Welcome

The offering of an open Church building and an outward looking worshipping community, remain dominant signs on the cultural landscape, pointing to nothing less than the deep generosity and openness of God, who promises his people that ‘there are many rooms in my Father’s House’
 – Martyn Percy

The Parish of St. Mary the Virgin in the Lace Market, Nottingham hopes to be a significant Place of Hospitality. A place where the hospitality of God can be encountered by all, regardless of gender, income, marital status, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, race, age …or religion!

For people who visit every day; people who may visit once in their lives; for the young and old; worshippers and pilgrims; historians and tourists… Welcome!


The week's events
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
10th December 2017

10:45 am: Sung Eucharist

10:45 am: Sung Eucharist

6:30 pm: Sunday Evensong

6:30 pm: Sunday Evensong
11th December 2017 12th December 2017 13th December 2017

8:30 am: Holy Communion - Wednesday

8:30 am: Holy Communion - Wednesday

6:15 pm: Wednesday Evensong

6:15 pm: Wednesday Evensong
14th December 2017

1:15 pm: Holy Communion - Thursday

1:15 pm: Holy Communion - Thursday
15th December 2017 16th December 2017

7:00 pm: J. S. Bach: Mass in B minor

7:00 pm: J. S. Bach: Mass in B minor

Special Notice:

  • Please note that the Church is closed throughout Christmas Week (26th December to 31st December inclusive).

Header image courtesy Martine Hamilton-Knight

About St. Mary’s

Dear Reader,

Thank you for visiting the new St Mary’s, Nottingham’s website.

Those of you who are looking for the Friends of St Mary’s should know that they have very kindly donated their web address to the church -but you will still find their unique content under the ‘Friends’ link in the main menu above.

Additionally, you may be interested in visiting their Facebook page, which continues to be a more immediate source of news about their special contribution to the life of the Church.

This change is one of many things happening at the moment at St Mary’s in Nottingham’s historic Lace Market and the ‘Creative Quarter’.

My name is Rev. Stephen Morris. I’ve recently returned to St Mary’s after a few years in Newark and am ‘temping’ for a few months while we make the appointment of our new full-time vicar, whose name will be announced in a little while.

When we get news about this, I’ll report back here with more information, of course.

Some of you may know that, for the last ten years, we have been integrated with the churches of St Peter’s and All Saints’. That integration is now coming to an end. St Mary’s is returning to being a Church with its own parish, including the Lace Market, Council House, Victoria Centre, most of Hockley and just into St Ann’s.

However, we still expect that that our future relationship with St Peter’s and All Saint’s will continue to be fruitful and we pray for their ministry as well as for ours.

This is part of a wider plan being developed and supported by Bishop Paul and the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham. We are greatly encouraged by the new approach. It is designed to deliver greater diversity of ministry across Nottingham by playing to various strengths of the Church of England: from the liturgy and music of St Mary’s to the introduction of much newer aspects of the Church’s mission such as is being experienced in the new Trinity Church on Mansfield Road (formerly Neale’s Auction Rooms), for example.

Every blessing,
Stephen.



Header image courtesy Martine Hamilton-Knight

Heritage

History

Monuments

Windows 

Christianity reached the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Mercia in the mid seventh century and St. Mary’s was probably founded shortly afterwards. The original building was most likely to have been a wooden construction on the present site, close to the centre of old Nottingham.

At the time of the Domesday survey in 1086, Nottingham was a royal borough and St. Mary’s, as the only church, had royal status.

The present building is the third known to have stood here. It was constructed in stages during the 1300s and 1400s. It reflects the prosperity that Nottingham enjoyed during that period. Its magnificent architecture, huge windows and many monuments all bear witness to the funds poured into its construction by the guilds, merchants and gentry of Nottingham society. Such people were eager to ensure the safety of their souls after death -but also to demonstrate their growing status within the borough in a visible and impressive fashion.

The Reformation during the 1500s and the Civil Wars of 1642 – 1651 stripped the church of much of its original splendour -but not of its importance to Nottingham. Having survived desecrations, storms, riots and incendiary bombs, St. Mary’s has been restored many times and its present beauty owes much to the skills and sensitivity of the architects, artists and craftsmen of the last 200 years.

Today, it is a much loved focus of religious life and symbolises, as the city’s finest surviving mediæval building, the enduring stature of a great city.

Click around to discover more about the many monuments to be found in today’s church and its various stained glass windows, along with a more detailed explanation of its history.

Header image courtesy of Budby

Friends

The Friends of St Mary’s is a charity which provides financial support for church projects. The Charities’ Commission Registered Charity Number is 1066583.

For enquiries about the Friends of St Mary’s please contact the secretary via the website or write to the Secretary, The Friends of St Mary’s, c/o The Parish Office, St Peter’s Centre, St Peter’s Square, Nottingham, NG1 2NW.

Click on any of the links below. Don’t forget we have a facebook  page, too!


Bells

The earliest recorded incident with bell connections was that of John Painter of Nottingham in October 1393 when he made a complaint against Robert de Ayton who owed him 2/- of silver for the painting of a bell of the cross at the corner of the Church of the Blessed Mary in the town of Nottingham. In December 1394 Thomas de Downham was sub-clerk and keeper of the ornaments pertaining to the Church of the Blessed Mary of Nottingham. It was alleged the same Thomas sold away from the said Church a bell clapper, of the value of 13s 4d.

An inventory of 1553, at the beginning of the reign of Queen Mary, stated the church possessed five bells and a Sanctus, a clock and a chime.

Although the main body of the church was completed by the end of the fifteenth century, it is likely that the tower was not completed until the middle or end of the reign of Henry VIII. Shortly after its completion, a fierce storm on 7th July 1558 caused great damage in Nottingham. Part of the tower is thought to have collapsed into the church, destroying the stone vaulting underneath. If so, then the bells were almost certainly damaged and possibly some were destroyed. Church commissioners who made a visitation in 1559 reported that the Charncell is in gret decaye and the wyndowes unglased.

Some or all of the bells survived and were repaired. The second bell of the five was recast in 1589 when ‘Mr Alvie’ was paid £7 10s 8d for the work. It is probable he was a foreman of Henry Oldfield I, one of the many founders who cast bells in Nottingham from about 1370 through to 1793. The Long Row foundry recast the bell again in 1613. The founder was now Henry Oldfield II, son of the above Henry. The third bell was also recast twice, the first time in 1590 by Robert Quernbie. Quernbie was a descendent of the Mellours family whose foundry was probably in ‘Gretsmythgate’. The life of this bell was short-lived and Henry Oldfield II recast it in 1605.

Henry Oldfield II recast the fourth bell in 1595. This bell has survived all subsequent restoration and is the eleventh of the twelve bells now in existence. At 20¾ cwt, it is the largest surviving bell by the Oldfield firm. Decoration covers the shoulder and soundbow, and on the waist it displays the royal coat of arms alternating with his own large foundry badge that Oldfield reserved for important commissions. The bell frame was replaced in 1625 and the tenor recast in 1637 by another Oldfield at the Long Row foundry, George I, the son of Henry Oldfield II.

John Crow replaced the 1625 bell frame again in 1699 when the bells were augmented from five to six. The new bell frame was installed 22 feet lower in the tower than the old one. The lower bell frame allowed the bells to swing full circle to accommodate the new and developing art of ringing changes. A geometric ringing platform built in the tower crossing in 1708 shortened the length of rope even more and put the ringers in full view of the congregation.

The tenor bell became cracked and Thomas Hedderly recast it in 1757. Hedderly had taken over the Nottingham Long Row foundry from the Oldfields in 1742. This period saw a spate of restoration work. In 1760 the bells were augmented to eight by the addition of two smaller bells. A new frame was built to accommodate the eight bells and, with minor modification, the frame survived until 1934.

The coronation of King George III in 1761 was celebrated by augmenting the bells from eight to ten by the addition of two trebles cast by Pack & Chapman of Whitechapel, London. The money for these bells was raised by public subscription.

It is also at around this time that the ringers in Nottingham formed themselves into the Society of Sherwood Youths, which society has continued to the present day. The bells however, were not completely satisfactory; the third, fourth and tenor went to Lester & Pack in London for recasting. The resultant bells appeared to be satisfactory and the Society of Sherwood Youths rang a series of long peals on the bells culminating in 10,260 changes of Grandsire Caters rung in 7 hours 22 minutes on 3rd March 1778. This was conducted by William Doubleday Crofts, who rang the ninth bell single-handedly throughout. This series of peals was the result of competition between Leicester ringers and those of Nottingham in attempting to ring 10,000 changes. Leicester won with 10,080 changes of Grandsire Caters in February 1777, but the Nottingham peal was longer. Both sets of ringers were presented with a set of hand bells.

The geometric ringing platform under the tower crossing was dismantled in 1812 and the ringers returned to the loft above the plaster and oak vaulting.

The Nottingham Review reported on 25th July 1845:

We hear that the treble bell, in the fine peal at St Mary’s church, was broken on Sunday week, through the unskillful bungling of one of the ringers.

Ringing was suspended for a time during the restoration of the church as the same journal recorded on 17th October 1845:

The bells of St Mary’s did not chime as usual before divine service last Sunday, in consequence of the contractor for the repairs going forward having been represented to the vicar that the vibration of the bells was calculated to injure the works in progress at the piers. The chiming will consequently not be resumed until the piers of the tower are completed.

Apart from the period of the church restoration in 1843-48, the bells were used regularly up to 1934. The treble bell was recast twice, in 1852 and again in 1856.

In 1934, the wooden frame of 1760 was found to be in a poor state; the main beams were badly affected by death watch beetle. The stonework was also in a poor state needing urgent restoration. The bells were removed and nine of them recast by Messrs Gillett & Johnston of Croydon. The tenor bell now weighs 35¾ cwt (approximately a ton and three quarters). The ringing chamber was enlarged, the floor relaid in Ferro-concrete, and a new more compact stairway was constructed leading to the bells. A massive iron A-frame, supported by steel girders, was erected replacing the wooden bell frame. The ninth was cleaned and the new ten bells rededicated on 2nd November 1935 at a service attended by more than a hundred ringers from all over the county.

In 1980 it was decided to increase the ring by the addition of two treble bells. An order was placed with the contractors Eayre and Smith and the bells were cast by Eijsbouts of Asten in Holland. The money was raised by the Sherwood Youths and the St Mary’s ringers and the new bells were dedicated by the Bishop of Southwell at the Patronal Festival on 2nd February 1981.


Header image courtesy Kevin Marston

Parish Notices

Weekly parish notices are available below (in PDF format). Click an icon to retrieve that week’s notices. See also this page for weekly sermons (where available).

If you wish to get some news or information into the next notice sheet for any given Sunday, please send it to the Parish Office before noon on the Wednesday preceding.

Sunday 10th December, 2017
Sunday 3rd December, 2017
Sunday 26th November, 2017

People

You may email the various people linked to directly below by clicking on their name:

not yet appointed Vicar
Paul Sibly Church Warden
Martyn Jewers Church Warden
Tony Mitchell Church Warden
not yet appointed PCC Chair
Martyn Jewers PCC Secretary
  Jean Hammonds PCC Treasurer
Jonathan Stork PCC Member
Yvonne Harriss PCC Member
  Len Simmonds PCC Member
Daniel Hanson Deanery Synod Representative
Margaret Wiedemann Deanery Synod Representative
Matthew Hammonds Honarary Sacristan
Emma Jones Tower Captain
  John Keys Director of Music
not yet appointed
Administrator
Yvonne Harriss Overseas Development
Dave Richardson Health & Safety Coordinator
  Duncan Purves Caretaker
not yet appointed Electoral Roll Officer
Beth Mitchell Safeguarding Officer
Dawn Taylor Church Flowers
Howard Rogers Website Administrator

You may alternatively get in touch with someone at St. Mary’s by completing the following form: