St Mary's on the Green

Saint Mary's is a dynamic, growing church.  We take seriously the call of the Church to simply worship God as her primary vocation.  Our life as a community is based around the regularity and repetition of the Eucharist.  We believe we are called to be a community of mercy and kindness who offer radical hospitality.  Our ministry of feasts and festivals shows this in an active way.  We also know the power of learning by laughing.

'People just coming to the church building is already a mystery.  A divine reality is hidden in their concrete coming...Behind every one of the baptized who has come to clelebrate the Eucharist, stands a magnificent personal story of grace, of struggle, and labor and rejoicing, and of all these united around that person's faith.' Jerry Driscoll OSB

We are the main and civic church for the town of Witney. Saint Mary’s was re-dedicated in 1243, although an earlier church stood on this site. We have an active role as the focus of civic ceremonies and outreach to the town and wider area. We are regularly used for special services such as Remembrance Sunday, the Mayor’s Carol Service, and BBC Radio Oxford broadcasts. However as the focal point of many local people’s lives, we also have strong pastoral links for baptisms, weddings and funerals.  And we are excited by the future.

As one priest put it, ‘hope hears the music of the future – and faith dances to it’

We are engaged in a £2million restoration and renewal project, Inspiring Change. There are a number of people exploring vocation. The church building hosts many outreach programmes and events, including an annual Food Festival; an annual Beer Festival; a conference for the Society of Catholic Priests on the Hospitality of God and Diocesan Mission Conferences. During the last year over 50,000 people have come through our doors and been welcomed.

We are committed to mission and outreach as a vital part of our life together.  We pray that the church will grow and flourish as communities of Christ have done through the centuries.  With the confidence of our patron, the young woman of Nazareth, we try to capture a vision which, like God, is ‘rich in mercy’.  

As S Bernard said of Mary ‘Following her, you will never lose your way; imploring her, you will never know despair; thinking of her, you will avoid all errors.  With her support, you will not fall; with her protection, you will have nothing to fear; under her guidance you will never be tired; thanks to her favour, you will reach the goal.’

 

At St Mary's we are committed to:

Worship

living as a community nourished by the Eucharist, sustained by scripture and prayer, and building the church in unity and faith

deepening our lives of faith in the beauty and holiness of worship

sharing in a transformational experience which shapes our individual and corporate journeys of faith

 

Discipleship

living as a community where our teaching, mission and ministry are refined and energised by God

deepening our sacramental life, linking life experience to the story of faith

sharing our lives in the love, joy and hope of the risen Christ

 

Pastoral care

living as agents of God's love

deepening our understanding of God's call on each of us to be his hands in the world

sharing wholeness and care among God's hurting people

 

Outreach

living out the Gospel beyond the walls of the church

deepening our expectant and watchful attitude as we look signs of God's kingdom in the world

sharing the joy and simplicity of faith, wherever people are

 

Hospitality

living joyful, generous lives

deepening our heritage as a place of hospitable Christianity where lives are renewed and refreshed together

sharing open, inclusive, sacrificial fellowship

Sunday Services:
8am - Holy Communion (Traditional Language) - followed by breakfast on the 4th Sunday of the month
10.45am - Sung Parish Eucharist (Contemporary Language, with hymns) - followed by refreshments
Weekday Services:
Daily:
9am - Morning Prayer (except Sunday) 
5.30pm - Evening Prayer (except Friday) - more information on Daily Prayer can be found here.
Wednesday:
11am - Holy Communion - followed by refreshments

Other Service Times in the parish can be found here.

Take a Streetview tour of Saint Mary’s church with InstantStreetView

Find us

Parking

On Sundays - Church Green and The Leys have no restrictions.

On Weekdays - There are various time restrictions on Church Green - please note the signs. The Leys offers free all-day parking. Please avoid driving onto the church path as many pedestrians and cyclists use the gateway, and the entrance is tight - damage can easily be done to both cars and stonework.

Praying for victims of terror



'In the midst of life we are in death.'

Lord, in a place of pleasure, terror struck, in a place of life, death came. Hold us in our shock and grief, comfort the distressed, heal the injured, calm the anxious, reunite the separated, console the bereaved, and give rest and everlasting peace to those who have died, for your love never fails and through the darkness your light always shines. Amen.

Team Vicar

2016 Accounts and 2016 Review

The accounts were approved on 24 April by the PCC and signed off


Please click below to find the Accounts for 2016 and the 2016 Review
Our stewardship enables us to fulfil God's call and share in God's mission

The Church is the new creation, it is life and joy, it is the sacramental fellowship in which we share the ultimate purpose of God, made real for us now in our hearing the Word and sharing the Sacrament.
Rowan Williams

Parish of Witney 2016 Approved Accounts

2016 Review

Annual Accounts

Raise the roof

An opportunity to invest in a major Witney landmark

Severe winter frosts have destroyed the limestone slates on St Mary’s Roof. We need to replace them before winter sets in. Local Witney people have already sponsored 2,200 slates. Only 1,800 slates to go!!

Please Sponsor a Slate for £10. Your civic landmark church needs you!

Donate with JustGiving and PayPal

St Mary Find out more about this project

Inspiring Change

Creating a Community Space for the 21st Century

As part of our wider commitment to serve the people of Witney, we have formed a vision for renewing St Mary’s Church, our town’s landmark civic church: to enhance the ways the spiritual, community and cultural life of Witney people in the 21st century is served by St Mary’s church.

St Mary Find out more about this project

Latest Witney Way

You can read the latest edition of the 'The Witney Way' by clicking Here

Remember Dale Carnegie’s bestseller, How to Make Friends and Influence People? Well he also wrote, ‘Today is the tomorrow, you worried about yesterday.’ Mindfulness is currently a popular method of temporarily ridding oneself of extraneous stimuli, emptying and calming the mind, and concentrating on the Now. Of course metaphysically, Now can never exist; even as you read this sentence, the beginning is already in the past, and the end is still in the future.

The following pages are full of Yesterdays; accounts, reminiscences, recollections, memories and history; but also hope for our Tomorrows. Bishop John Pritchard helps us to look forward when we may be struggling or have lost our way, John Wesley reminds us that ‘faith is a journey not an end’, and Bishop Steven invites us to ‘come and see’.

Our Team Vicar Neil has left for pastures new, our curate Alastair is planning his departure, and we are looking forward to welcoming Ross as he prepares to join us as curate, on the next phase of his ministry. Pray for them all.

The 40 days of Lent – Ash Wednesday to Easter Saturday, minus the six Sundays – commemorate Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness, prior to his ministry. For us, it is a time of reflection and preparation, looking back at our lives; but also looking forward to our Lord’s glorious Resurrection. It is a time of spiritual discipline, reading, prayer, self-denial, charitable giving and actions. What are you doing?

Love and prayers,
Toby Wright
Team Rector

Staffing News

We are delighted to announce the appointment of a new Team Vicar

The Rev'd Ness Whiffin has been appointed to serve as Team Vicar in the Parish of Witney. Ness will be licensed in S. Mary's on 6 September 2017 and all are welcome to come and pray for her as she begins her new ministry here in Witney.

Please pray for Ness as she prepares for this move and the next step in her priestly ministry.

New Curate appointed


We are delighted to announce the appointment of Ross Meikle to serve his curacy in the parish. Ross will be ordained on Saturday 1st July at Christ Church Cathedral. Please pray for Ross as he continues his formation. you can read more about him HERE.

Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, by your Holy Spirit you have appointed various orders of ministry in the Church:
look with mercy on your servants now called to be deacons and priests;
maintain them in truth and renew them in holiness,
that by word and good example they may faithfully serve you to the glory of your name
and the benefit of your Church;
through the merits of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen

Latest film

Watch the latest film from the Witney Parish team.


See more films here

Keep in touch


Follow us on Twitter Here

Find us on Facebook Here

Holy Week Addresses

The Rev'd Canon Dr Joanna Collicutt led Holy Week 2017 on Remembering.
The text of her addresses is available Holy Week 2017 here

Holy Week

Oxford Diocese

Seven days a week, more than 50,000 Anglican disciples are dispersed across the Diocese of Oxford and the world, serving God in a huge variety of contexts and making a difference in the world. Together as a Diocese we support an enormous range of voluntary projects serving the local community often in partnership with others: these include food banks, children’s centres, support for the homeless and refugees, community groups, parent and toddler groups and many more. Over a thousand church buildings and church schools are centres of life and hospitality in their communities. There are around a hundred stipendiary chaplains working across the Diocese in prisons, hospitals, the police, universities and schools. We have three formal overseas links with Kimberley and Kuruman (South Africa), with Växjö (Sweden) and with Nandyal (India) and many other links at parish level.

The Diocese of Oxford