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.

Ending of WW1 commemoration

Centenary commemoration of the ending of WW1


In November this year, we commemorate 100 years since the end of the first world war. We will join with the town to remember and give thanks for the sacrifice made by many over the years. In addition to our services on November 11th there will be:

    a Concert of Faure’s Requiem at St Mary’s on Saturday November 3rd.
    a WW1 Centenary Commemoration on Saturday 10th November 2018 at Holy Trinity Church, Woodgreen, OX28 1DN to remember the ending of WW1 with readings, poetry and music. Tickets are £10, including refreshment. For details please contact Charlotte@witneyparish.org.uk or telephone 07900 456299

775 Sermon Series

Do join us as we celebrate our 775th Anniversary with a series of sermons:

2018

    Sept 9th The Rev'd Toby Wright A Christlike Church
    The sermon text is here: Feast 2018
    Oct 7th The Ven Judy French A Servant Church
    Nov 11th Rev’d Kate Bruce A Peace-filled Church
    Dec 9th The Rev'd Dr Joanna Collicutt A Pondering Church

2019

• Jan 6th Baroness Caroline Cox A Courageous Church • Feb 17th The Rev'd Helen Cameron A United Church • Mar 10th The Rt Rev'd Steven Croft A Learning Church • Apr 21st Fr Stephen Tucker A Resurrection Church • May 5th The Rt Rev'd Chris Lowson A Kingdom Church • Jun 16th Sr Stella CSMV A Contemplative Church • Jul 7th The Team Vicar A Creation Church • Aug 4th Robin Brunner-Ellis A Renewing Church • Sep 8th The Rt Rev'd Colin Fletcher A Missional Church

Witney Flower Festival 2019

Plans are well in hand for the Witney Flower Festival 2019 which takes place 5th to 7 July 2019. Full details to be posted here over the next few months.

In the meantime please do take a look at this video of the 2016 Flower Festival which reminds us all of what to expect next summer.

Witney Wonderland

Witney Wonderland will make the Advent season really special this year. From the Christmas lights switch on (30th November), right through to Christmas and New Year, St Mary's will be a wonderful place to visit.

We have teamed up with a local charity, Joss Searchlight and a number of generous sponsors to host the first Witney Wonderland festival in the church. Expect to find St Mary's full of christmas trees, each individually decorated to reflect what Christmas means to different parts of our community. There will also be a fantastic Christmas scene to delight children of all ages.

As we look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus at Christmas, our Carol services will be extra special this year; we'll be hosting a number of local schools as well as the Mayor's Carol service on December 14th and the service of lessons and carols on Christmas Eve. There'll also be a number of special events throughout December, including concerts, bands, sing a long film nights, community vocal and dance groups and even a special visit from Santa. Find out more by visiting witneywonderland.co.uk

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.

Find out more

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!

Why not find out what is invovled in a peal

Raise the roof

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

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