New to Church?



Whether you've just moved to the area, or have lived here all your life, we hope our website helps you to find out everything you want to know about St Mary's.  If you are a newcomer please make yourself known to one of the clergy or sidesmen. Information about our activities are available in leaflets at the back of the church and also on this website.

Key information about the church...

What can you expect in a service?

Our main service of the week is 10.30am on Sundays. Please see Sunday Services page for details.

You will receive a warm welcome particularly from our Welcome Team (who wear name badges) who will be able to answer your questions and direct you to where you would like to sit.

On fourth Sunday of the month, there is Family Service for children and adults at 10.30am. Its theme is drawn from the day’s Bible Reading. Through a talk, an activity, prayers, singing, we celebrate God’s love and the presence of Jesus Christ with us. It lasts around 45 minutes.

On the second Sunday of the month there is is a more informal celebration of Holy Communion at 10.30am giving us a chance to try new thing

On the other Sundays, the service is Holy Communion at 10.30am. In this service, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and in response, pray for the God’s church and world. Besides meeting Jesus Christ through the Bible Reading and Sermon, we also encounter him as we come forward to receive bread and wine, or a prayer of blessing towards the end of the service. At the end, we are blessed and go to serve God in the coming week. This service lasts just over an hour.

When there is a 10.30am communion service our children’s group, Team JC, meets nearby in the Parish Rooms and joins us just before we receive communion.

Tea, coffee and biscuits at the moment are served before the 10.30am services from about 10am when there is plenty of time to meet new people and ask more questions. 

Our weekly newsletter, The Grapevine, which tells you about what's going on in church that week, is handed out at our Sunday services and can also be downloaded in advance from this website.

What happens for the children at church?

Usually on the fourth Sunday of the month we have a Family Service at 10.30am where children and families are particularly welcome.

On the other Sundays, the service at 10.30am is Holy Communion. Children are welcome but 3 to 11 year olds are most welcome to join in with our Sunday School, otherwise known as Team JC. It starts at 10.15am with waffles and then they listen to a bible story and have a  craft activity before going back to church for the remainder of the Holy Communion service.

We have a Children’s Corner at the right back of the church where parents can take their babies and toddlers and where you will find children's toys and books. For older children there are activity bags that are available for your children to use as they sit in the pews with you. Just ask one of the Welcomers (near the doors with name badges).

For more information about about how children and young people can be involved please visit our Children and Young People page or our Youth Group page

Is there a dress code?

No! Please just be yourself and come dressed in what you find comfortable.

Will I have to join in?

Not at all! You are free to simply observe or participate as much as feels comfortable for you. You are welcome to sit and don't have to kneel or stand.

Can I take Communion?

Communion at the moment may be received at the chancel steps. We are following the practice of intinction - dipping the consecrated wafer into the wine before consumption by the communicant. If you take communion in your own church, whatever denomination, please feel free to take communion with us. However, if you do not want to receive communion, you and or your children are most welcome to come up to the altar rail at communion to receive a blessing. It helps us if you take your service book with you to indicate if this is what you want, especially for adults. Otherwise just stay seated in your pew.
If you would like to receive communion, but are unable to make your way to either altar, please speak to one of the sidesmen. Gluten-free wafers are available but let one of the sidesmen know when you arrive.

Are toilets available?

There are toilets in the Parish Rooms adjoining the church and there is also a toilet with disabled access in the south west corner at the back of the church which is open during services.

What provision is made for the disabled?

There is wheelchair access via our south door which has a ramp.  There is also a section without pews in the main body of the church suitable for those in wheelchairs. If taking communion at our Sunday services then you can take it in the south chapel (no steps) or receive it where you are sitting - just ask one of the Welcomers (with name badges) beforehand. The church also has a wheelchair if needed. There is provision for 2 cars for those with limited mobility next to the south porch - see here.

Directions to St Mary's Church and Parking

Please note that there is no parking on the church site apart from two spaces for guests with limited mobility - see here. Details of how to find us and where you can park can be found here. However, parking is much easier in Saffron Walden on Sundays.

I have more questions, how can I get in touch and ask about them?

Check out our Who's Who page as there are plenty of people you can email or phone who will be able to answer your questions.