Living the Way of Jesus and Growing in Love
St Mary’s is home to a diverse and inclusive Christian community of 300+ living the way of Jesus and growing in love. Our goal is to be a centre of ministry in East London and a focal point of activity in Walthamstow: a place where interesting and transformative things happen.
With our sister churches we enjoy a range of Sunday worship and midweek activities for people of all ages and backgrounds. We run parenting, marriage and Alpha courses, help people out of debt through our Christians Against Poverty centre, advocate for affordable housing and other important issues through our partnership with Citizens UK, support the Forest Churches Emergency Night Shelter and reach out to the High Street through our sister church St Luke’s, which operates as a market stall.
Our ancient building is the historic parish church of Walthamstow. People have worshipped here for nearly a thousand years – a great tradition we carry on, both on Sundays (8 am, 10.30 am and 7 pm) and in the week (Wednesdays, 7.30pm).
All we do celebrates and explores life in response to God’s love. We believe Jesus offers real hope for our world, and whilst we don’t get everything right, we want to contribute to the good of all in our community in the way of Jesus.
Sunday worship at St Mary’s
8 am Communion
A great way to start the day in peace and quiet using traditional words.
10.30 am Morning Worship
A contemporary service with music, images and thought-provoking ideas. We welcome everyone and have special groups for children and young people. There is a Baby Lounge with a church member who welcomes parents and babies under 1; for toddlers up to age 3, there is Jumpers in the Vestry. Older children can attend supervised groups in the Welcome Centre, which is located just across the churchyard from the church.
Generally the first and third Sundays in the month are Communion, the second is Morning Worship and the fourth is All-Age Worship, but please note this may be different around the major church festivals especially Easter and Christmas.
7 pm Evening Worship
Joining with people from across the Parish, our evening service varies between Communion, informal praise and contemplative prayer. Starting February 2017, the first Sunday evening of every month will be dedicated to praying for our church and parish, the wider community and our world.
Wednesday Vespers at St Mary’s
7.30 pm Evening Prayer, Wednesdays
Join us for 40 minutes of stillness, mindfulness and contemplation as we draw on the Christian contemplative tradition in Walthamstow’s ancient parish church. Vespers is for anyone at any stage of the spiritual journey and features two periods of silence, reflective music, a reading from Scripture and a short message which draws on over a thousand years of Christian contemplative teaching.
[Please note there will be no Vespers on 26th April 2017, 3rd May 2017, 10th May 2017 and 17th May 2017; Vespers will resume on Wednesday, 24th May 2017]
Listening Training with Citizens UK
Wednesday, 3rd May 2017, 7pm – 9.15pm, St Mary’s RC Primary School, Chingford
As a Parish, we’re excited to be offering free training with Citizens UK on Wednesday, 3rd May, from 7pm – 9.15 pm at St Mary’s RC Primary School in Chingford. On the evening, we’ll meet on the platform at Walthamstow Central at 6.30pm to catch the overground train to Chingford.
At the Listening Training, we’ll learn more about key aspects of Community Organising, including how to have effective one-to-one conversations, how to host House Meetings and more. As part of strengthening our alliance in Waltham Forest, we’re hoping to have hundreds of conversations with our neighbours in 2017 about what matters most to them and what they are concerned about; from these conversations, we will then build a manifesto to present to politicians. Do join us on 3rd May – we’d love to have you!
About Vanessa Conant, Our Rector
Rev Vanessa Conant has been the rector of St Mary’s and the Parish since July 2015 and comes to us from St Paul’s & St George’s Church in Edinburgh (‘P’s & G’s’), where she served as associate rector from 2011-2015. Prior to that, Vanessa was a curate in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. Ordained in the St Alban’s Diocese, and originally from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, Vanessa trained for ministry at Trinity College, Bristol, where she received a degree in theology. Vanessa also has a degree in history from Lancaster University. Prior to training for ordination and becoming a priest, Vanessa worked in fundraising for Crisis and Christian Aid in London. Vanessa is married to Cameron, a writer and communications consultant, and enjoys walking, reading, watching films and spending time with friends and family. Her vision for church is one where people’s individual passions are lived out in the context of Christian community and can be used to positively impact the world around them. Vanessa would love to have a coffee with you – do drop her an email!
Rev Vanessa Conant
Parish Operations Director
Parish Office Manager & Administrator
Rev Jill Mowbray