ST. MARY’S CHURCH
ST. MARY’S CHURCH, CREDENHILL
Vicar and School chaplain Revd. Rana Davies-James – 01432 760443 E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Church Warden – Mrs. Jean Hawkings Bowles – 01432 769413
Church Warden - Mrs. Dorrie Coates - 01432 761935
The 13th century stone built Church of St Mary’s is situated above the village of Credenhill five miles from Hereford City and on the side of the densely wooded hill from which it takes it name.
Credenhill is part of a United Benefice of six parishes. The benefice has a Vicar, Rana who lives in Credenhill and a part-time non-stipendiary priest living in Mansel Lacy. In addition, we are fortunate to have a lay reader who regularly takes services throughout the benefice. Lay members of the congregation regularly take part in the services and we are also lucky to be able to call on the assistance of a nonconformist minister from time to time.
As a church benefice (group of 6 churches) we are committed to safeguarding children, young people and victims of abuse and vulnerable adults, so that all can worship and grow safely in Christ. Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults is the responsibility of the whole church and central to our mission and ministry. The PCC has adopted the Church of England’s policies and best practice on safeguarding which may be found on the Church of England’s website. Our Parish Safeguarding Officer is Liz Merrick, who can be contacted at email@example.com
The Sunday services are held at 11 am each week: on the 1st, 3rd and 4th Sunday, it is Holy Communion, and the 2nd Sunday is All Age Worship. When there is a 5th Sunday in the month we hold a United Benefice service with the host church rotating around the benefice. We have coffee and biscuits after the services at the back of the church, when we make a point of welcoming any visitor or newcomer. The old oak table used at this time is believed to have been the original altar moved to its present position when it was replaced by one carved from oak felled on the Credenhill Estate and dedicated to the memory of the fallen in the 1st World War. All our services are family friendly and we love to see new faces as well as our regular congregation!
“Messy Church” happens several times during the year, often linked to church festivals, and is for children and their families. It usually takes place at Headway in Credenhill and on a Saturday afternoon ending with a yummy tea!
St Mary’s Church does not have a church hall, but we are fortunate to be able to use the Community Hall or Headway for social events and for occasional services such as on Maundy Thursday, Harvest Festival and a Carol Service at Christmas. As the village is long and straggling, with the church at the far end up a steep hill, these services have proved popular as many parishioners find these easier to access. We are also able to hold occasional services in the school, for which we are very grateful (the donkey on Palm Sunday always looks quite at home in the school hall) and the village Remembrance Service is always a significant occasion for our garrison village.
Church and school links
Rana is also the School's Chaplain. Together with St. Mary's dedicated staff, Rana guides and steers the spiritual life of all pupils at St Marys. Her responsibilities include advising on collective worships, held regularly at the school and weekly school assemblies. As the school’s link with the local church Rana encourages pupils to interact and get involved with external events and activities, helping pupils to develop social and community responsibility.
Mike Wilkinson, our lay reader, is a Foundation Governor, who represents the church on the Board of Governors, and co-ordinates Open the Book.
As well as St Mary’s using the school for services, the school also holds some of its whole school services in the church – for example at Easter and Christmas. Church members present a weekly school assembly based on ‘Open the Book’ and, during the school year the school are invited to come to the church for Experience Christmas, Experience Easter and Experience Harvest when pupils are introduced to the key elements of the festivals through small group activities.