Life at St Mary's
Prayer and spirituality
Central to our life and work at St Mary’s is prayer. The church is open daily to allow people sacred space for contemplation and prayer. Our Peace Chapel is a space for all people - of any faith or none - to find quietness and calm.
During Lent, we run a popular drop-in session of study, discussion and prayer, using the Pilgrim Study books.
In and out of church
Every week is busy here!
Many activities are organised by members of St Mary's church family or supported by the church, such as the examples here. In addition, we host lots of community activities, from weekly Pilates classes and lunchtime concerts to sessions for young unaccompanied refugees, run by the charity Paiwand, and monthly meetings of Harrow on the Hill's WI.
Tots on the Hill parent & toddler group
On Friday mornings in termtime (10 - 11.30 am) our lively toddlers' group take over the Church Room, for an hour and a half of games, crafts and play. There's a baby zone, a book corner, rhyme time and a break for biscuits and juice (coffee/tea for grown-ups) a precious chance for parents to socialise. Each session costs £1 per child and £1 per adult. No need to book - just turn up!
If you would like to chat about joining or visiting beforehand, please contact Naj (07429 199 750 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the third Saturday of the month, our popular pop-up café opens its doors here at St Mary's, drawing in cyclists, walkers, visitors and local people. For 2020 it has been reinvented with a simpler menu, featuring soup, cakes and scones - as always, made fresh from scratch. All its crew are volunteers but Spire Café is run to professional standards and has a 5/5 hygiene rating.
Spire Café has been one of our great success stories, raising funds for the church's restoration and also working with the Bike Project, a small London charity which refurbishes bicycles to give to refugees.
Good food always tastes better if eaten in excellent company which is why St Mary's lunch club is a firm favourite with its members. Once a month, they gather for a convivial meal at the Old Etonian restaurant, just a few minutes' stroll from St Mary's. Booking is recommended – contact Irene via the Parish Office.
The gardeners meet on the first Saturday morning of each month to work on the upper churchyard. They maintain it to an impressively high standard - although at this time of year, the leaves fall faster than they can be cleared!
A mixture of trees and shrubs share space with banks of wild flowers, set among well cared-for lawns and some ancient and interesting gravestones. Help is always welcome, and there can be few places as invigorating as our hilltop if you would like to try some outdoor exercise that does good as well as feeling good. To find out more, contact the Parish Office.
From the spectacular displays at Easter, Harvest and Christmas to flowers for weddings and the delicate posies given out on Mothering Sunday, flowers are a reminder at St Mary's of the beauty of creation.
"I love to see the flowers at St Mary's," commented one visitor: "the stone building shows its history but the flowers remind me that this is a living church."
The flower-arranging team welcomes new members. You don't have to be an expert, so if you'd like to know more, contact Lynne via the Parish Office.