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St. Mary’s, Walthamstow

June 27, 2014

St. Mary’s, Walthamstow

DSCN0083St. Mary’s was advertised as being a part of the ‘Walthamstow Art Trail’ – a yearly event that encompasses many different venues.

I found the church open as it was the time for a mid week communion service which I was very glad to join in with. These simple, said, service are good to a part of. This also gave me the opportunity to have a look around what is an interesting church with a vibrant worshipping community. I found some history displays as well as some free leaflets on the history of St. Mary’s. There was one entitled a Time Trail for Children which was well done. Many of the items in the church are labelled for this as are some for a ‘Symbols Trail’ but there were no leaflets to explain this. There are leaflets on the churchyard, the tower and it’s bells, the monuments and on on the east window as well as a welcome one. In addition, there is a quite well stocked book stall and some of the ‘Why Jesus?’ booklets.

 

 

 

 

 

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The church features quite a few large memorials which have been labelled. There is also a leaflet about these which is a useful idea. The churchyard is also very photogenic – covering a small area with a mass of large tombs to the great and the good. There were some art installations here too made from recycled materials by children.

 

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Art in St. Mary's churchyard

Art in St. Mary’s churchyard

The signs outside do not mention the church being open to visitors neither does the website on http://www.walthamstowchurch.org.uk but there were 36 names in the visitors book for the first 10 days of June, presumably for the art festival. I found this a bit confusing as quite a bit of effort had obviously gone into providing for visitors so I emailed the parish office who told me that ‘We are open on Mondays and Tuesdays for informal morning prayers from 9am – 09.15. And of course for Sunday morning and evening services. Should you wish to visit outside these hours, please drop me a line, or call on the number below (02085201430) and I shall be glad to arrange it.’

This is a wasted opportunity here as this is a church well worth visiting – could it not be open say on a Saturday? I am sure that stewards could be found. There was no where to leave prayer requests either but that is understandable in the context.

History board in churchyard

History board in churchyard

There is a history board in the churchyard.

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I have to rate St. Mary’s as poor but it would be good if it were open. It would not take much here to have a significant ministry to visitors – it is a church which is nearly there. It just needs to be open on a regular basis and advertised as such. At the moment mixed messages are being given out.

 

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