Denis Keeling talks about the history of St. Mary’s. Photo: Scott Wilding

St. Mary’s held an Open Day on 16th September and offered a fascinating glimpse into its Georgian past.

As part of the work on a Heritage Lottery bid, St. Mary’s welcomed the wider community through its doors and into a living, breathing history lesson. Local historian Denis Keeling gave a well attended talk on the history of the church, whilst outside in the church gardens, Roger Middleditch conducted a most entertaining mini-historical tour of the graveyard, particularly appreciated by the younger members of the community.

With Lego activities, dressing up and refreshments, there was something for everyone. The weather was kind, and the sun shone.

Assistant church warden Carry Green said “It was a great day. Over 200 adults and 57 chidren visited St. Mary’s and they all seemed to enjoy themselves. There was lots for the kids to do, including Georgian games, and the adults loved the history of the church. The graveyard tours were very popular too. Over 180 questionnaires were filled in, which we hope provides evidence that the local community cares about its heritage. This should really help with our the Heritage Lottery Fund bid. A big thank you to all our volunteers and all our visitors!”

Continuing with the Georgian theme, on 10th December at 3pm the Royal School of Church Music are holding a seasonal workshop for musicians and singers at St. Mary’s, culminating in an Georgian Evensong at 6pm which is open to all.