St Mary the Virgin, St Mary in the Marsh

 

Contacts

Churchwarden:

Secretary: Ms Jackie Alston Tel: 01797 362273 email: jackie.alston@gmail.com

Treasurer: Mr Roger Constable Tel 01797 363198 email: roger.constable@btinternet.com

Monthly Service Pattern

9am Holy Communion (Common Worship) on the first and third Sunday each month

6.30pm Evensong (BCP) on the second Sunday each month

There is no service on the fourth Sunday

Life of the church

St Mary’s is a small church and has a small but growing congregation. Over the last eight years, the church has reached out to become a hub for the Romney Marsh community, particularly as a venue for the Arts.

The Haywardians choir meets every Friday evening in the church for choir practice. The choir, which boasts members from all over South East Kent, joins us in our worship on special occasions and also gives one or two concerts each year in the church.

organise and run a series of music concerts in the summer ranging from jazz to classical, choral, small chamber groups and solo recitals. These concerts attract audiences from all over Kent and East Sussex.

The St Mary in the Marsh Project Fund, a local charity raising funds for a new community hall, regularly uses the church for fundraising events such as coffee mornings, art and craft sales and exhibitions and for its annual meeting.

St Mary’s is proud to be host to a variety of arts projects each July for the JAM on the Marsh (John Armitage Memorial) Arts Festival, having played host to Sabotage Theatre touring players, poetry readings, recitals and concerts. Find out more.

Each year in September and October, St Mary’s hosts art installations for the Art in Romney Marsh (AiRM) annual exhibition. AiRM is committed to the aim of bringing high quality, exciting and site specific creative practices to some of the wonderful medieval churches of Romney Marsh and St Mary’s is proud to be one of them. Find out more.

Brief History

It is probable that there was a small wooden Saxon church here in early times, known as Siwold’s Circe. The name means a burial ground on a wooded island but can also mean a circular Celtic burial ground, raised above sea level to keep the dead dry. However no archaeological evidence of settlement on Romney Marsh before the mid-Saxon period has ever been discovered.

Following the Norman invasion, the Saxon church was superseded in about 1133 by a church built largely of Kentish Ragstone, the name having been changed to remove the Pagan history of the site. Today, all that remains of the early Norman church is the splendid Norman tower and the west wall of the nave.

In the thirteenth century, about 1220, the chancel of the Norman church was extended to the present east wall, the north and south walls were pierced by the insertion of Early English arches and the north and south aisles were added. At the east end of the north aisle was an altar to Our Lady and at the east end of the south aisle was the chapel of St. Michael; both altars were separated from the body of the aisles by grilled and painted screens. The spire was added to the tower in the mid-fifteenth century, circa 1450. The church, today, consists of a three-stage Norman Tower, Nave, Chancel and north and south aisles with a porch leading into the south aisle. More details of the history and architecture of the church can be found here.