The Friends of St Mary's is a fundraising group which exists to support the work of St Mary's Church, Henlow: please read on to find out who we are, what we do and how you can help; and see our News page to find out what we've been doing...
ST MARY’S is the parish church of the historic village of Henlow, Bedfordshire. Dating from the 11th or early 12th century, St Mary's has stood at the heart of the community for longer than anyone can remember, providing a sacred space for everyone to enjoy: a place where life’s beginnings, joinings and endings can be celebrated or commemorated in baptisms, weddings and funerals...
But buildings are no more immune to the ravages of time than people and whilst St Mary’s is part of the Church of England, part of the established church, this doesn’t mean that the state pays for its upkeep: it doesn’t. On the contrary, because the church is so old, it’s a listed building, which places certain obligations upon the church where maintenance is concerned, but the church must pay its own way.
THE FRIENDS were formed in 1982 during the incumbency of the Reverend Arthur Newall. The principal aim was to enable parishioners and former parishioners who may not be regular worshippers at St Mary's to assist with the upkeep and enhancement of the church by means of an annual subscription and occasional fund-raising events.
Since their formation, The Friends have raised many thousands of pounds. Among the improvements these funds have enabled are the provision of kitchen facilities, the installation of an induction loop system for the hard of hearing, new bell ropes, choir robes, a new outside notice board and improvements to the toilet facilities.
Membership of The Friends is open to anyone who wishes to help the regular congregation with the ever-rising cost of maintaining Henlow's beautiful and ancient parish church. Membership details may obtained from: Mrs Jackie Painter, 6 Oak Drive, Henlow SG16 6BX (tel 01462 811795).
As much or as little as you choose!
Becoming a Friend of St Mary’s doesn’t involve attending services or taking part in any other church activities unless, of course, you want to, in which case you can always be sure of a warm welcome!
By becoming a Friend of St Mary’s you are simply supporting the work of the church in the local community, whether that’s visiting people who are ill, running confirmation classes, taking school assemblies, comforting bereaved families, celebrating new life in baptisms, preaching sermons, celebrating the Eucharist, weddings, providing services through the seasons at Christmas, Easter, Harvest and All Souls, or in the many other ways we aim to show the love of Christ to each and every person through our care, comfort and compassion.
Thank you for your support!
• Held on 17th February 2012 at Henlow Parish Hall
THANK YOU to everyone who supported our Friends of St Mary's Barn Dance in February: to all those who came along and danced; to the band, Time of Your Life, who provided the music, stomped and clapped and called out the steps; to the caterers, for a meal of baked potatoes and delicious chicken casserole; and to those who organised the raffle, rearranged the furniture, cleared up afterwards or helped in any other way a most enjoyable evening was had by all, as the photos below testify!