St Mary’s Church, although small in physical terms, has a vibrant community at its heart and a distinctive ethos of caring and sharing responsibility for its buildings and people. We seek to relate to and serve people at the north end of Harpenden while remaining a part of the wider parish of Harpenden.
Clergy and leaders
The Associate Vicar at St Mary’s Church is the Rev’d Sally Goodson.
The Rev’d Professor Nicolas Goulding is an Assistant Priest. Nick is chaplain to Barts and The London (Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry) where he also lectures and undertakes medical research.
Jenny Goulding is a Reader (lay minister) who is based mainly at St. Mary’s.
Two district wardens help with administration and organisation – at present these are Ro Marriott and Maureen Lamburn.
A district church committee (DCC) meets regularly. The committee also has representatives on the Parochial Church Council.
Services at St. Mary’s
Every Sunday the main service will be at 9.30am.
The services will follow the pattern set out below:-
1st Sunday of the month
- 9.30am Service of the Word (Family Worship)
- 11.00 am Said Eucharist.
All other Sundays – 9.30am Sung Eucharist.
On the third Sunday of the month there is an additional children’s and family service at 4.30pm called ‘Simply Worship’. This is an informal service particularly aimed at 3-11 year olds, with craft activities during the service.
St. Mary’s hosts a mid-week Holy Communion Service – Book of Common Prayer (1662) – twice monthly on Tuesday mornings at 10.00 a.m. (1st and 3rd Tuesday).
The children’s ministry at St Mary’s includes a popular Sunday school called ‘Explorers’, for children aged 3 to 11. Occasional children’s activity days are run at particular times of the year, e.g. Holy Week. St. Mary’s has a Children’s Charter that provides a basis for the work undertaken with the different groups.
Occasionally a young people’s orchestra helps to lead worship.
Pastoral care for our congregation has developed over recent years and members are very supportive of each other. A pastoral care coordinator provides a valuable link between those needing support and others in the congregation able to give it. Rotas have been arranged for those who need help with shopping or transport. A Pastoral Team of six members, who have received training, visit people in need in the community, led and overseen by the Associate Vicar. If people would like to be visited, or know of people in our neighbourhood who need some help, please contact the Associate Vicar.
A number of Bible Study group meet regularly. Other groups happen during different seasons in the church’s year such as Lent. Occasional Quiet Days are run using the excellent new facilities in the Church extension. Tuesday Afternoon Group (TAG) is a social activity group open to all, both from the congregation and the local community. It meets monthly, on the 2nd Tuesday, in the church hall, and usually has a visiting speaker. Afternoon tea is provided.
There is a team of 3 voluntary organists who between them play for all our services. A small orchestra plays at the 10.00am services. A choir practices in the Autumn to sing at the annual carol service.
St Mary’s has a strong tradition of outreach beyond the district and raises and donates money to a variety of causes including the Jeel al-Amal Boys Home in Jerusalem, toys and gifts for British Humanitarian Aid, Luton Accommodation and Move-on Project, and The Children’s Society. Fund-raising activities have brought the church and the local community together on several occasions and our hospitality has been much enjoyed by those who come. These include the Harvest Supper, the annual fete and quizzes. People often take part in the Good Friday March of Witness in the town and an annual inter-church quiz. St Mary’s has growing links with the three schools in the district (two primary and one secondary).
Kinsbourne Common Nursery and Play-School uses the Church Hall four mornings weekly. One Brownie pack meets in St. Mary’s hall (Wednesday evening) and are invited to major festivals. The building is frequently hired out for groups such as the WI, language classes and birthday parties. To book the hall or small meeting room please contact the hall manager, Susan Grout, email:firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Parish Office, Tel: 01582 765524 or email:email@example.com