St Mary’s

About St Mary’s

The parish church of Upton is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin.

History of the Building

The current church 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 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, still accompanies our singing.

Worship at St Mary’s

What’s happening at St Mary the Virgin, Upton during the Covid-19 restrictions

While the church buildings are closed, the church community continues to be very active, despite the current limitations on our gatherings and movements. Services and groups are continuing online and by telephone, and the clergy are available if people have questions, would like to talk, or would like to ask for prayer for themselves or someone they care about.

Weekly Benefice activities and services

  1. Would you like to talk with our clergy?

Our Clergy are available to respond to emails and phone calls. You can contact them through emails to the Benefice Team ( or by ringing the main parish number (01235 850267) or individual clergy numbers, which are found on the Churn website.

  1. Services

We’re still meeting together for prayer and worship – and we welcome visitors! The Benefice uses GoToMeeting (GTM) to hold on-line church services every Sunday at 10.30am (you can join from 10:00 onwards if you want to have a chat and/or to try out the technology first), and brief evening prayers Monday to Friday at 8pm.

It’s easy to join in. Any device that will get you online – phone, tablet or computer – can be used to join the service: instructions are below and on our website. If you don’t have an internet connection you can join the service by telephone. For details on how to join, please contact the Benefice office on the number above.

  1. The weekly Churn newsletter

Want to find out what’s happening week by week? We’re now sending out a weekly email of the Benefice newsletter (The Churn) and the Sunday Bible readings. To receive it, please contact the Benefice office, which can also help if you would like a paper copy of the newsletter.

  1. The Rector’s Daily Reflections

The Rector writes daily reflections which many find of comfort during these times. You can sign up to receive these, too, by contacting the Benefice Office.

  1. The website

The ChurnChurches website is regularly updated to show a calendar, notices, events and services and carries the Rector’s Daily Reflections. It also contains instructions of how to upload the GoToMeeting App and useful information about how to get support during this crisis. The weekly Churn newsletter and the Readings for the next Sunday are posted on the website on Fridays.

Normal Worship at St Mary’s once Covid 19 restrictuions are lifted

You are warmly invited to join us for worship at St Mary’s and will be welcomed as often or as little as you are able once the Covid 19 restrictions are lifted.

For the first three Sundays in a month the service is a 9 am Eucharist. A rota of clergy brings a rich insight into scripture and prayer. The fourth Sunday is a 10 am All Age Service, both fun and thoughtful. A fifth Sunday which occurs four times in a year is a short 9 am Morning Prayer usually read from the book of Common Prayer.

Every Tuesday: Morning prayer at 9.30 am followed by Eucharist at 10 am. At 5 pm a half hour of music, prayer and prayerful silence followed by evening prayer at 5.30 pm.

There may be variations to this pattern on special occasions. The services for the week ahead are always posted on the church gate.

If families would like their email addresses included in our database, so that we can make sure you are kept informed about family services etc., please send your email address to Clare Lightfoot at

The church remains open during daylight hours. Please feel free to enjoy the peace of the place at any time. If you have special need and would like a loved one remembered in our Tuesday prayers please enter your request on one of the prayer cards which you will find on a desk near the pedestal of flowers.

Updated – May 2020

St Mary’s News