Church Approach, Thorpe, Surrey TW20 8TQ | email@example.com | Call us on: 01932 567 603
St Mary's Church
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Liturgical Seasons and Colours
Ordinary Time / Sundays after Trinity. This is the default setting and used most often.
All Saints to the day before Advent Sunday (Kingdom Season). Palm Sunday / Holy Week & Good Friday. Pentecost Sunday. Holy Cross Day. Confirmation and Ordination Services. Red is also used for the commemoration of a Christian Martyr.
Purple (or Violet)
Advent & Lent (times of preparation) and some Funerals, All Souls Day, a Requiem Eucharist. Purple is also used for the ministries of healing, anointing and confession.
Very special celebration days. Christmas, Epiphany, Candlemas, Easter, Ascension, Transfiguration and All Saints.
For the seasons of Christmas, Epiphany and Eastertide. Also for some Saints Days. We also use white hangings for weddings and wedding blessings. White is a marker of Heaven and so can also be used for Christian Funerals and All Souls Day.
At St Mary’s we have a very special set of hangings which are a combination of gold and blue. These are used for Mary festivals: The Annunciation, The Visitation, The Assumption and the Blessed Virgin Mary, and for our Patronal Festival.
Belonging is important! Welcome.
We hope that all who visit St Mary's Church will feel a deep connection, grow in faith and quickly develop a sense of belonging. Our Inclusive Anglo-Catholic tradition is all about being accepted, included, welcomed, fed (spiritually and physically!) no matter who you are and what you bring - you are welcome. At St Mary's you have a voice (whether you can sing or not - we love singing!) and your contribution to our life together really matters, as we seek to build God's Kingdom here in Thorpe.
"...you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." (1 Peter 2:9 - NRSV)
Our Historical Context click for information.
The Reserved Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist and Morning / Evening Prayer
The Eucharist (Mass or Holy Communion) is very important to us at St Mary’s; our main Sunday 10am service is Eucharistic (with the exception of Remembrance Sunday). We reserve the Blessed Sacrament (consecrated Bread and Wine) from Sunday to Sunday in the tabernacle, upon the High Altar where a white candle burns 24 hours a day to remind us that Holy Communion has been reserved – that Jesus is present, just as He promised.
The reserved Communion is taken to the sick and housebound during the week (or as required) as a reminder that they are still a part of our Church Family even when they can’t regularly attend the Church for worship. We keep enough reserved Sacrament so that, in the unlikely event our priest or another in a neighbouring or local church is taken unwell, communion can still be distributed among the congregation on a Sunday.
We use the services authorised by the Church of England found in Common Worship (2000) Order One and the supplementary seasonal material found in Times and Seasons & Festivals (2006). We use modern language at our services although it is customary for us to use the traditional language version of the Lord’s Prayer. Our Bible Readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary and we use ‘Order of Service Cards’ which are changed for each of the liturgical seasons: Ordinary Time, Kingdom, Advent, Christmas & Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week and Eastertide. We produce special service sheets for festivals including Ash Wednesday, our Patronal Festival, Mothering Sunday and Pentecost. We also have special service cards for a Requiem Eucharist as well as Compline. Hymns and musical settings are chosen by the Ministry Team to reflect each season and festival.
The Church Liturgical Seasons and Colours
At St Mary’s we use coloured hangings and vestments which are worn by the clergy that reflect the seasons of the Church year. The High Altar frontal and Tabernacle cover, and the hanging at the Lectern, as well as the choice of vestments worn are changed with each season or festival. The different colours used have special liturgical meanings.
It is the policy of St Mary’s PCC, by agreement with the Incumbent that all clergy leading worship at St Mary’s should follow our vesture policy.
The importance of involving people in our Worship
We rejoice that at St Mary’s people of all ages, both women and men, old and young are involved in leading a full range of worship. We gather to offer before God the very best of who we are in praise and thanksgiving as we pray for the Holy Spirit to renew our lives and community of Thorpe. From reading the bible in services to preparing and leading the prayers of intercession, to singing in the Choir, to welcoming people at the door or taking responsibility as a sides person or warden on duty, we all have a leadership role; leading the congregation deeper in faith and praise. Our mission to serve the community of Thorpe is best summarised as adhering to the Anglican 5 Marks of Mission.
Families and Children
Our Family Service is held on the 1st and 3rd Sunday every month and is an exciting opportunity for all ages to experience church. These service are usually non-Eucharistic and include a short bible story, prayer time, craft activity and fun songs. Children are very important to us and our community so we take their safeguarding very seriously. Noah’s Ark, our Baby & Toddler Group runs from 9.00-11.30am every Thursday during term-time for parents with pre-school age children.
Children and young people are very much encouraged to take part in every aspect of our Church life and children over the age of 7 years or older are admitted to Communion following a course of preparation, in advance of Confirmation when they are over 12 years old.
Prayer & Bible Study
Prayer is at the centre of the Christian life and worship and at St Mary’s we encourage everyone to participate in the ongoing prayer ministry of our Church family. We pray for local community groups, our local schools; Thorpe Primary and TASIS England as well as the local shops, pubs and business. We also pray for Thorpe Park, staff and visitors. Small groups for prayer are encouraged; a Contemplative Prayer group meets regularly on a Monday.
Every Sunday we offer each visitor to St Mary’s a weekly newsletter which has full details of our upcoming services and social activities . On the reverse is printed the Collect for the week and the Sunday bible Readings which we encourage people to read at home and use to assist with their own personal bible study and prayer during the week.
We also run regular groups for study including a Lent Course and Advent reflections. There are regular Emmaus Courses and Faith Confirmed Groups for those who wish to further their Christian understanding and study the bible.
Inclusivity – Always a warm welcome for all.
St Mary’s is a member of the national body, Inclusive Church and we are committed to a warm welcome for all. We won’t judge – we know that we all come to Jesus as very different, unique individuals with complicated lives and all on a pilgrimage of faith. In God’s presence we are transformed into the people He is calling us to be and that is so exciting; indeed liberating! All are loved and welcomed to be a part of the family of faith here in Thorpe and we hope taste the kingdom promised on earth, just as it is in heaven. We are proud to be members of Inclusive Church.
Inclusive Church Statement of belief and values
“We believe in inclusive church – a church which celebrates and affirms every person and does not discriminate.
We will continue to challenge the church where it continues to discriminate against people on grounds of disability, economic power, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, learning disability, mental health, neurodiversity, or sexuality.
We believe in a Church which welcomes and serves all people in the name of Jesus Christ; which is scripturally faithful; which seeks to proclaim the Gospel afresh for each generation; and which, in the power of the Holy Spirit, allows all people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Jesus Christ.”
If you would like to read-up more on the Inclusive Church organisation, please visit this website.
* Management of church buildings
* Management of church land
* Community and global engagement
Thorpe, like every Church of England Parish has a register of electors; it is the list of those qualified to attend and to vote at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting where the elections take place for:
a. the Parochial Church Council
b. the parish’s representatives on the Deanery Synod
APCM & Electoral Roll
Our Mission as Anglicans - Modern Catholic and Inclusive
The Anglican 5 Marks of Mission best summarise our priorities for mission here in Thorpe:
To tell the Good News of the Kingdom.
To transform unjust structures of society.
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers.
To tend to human need by loving service.
To treasure the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
To challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation.
Our Historical Context
The movement within the Anglican Communion (Episcopal Church) stressing continuity with Catholic Christendom, the authority of bishops, the threefold order of ordained ministry; Bishop, Priest and Deacon and the importance of sacraments, rituals, and ceremonies is often described as ‘High Church’ - in that we give a “high” place to the importance of the episcopal form of church government, the sacraments, and liturgical worship. (The term High Church was first used about the end of the 17th century to express this particular emphasis within the Church of England). Today, a better description is Modern Catholic or Anglo-Catholic.
St Mary’s was part of the wider Catholic Church before the Reformation and has retained a catholic identity and heritage within the broader Church of England. At St Mary’s our catholic roots and values are important as they provide us with stability, while we remain fully Anglican and open to transforming church and lives as the Holy Spirit directs us in prayer. This offers us continuity with the Oxford movement (19th century) which renewed the Catholic Tradition within Anglicanism over 100 years ago, while at the same time engaging us today in the revitalisation of our church and community as we recall our secularising culture to its spiritual inheritance. Central to this is our understanding of Mission - we seek to be a church with invisible walls where all are welcome, loved and engaged in a relationship with the Lord. The implicit catholic identity of St Mary's Church is a direct result of our historical context but continues to be important to us today, with our emphasis upon the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and study of God's word- the Holy scriptures. Therefore, diversity is celebrated and there is always a warm welcome for all at St Mary's Church, Thorpe.
Following the imperatives that guided our catholic forebears in the Church of England we focus on Christian theology, the seven sacraments of the church catholic, spirituality and the life of prayer, liturgy and worship, vocation, priesthood, mission and pastoral encounter, ecumenism and social justice. This is a call to inclusivity with a welcome for all. Pastoral ministry is not simply the role of the priest at Thorpe; it is shared by the whole family of faith. We seek to model a style of discipleship faithful to scripture and the riches of our tradition, which encourages us to be creative and credible, imaginative and generous. We are not here to judge each other but show love and share fellowship as disciples of Jesus in the world today.
At St Mary’s we hold to the great Creedal and Apostolic doctrines of the Church. We believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, the Word made flesh and we revere the Bible as the source of our knowledge but believe scripture should be interpreted in the light of tradition, reason and experience. It is this witness that has become the hallmark of St Mary’s mission and teaching and draws a wide appeal.