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Worship, Prayer & Meditation


pilgrimage sprinklingGoing on pilgrimage has long been an important aspect of many different spiritual traditions. From at our baptism we begin a spiritual journey of growing deeper into God and responding to God’s love and call on our lives over and over again.

The physical journey of a pilgrimage respresents this inner journey, and always has a central focus on prayer and reflection – but it is also about learning and sharing the journey with others!

Details of past pilgrimages and those planned for the coming year can be found here.

Meditation Group

benedict ssshhMeditation is a universal practice of contemplation, which features in all the world’s major spiritual traditions. It has been an important dimension of Christian prayer from earliest times. Originally seen as an integral part of the christian life, contemplative prayer became more associated with the monastic tradition, but in recent years had been restored to prominence. The Benedictine Rule, the foundation of the monastic community that first prayed at St Mary’s, begins simply with the word Listen!

So it’s entirely appropriate there is an opportunity for contemplation and meditation at St Mary’s on Wednesdays at 7.30pm. Each session begins with a welcome and brief introduction to the meditation, followed by a silence which lasts for 25 minutes. After a closing reading, those who wish to stay for simple refreshments are welcome to do so.

Importantly, the meditation sessions are open to all people of any faith, or none. Please contact the Parish Office for more information.

….the practice of contemplation, creates and nurtures the growth of community into the full human maturity of peace and justice. Although it is a solitary practice it reveals solitude as the recognition and acceptance of each person’s eternal uniqueness and the eternal and unique value we share with every creature in the cosmos. From this naturally flows the power of compassion that is the pure fruit of meditation and the most powerful force in the world for the transformation of darkness into light, for the healing of human wounds and the relief of suffering. [The World Community for Christian Meditation]

Parish Retreat

retreat candles and iconEach year, the parish organises a formal retreat – a chance to get away from the usual routine of life, and concentrate on a more focused time of prayer and reflection, led either by one of the ministers from East Barnet or a guest retreat conductor. The retreat takes place either in a conference centre or retreat house within a couple of hours drive from London, and the daily timetable gives a good balance of prayer together, learning, silence, worship, time to relax and socialise….and food! There is always plenty of food!

Full information and booking details for the next Retreat will be posted on the website when available.

Quiet Days

A couple of times a year St Mary’s organises a Quiet Day, usually at Edgeware Abbey, in preparation for Lent and Advent. Led by members of the ministerial team, it is a chance for those who are looking for a bit of space and stillness in the busyness of their weekly routine. More information is available from the Parish Office.

St Mary’s Choir

choir shSt Mary’s Choir was reformed in September 2006 after a nine month break to take stock of our musical needs in worship. The choir is now focused on Sunday Evensong, but also sings for morning and occasional midweek services.

Our hymn books are Hymns Old & New (10am) and New English Hymnal (6.30pm)

A team of Cantors lead the singing at the 10am Sung Eucharist, and in addition to the hymns, the congregational musical setting includes the Gloria (Kyries in Lent and Advent), a Responsorial Psalm, the Gospel Acclamation, the Eucharistic Prayer, and the Agnus Dei. Ocassionally we are pleased to welcome visiting choirs who usually sing a full mass setting to mark a particular festival.

The choir is always on the look out for new members – please contact the Parish Office for more information.

Sacristy Team

sacristy teamA small team of sacristans assist the clergy with the more formal services at St Mary’s and take care of the vestments, vessells and everything else we use in worship.  If you would like to help out and be part of the team then please contact Jon Simpson on 020 8362 7030. A number of our Sacristy Team are members of the St Albans Chapter of the Company of Servers.

Alternative Worship: broken/

On the evening of the second Sunday of the month, St Mary’s is home to broken/, a growing alternative worship community which draws people from across London, and seeks to create ways of worshipping which are in-step with 21st century culture. We don’t usually sing, and much of our worship is aided by contemporary secular music, projected images and interactive prayer stations. Details of forthcoming broken/ events can be found here, and if you want to know more about alternative worship in general, then go to www.alternativeworship.org

Flower Arrangers

We are very lucky to have a dedicated and talented team of flower-arrangers. If you can help, or would like to donate or dedicate flowers in memory of someone, or to mark a special occasion, please contact the Parish Office.