About St Mary’s
The parish church of Upton is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. The building dates from the eleventh or twelfth centuries, and though a major restoration took place in 1885, the church has not changed much in almost a millennium.
The south door still sports a 12th century Vandyke pattern around the arch. The font, by the south door, is probably as old as the church. One of the most imposing features of the church is the chancel arch, of a simple 12th century semi-circular design. The nineteenth century stone altar is a classic of Ecclesiological and Tractarian design.
St Mary’s Today
St Mary’s is active, much-loved and kept in very good repair. The roof was restored in 2002. A loop system available for those with hearing aids was installed 1993. The chamber organ, parts of which date from the seventeenth century, accompanies our singing.
For several years we have been planning major works to the vestry which will provide a toilet and much improved catering and storage facilities. Thanks to the generosity of villagers, supplemented by grants from a number of organisations, the money for these works has finally been raised and we are expecting construction to take place in autumn 2023. Once completed, the church building will be able to offer much better facilities both for the benefit of those attending services and for a variety of uses by the community as a whole.
St Mary’s is one of seven churches in the Churn Benefice, the others being the parish churches of Blewbury, East Hagbourne, North and South Moreton, Aston Tirrold and Aston Upthorpe. The rector is Fr. Jason St. John Nicholl who is assisted by the Revd. Mark Rhodes-Smith and the Revd. Louise Butler. The benefice is managed from the Benefice Centre in Blewbury where the operations manager is Elaine de Ridder (email@example.com 01235 850267).
Worship at St Mary’s
Clergy-led eucharist services are held at St. Mary’s on the second and fourth Sundays of each month. A lay-led service takes place on the first Sunday of the month while on the fifth Sunday, which occurs four times a year, Morning Prayer is read from the Book of Common Prayer. All these services begin at 9:15am. In addition, special services are held at Christmas, Easter, Remembrance Sunday and other occasions.
The services for each month are displayed on the notice board on the church gate. If you would like to receive regular e-mail notifications of services, please contact Clare Lightfoot on firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Churn Benefice on-line service is held every Sunday at 10:30am. In addition, there is a short on-line prayer service at 8:00pm Monday-Friday. Log-in details, which change weekly, may be obtained from the Benefice Centre (details above).
On the ChurnChurches website may be found benefice notices, events and services plus the Rector’s Daily Reflections. It also contains instructions of how to sign up for, or upload, the weekly Churn newsletter and the readings for the next Sunday, which are posted on the website each Friday.
Visit St Mary’s
The church is open daily from 9:00am to 4:30pm. Please feel free to enjoy its peace and tranquillity at any time. If you have special need or would like a loved one remembered in our prayers, please enter your request on one of the prayer cards which you will find in the church on a desk near the pedestal of flowers, or alternatively contact the Benefice Centre office.
Updated Aug 2023
St Mary’s News
- St. Mary’s Vestry Project
- Christmas Carols and Readings at St Mary’s
- Upton Christmas Play Reading
- Christian Aid Week
- St. Mary’s Vestry Improvements Appeal – Update November 2021
- Free Film Ticket
- St Mary’s Churchyard
- St Mary’s Christmas Services
- St. Mary’s Memories Christmas Tree
- Ride and Stride in Aid of Your Local Church