St. Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray
Situated in the centre of Melton Mowbray, St. Mary's provides a centre for the community at large as well as the faithful. The building is an architectural gem with parts dating back to about 1170. The beautiful pictures below were taken by Warwickshire visitor Andrew Nicholson in June 2012. Scroll down for more!
However, we are more than a beautiful building! St. Mary's is a lovely gathering of people seeking and serving God. The church building is a popular venue for services, weddings, baptisms and musical concerts. Near the church is the Samworth Centre, the Parish Administrative Office,
St. Mary's provides a focus for the town for many events, including the annual British Pie Festival. People come from all over the United Kingdom (and even overseas!) for the famous Christmas Tree Festival.
Our organ, the Sir Malcolm Sargent Memorial organ, named after our illustrious choirmaster and organist from 1914-1924, provides joy for many with our regular organ recitals.
We have a regular Sunday congregation of well over 150 adults and children, and the number of worshippers is raising. On Sundays, there are regular services at 8AM and 10AM, with Choral Evensong with the Choir on the second and fourth Sundays of the month. We also have weekday services and you can find a complete listing of these by clicking here. Our services vary in style in the course of the month, so there is sure to be one that meets your needs. We are a friendly, caring and open church community and welcome newcomers.
Our Director of Music, James Gutteridge, is a talented organist and choirmaster. Our choir is comprised of adults and children. If you are interested in singing and music email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to our variety of services, some held in the church and some in the Samworth Centre, we have a host of social organisations and groups which you are welcome to join.
The church is open Monday to Saturday from 10 to 4, with volunteers on hand to show you around or help with any questions. We welcome many thousands of daily visitors to our beautiful church. Many visitors comment on the special atmosphere in St Mary’s, its warmth and the welcome given by our wonderful band of churchwatchers. On special days we have tours of the Bell Tower! Books on the church are available for sale at the back of the church along with a lovely selection of gifts and cards. After visiting our church, do have a cup of tea at the Samworth Centre Cafe next door.
More photos of visitor Andrew Nicholson, who was so taken by our church that he shared the photos he took of the church and Church Land. Do enjoy them below:
THE RUNNING OF THE CHURCH
We are kept in good running order by our churchwardens, Roger Kirby and John Spence. Find out what's been happening in the church recently by clicking here.
St. Mary's District Church Council (the DCC) meets regularly through the year to reflect and discuss on decisions concerning the life and activities of St Mary’s. The DCC is made up of a number of people representing many aspects of St Mary’s life: the clergy, churchwardens & readers, St Mary’s Parish Church C ouncil representatives, St Mary’s Deanery Synod representatives, St Mary’s pastoral assistants and the elected DCC representatives. There are six committees: Eco Issues, Fabric, Finance, Pastoral, Social and Worship & Learning. There is also a Standing Committee which meets to set the agenda for the next meeting. The committees are where most of the work and discussion goes on, this is then reported back to the DCC’s main meeting for approval of any ‘official’ action.
The work and discussions of the council are many and varied. If you would like to have an input did you realise that you can join one of the committees, whose remit you are interested in, as a non-DCC member? New faces and hands are always welcome.
HISTORY and ARCHITECTURE
"Leicestershire's most sophisticated church, even before we go inside." from England's Thousand Best Churches, author Simon Jenkins, published by Penguin Books)
St Mary’s Parish Church, in the centre of the market town of Melton Mowbray, is the largest parish church in the Leicester Diocese. It is certainly the finest. St Mary’s is a grand cruciform church with transepts and a crossing tower. The tower of scrubbed limestone has dominated the town for centuries.
St. Mary's Church dates mainly from the 13th-15th centuries. The stonework in the lowest section of the tower, which has Norman windows, dates from 1170, although there were certainly one or more Anglo-Saxon churches on this site before the Norman one. It is built on a plan more usual for cathedrals and the 100-foot tower dominates the town, and is a rare example of a parish church with aisled transepts (one of only five in the country) a feature usually found only in a cathedral.
The belfry contains ten bells. The earliest bell (No.6) is by John of York dating from the fourteenth century. Most of the rest have been recast. Until 1802 there were only six bells: then two more were added and in 1894 a further two made the total ten. In addition there is a small sanctus bell which dates from the seventeenth century.
The carillon, on which chimes are played two times a day (at 12 noon and 3pm), was restored in 1938.
FIND ST MARY'S CHURCH, MELTON MOWBRAY, LE13 1AE