellowship

Sunday Services:
8am - Holy Communion (Traditional Language) - followed by breakfast on the 4th Sunday of the month
10.45am - Sung Parish Eucharist (Contemporary Language, with hymns) - followed by refreshments
Weekday Services:
Daily:
9am - Morning Prayer (except Sunday) 
5.30pm - Evening Prayer (except Friday) - more information on Daily Prayer can be found here.
Wednesday:
11am - Holy Communion - followed by refreshments

Other Service Times in the parish can be found here.

Take a Streetview tour of Saint Mary’s church with InstantStreetView

Find us

Parking

On Sundays - Church Green and The Leys have no restrictions.

On Weekdays - There are various time restrictions on Church Green - please note the signs. The Leys offers free all-day parking. Please avoid driving onto the church path as many pedestrians and cyclists use the gateway, and the entrance is tight - damage can easily be done to both cars and stonework.

Praying for a new House for Duty Team Vicar

The parish of Witney is looking for a Team Vicar (House for Duty) who will work enthusiastically and collaboratively with clergy and laity across the benefice. The priest will have particular pastoral responsibility for Minster Lovell, whilst also sharing in ministry fully across the benefice and the other four churches. Click for details ML Profile 2018 here

Lord, as we enter a new stage, may you give us open hearts, Grace to grow in faith and prayer And help us to serve you in our local community. Lord, bless and equip the person you are preparing to lead here. May they have vision and insight and a prayer-fill, pastoral heart To serve young and old alike in this community. Amen.

A successful peal of Church bells

A successful peal of Church bells to mark the 775th anniversary of Saint Mary’s

Congratulations to the team of ringers on a successful peal of church bells to mark the 775th anniversary of Saint Mary’s!

Raise the roof

St Mary

An opportunity to invest in a major Witney landmark

Severe winter frosts have destroyed the limestone slates on St Mary’s Roof. We need to replace them before winter sets in. Local Witney people have already sponsored 2,200 slates. Only 1,800 slates to go!!

Please Sponsor a Slate for £10. Your civic landmark church needs you!

Donate with JustGiving and PayPal

Please find out more

775 Sermon Series

775 Sermon Series

As part of our celebration of our 775th Anniversary a series of sermons is taking place over the next 12 months. Here is the text of the opening sermon Feast 2018

Praying for victims of terror

Team Vicar



'In the midst of life we are in death.'

Lord, in a place of pleasure, terror struck, in a place of life, death came. Hold us in our shock and grief, comfort the distressed, heal the injured, calm the anxious, reunite the separated, console the bereaved, and give rest and everlasting peace to those who have died, for your love never fails and through the darkness your light always shines. Amen.

Accounts

Annual Accounts

Our stewardship enables us to fulfil God's call and share in God's mission

The Church is the new creation, it is life and joy, it is the sacramental fellowship in which we share the ultimate purpose of God, made real for us now in our hearing the Word and sharing the Sacrament.
Rowan Williams

Click here to view the Witney Parish 2017 Annual Report and Accounts

Annual Review 2017