St Mary’s is the Anglican parish church in the historic market town of Saffron Walden in north west Essex. Committed to the welcome and safeguarding of all, we are a community of all ages and backgrounds who worship God in a wide range of services. Our mission is to share God’s love and to invite everyone to follow Jesus Christ with us. Ours is a beautiful church where the Christian faith has been celebrated for over 800 years, and which has a strong musical tradition and a large choir. We are one of the 12 churches within the Saffron Walden and Villages Team Ministry. Our church is open every day of the year from around 10am until about 4pm. We offer several services each Sunday and a number during the week. Full details can be found on our website at www.stmaryssaffronwalden.org
Sunday Morning Services: Holy Communion BCP 8.00am; Family Communion 10.30am; except for 4th Sunday which is a Family Service. Wiggle Church for children 0-7yrs and their families at 9.15am in the Parish Rooms on the 1st Sunday of the month.
Sunday Evening Services : Café style youth led service in the Parish Rooms (1st Sun) 6.30pm; Choral Evensong 4pm* (2nd Sun); Living Stones, contemporary worship service in the Parish Rooms (3rd Sun) 4pm; Taizé style service (4th Sun) 4pm*; (* timings change from 4pm to 6.30pm when the clocks change for summer). Check the website as services and times are subject to change. One of the services each Sunday is livestreamed with details on our website www.stmaryssaffronwalden.org Aftershock: 7 – 8.30pm – a Sunday social with bible teaching and activities for 11-18 year olds.
During the week: St Mary’s Tinies for preschool children and their parents/carers meets at 9.30am on Tuesdays during school term; Holy Communion 9.30am Wed weekly incorporating Prayers for Healing on the 1st Wednesday of the month.
Our Parish Church is the largest in Essex, with an overall length of 183 feet, whilst the height of the tower and spire is 193 feet. The East Saxons who gave their name to Essex were pagan, but after St Cedd led their conversion to Christianity in the 7th century there was in all probability a Saxon wooden church here, The massive Norman stone church that was known to exist in 1130 was rebuilt and enlarged in the early form of the ‘Decorated’ period between 1250 and 1258. A general rebuilding in the ‘Perpendicular’ style was begun in about 1450 and the present church takes a high place, from an architectural point of view, among the parish churches of England. The spire, however, is more modern, for it was built, and the upper part of the tower was renewed, in 1832. Look for: the only piece of mediaeval glass still remaining, a small medallion in the window at the west end of the aisle; the 15th century font; the brasses in the north aisle, and the tomb of Thomas Audley, all dating from the 15th/16th century.
Please visit our website https://www.stmaryssaffronwalden.org/Groups/313211/History_and_Guides.aspx for more details.
St Mary the Virgin Parish Church Facilities
- Children welcome – services and groups for children and families
- Wheelchair friendly and disabled toilet available during services
- Large robed choir with bursaries for organ and music scholars.
- Guided tours for groups (need to be booked in advance).
- Guide leaflets in English, Czech, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.