Learning the Way of Jesus and Growing in Love
St Mary’s is a diverse and inclusive Christian community of 300+ learning 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.
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 and support the Forest Churches Emergency Night Shelter.
We are also a new centre for arts and culture in Walthamstow – recent recipients of a £1.67 million Heritage Lottery Grant to restore and renovate our building for art, music and culture alongside our regular worship and other ministries. As home to the St Mary’s Music Hall and the St Mary’s Arts Collective, our arts projects and musical events bring people together.
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 and the heart of all we do. We meet on Sundays (8am and 10.30am) and Wednesdays (7.30pm).
As a church, we celebrate and explore 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 for children under 1; another group for children ages 1-3; and for older children, there are 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.
Weekday Morning Prayer
Join us at St Mary’s, Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 8.50am, for Morning Prayer. We’ve recently started meeting at 8.30am to allow for people commuting to work to join us. Morning Prayer includes a period of silence, a reflection and a short reading from scripture. We also pray for our community, our world and for each other. Do consider joining us – it’s a great way to start the day.
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.
Cafe Theology, 8.30 pm, Weds after Vespers, 19 Barrett Rd (Fortnightly)
Join Adam Childs, our curate, and Matt Ralph, who helps lead our young adult ministry, for post-Vespers theological chat with food at 19 Barrett Road (a 10-minute walk from St Mary’s, between Wood St and Walthamstow Village) every fortnight. Cafe Theology is for people in their 20s or 30s and is a great way to get connected at St Mary’s. Vespers is our contemplative service at St Mary’s, which happens every Wednesday at 7.30pm: 40 minutes of mindfulness and contemplation. Our next Cafe Theology meetings are 7 February and 21 February 2018 and 7 March 2018.
Youth Alpha Starts Sunday 18 February, 6pm, at St Gabriel’s
We’re running Youth Alpha for Year 8-13s for six weeks and it starts Sunday evening, 18 February, 6-8pm. Alpha is a great way for young people to explore faith in a relaxed and open-minded way, and we’re keen for youth around Walthamstow to know about it. We’ll meet at St Gabriel’s, which is located on Havant Road (E17 3JF) near the corner of Havant Rd and Wood St. Join us on Sunday evenings as we take the adventure!
First Alpha Course of 2018 Starts at St Mary’s on 6 February
Join us as we explore life and faith at St Mary’s Walthamstow over the course of eight consecutive Tuesdays, 8-9.30pm, starting Tuesday, 6 February 2018. Millions of people around the world have tried Alpha, an open-minded way to explore the Christian faith and a place where no questions or ideas are off-limits. Each session starts with teas, coffees and cake; we then watch an approximately 20-minute film before breaking into small discussion groups. Alpha is free of charge and open to absolutely everyone – note your interest here by filling out the following short form. There’s no requirement to commit to coming to Alpha for all eight weeks, just come for the first week or two and see what you think! Register here.
Lent, Holy Week and Easter 2018 at St Mary’s and in the Parish
Join us for Lent and Holy Week at St Mary’s Walthamstow and in the Parish of Walthamstow beginning Ash Wednesday, 14 February, 7.30am at St Mary’s. We’ll journey through the season with two book groups, our regular 7.30pm Wednesday Vespers services at St Mary’s and special events during Holy Week. It all culminates on 1 April, Easter Sunday. A full listing of events and activities is here.
St Mary’s Awarded £1.67 Million Heritage Grant
St Mary’s is excited to announce that we have won a £1.67 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore and renovate our ancient building, and to expand its use by making it a centre for music, art and culture alongside our regular worship and other ministries. To learn more about our ‘Creative Church for a Creative Community’ project, read our press release.
St Mary’s Music Hall 2018 Series
St Mary’s is pleased to announce the continuation of our music venture with SoundThread, two members of the Nest Collective (one of London’s top world and folk music promoters) and the St Mary’s Arts Collective on the St Mary’s Music Hall – a curated series of world and folk music. To see our 2018 shows and to buy tickets, visit our website here.
About Vanessa Conant, Our Rector
Revd 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, 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!
Revd Vanessa Conant
Revd Adam Childs
Youth & Children’s Director
Revd Jill Mowbray