St Mary’s stands in the catholic tradition of the Church of England. Here we try to practise the generous Gospel of Jesus Christ. Together we are exploring a way of living which is inspired by joyful worship and takes seriously the interior life. We embrace the challenges of peace-making both globally and locally. Welcome to this inclusive community of health and healing.
St Mary’s Church is now and has been throughout its history a beacon for the town’s community and visitors. Known as the Fishermen’s Church its tower guides many sailors and their craft into the Hythe. The door is always open from early morning to dusk and the visitors’ book bears witness to those who find peace and solace in the spiritual beauty of St Mary’s historic and welcoming space.
The Parish Mass held each Sunday morning is well attended by members of the Church family and visitors, and through worship, the sacrament and music helps the people learn about the gospel and develop their knowledge and trust in Jesus.
The church also benefits from an attached church hall, called the Octagon, which is well used for meetings, events and community use.
For service times, see the weekly Bulletin.
Take a while to sit in St Mary’s, absorbing the spiritual atmosphere generated by the calm simplicity of these ancient walls. Perhaps you will be reminded of St Cedd, who was sent here by King Oswiu of Northumberland to convert the East Saxons to Christianity.
Cedd travelled by ship down the east coast, landing in Essex in 653. He quickly established his Othona community at Bradwell-on-Sea and the following year was consecrated first bishop of Essex.
Cedd preached at his first Midnight Mass in Essex here in St Mary's. You may well be sitting, as the hymn has it "where the saints have trod." In 654, Cedd built his cathedral, dedicated to St Peter, on the site of an old Roman fort at Bradwell. This building, possibly the oldest Christian building in the country, still witnesses to the Gospel of the Risen Lord.
If you are making a pilgrimage to St Cedd’s church (now St Peter’s Chapel, Bradwell), why not pause a while here in St Mary’s to reflect on Cedd’s own pilgrimage and mission?