St. George’s Day 2018

Your correspondent doesn’t have a good head for heights, but he was delighted nonetheless to be invited onto the very top of St. Mary’s tower roof to fly the St. George’s flag this morning in preparation for his feast day, tomorrow, April 23rd.

This job is usually performed by Martyn Marriott, who deserves our thanks and praise (though he, modestly, wouldn’t accept!)

It is quite a scary place, atop the tower. Especially if you look up! (Strangely enough, looking down over the parapet isn’t bothersome at all, but looking up to the top of the flagpole made me feel quite dizzy).

After the flag-raising, came the bell-ringing. I know it to be a rhythmic and mathematical art requiring a lot of concentration and fiendishly good memory skills.

On a good day, I might say of myself that I had a reasonable sense of rhythm and an old school teacher of mine would definitely call me “amatuerishly mathematical”…but I still couldn’t really work out what was going on between the ringers: to an outsider like me, it just seemed rather magical. It was also rather noisier than I expected, as the changes were called with abrupt precision (hear, for example, about the 52 seconds mark in the video):

We were treated to a rendition of Stedman Triples (which is what’s in the video and is a very old ringing method dating from the 18th century where the tenor bell [the heaviest -and the one on the furthest right of the video] always rings last in the change), followed by some Cambridge Surprise Major.

Can I just say that the Bell Ringers were consummate hosts, putting up with annoying third parties like me with grace and ease? And also that their work for our church is deeply appreciated by all.

Christ is risen! Alleluia!

Our wonderful Easter garden display had its stone rolled away on Sunday 1st April, as we celebrated the glory of Christ’s resurrection.

St. Mary’s was kitted out in splendid floral array:

Special mention, I think, should be made of Iris’ wonderful display at the foot of the cross:

And it wasn’t just the church which was florally embellished, either.  We at St. Mary’s are fortunate that when Evelyn and Eleanor Drummond get creative, we can celebrate the glory of the traditional Easter Bonnet:

Thanks for making such a grand effort, girls!

The Licensing of Rev. Tom Gillum

The induction and installation of Rev. Tom Gillum as the new vicar of St. Mary’s took place yesterday afternoon (Sunday, March 18th).

Despite the bitter cold wind, snow and ice the Church was packed with members of the congregation, long-standing friends of Tom and Joanna (many of whom had travelled from far afield to be present) and the leading members of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire civic society -most of whom were persuaded to sign the Order of Service shown at the left by the Parish Autograph Hunter…

The Rt. Rev. Paul Williams, Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, lead the service and preached powerfully on the theme of St. Mary’s long history -and bright future, with it’s new leadership- of nurturing the young in a spirit of wonder, love and praise.  A PDF copy of his sermon is available here.

Having sworn his oaths and signed his declarations, six tolls of the tenor bell announced the beginning of his ministry at St. Mary’s.

A photo gallery showing the key events of the day is now available.

It is an exciting time for all at St. Mary’s: we are confident that with Tom’s guidance, we will be able to meet future challenges and opportunities for expanding our mission to the City of Nottingham.


Post-Easter Closures

St Mary’s operates on different hours during the post-Easter break than normal, partly because it’s Easter-tide and partly because the Choir is on a well-earned break.

The resulting changes to the ‘usual’ calendar are accordingly rather extensive!

Firstly: Service Time Changes

  • There are no week-day services from Monday April 2nd to Saturday April 7th inclusive. Practically, this means that there are no day-time Communion services on Wednesday 4th or Thursday 5th April. There is also no evening service of any kind on Wednesday 4th.
  • There will be a morning Eucharist as normal on Sunday 8th April at 10:45am, but the usual Evensong will be replaced with a service of Evening Prayer at 6:30pm

  • In the following week, the normal day-time communion services resume: so the 8:30am on Wednesday 11th and the 1:15pm on Thursday 12th will take place. The Evensong you’d usually expect on the evening of Wednesday 11th will, however, once more be replaced by a service of Evening Prayer.
  • Sunday 15th April sees the resumption of normal services. so there will be  a  sung Eucharist in the morning at 10:45am and a choral Evensong at 6.30pm.

Secondly, Visiting Hours Changes:

The Church remains open to visitors throughout the week of April 2nd to 7th, but with different hours from normal, as follows:

  • On Monday 2nd April, we open 11am to 3pm (instead of the usual 10am to 3pm).
  • On Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th, we open the usual 10am to 3pm.
  • On Thursday 5th, we open 11am to 3pm
  • On both Friday 6th and Saturday 7th, we again open for the usual 10am to 3pm hours.

Visiting hours revert to their standard 10am to 3pm from April 16th onwards.


New Administrator Appointed

After receiving several applications, we have today agreed to appoint a new administrator for the Parish.

Our chosen candidate (pictured left) is Howard Rogers.

He comes to us from Kent, via Sydney, with expertise in I.T., a track record of welcoming visitors to the church on Wednesday and a healthy dose of enthusiasm for his new undertaking.

His new post is part-time: the intention at this stage is for the administrator to be in-post 9am to 1pm five days a week, usually at the St. Peter’s parish office, but on Wednesdays within St. Mary’s itself. He can be emailed at [email protected]. The new Parish telephone number is: 07340 551799. It will be answered 9am to 1pm every week day and messages may be left outside those times.

Nave Event Wednesday 7th March

On Wednesday, 7th March there will be an event in the Nave which will necessitate closing the church to visitors from 1pm onwards (instead of the usual 3pm).

If you were hoping to visit St. Mary’s on Wednesday between 1pm and 3pm, you can instead arrange for a visit between 4pm and 4.30pm, provided that you phone 07885 653 360 between 10am and 3pm on the day.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Members of the congregation should note that Wednesday Evensong takes place as normal on 7th March at 6.15pm.

Light Night, 2018

Last night was Light Night -the free, family-friendly, Nottingham-based annual event during which the heart of the city lights up in enchanting and magical ways. This year, the event was celebrating its tenth anniversary.

St. Mary’s played its part in proceedings by providing a wide variety of light-based installations and displays, with the choir chiming in every forty minutes or so with a different ‘set’ of extravagant polyphony pieces. They ranged from the “spiky” Leighton to the “silky” Byrd, with much in between!

Young and old trooped in and out through the West Door all evening, with everyone seeming to enjoy the light spectacle in the glorious surroundings, despite the bitter cold outside (and maybe partly because of the generous warmth inside!)

In fact, over 4000 people attended the event at the church, making it one of the most popular St. Mary events of the year. Pleasingly, the ‘lights and buckets’ installation in the North Transept was able to raise over £1600 for Emmanuel House during the course of the evening.

A selection of photos taken on the night is now available over at our Galleries page: it’s a rare chance to see St. Mary’s in an entirely new light (pun intended)!


Dr. Geoffrey Walker – An Autobiography

This week, we pay our respects to Dr. Geoffrey Walker by way of a memorial service on Thursday 15th February (to which all are invited, of course).

In that spirit of memorialisation of the much loved, we are most grateful to Biddy for giving us permission to share Geoffrey’s autobiography -first written in 2009- with everyone who cares to click on this link.

The document is a PDF and is less than 1MB in size.