The Parish of St Mary’s was founded in AD 1657 and consecrated in AD 1662 when it was known as “The West Cowes Chappell”. The Chappell was replaced in 1816 with a church and tower designed by the famous Regency architect, John Nash (1752-1835). In 1866 the church was found to be structurally unsafe and so was rebuilt in 1867, incorporating the original Nash tower that you can see today. The church is Victorian in design by the architect Arthur Cates, F.R.I.B.A (1829-1901), and the chancel which accommodates the choir, organ and the ‘High Altar’ was extended in 1900. St Mary’s is a Grade ** listed building and extensive restoration work has been completed in the last few years.
We aim to maintain this church not as a museum, but as a powerhouse of prayer and a centre for the spreading of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Regrettably the church has to remain locked when unattended for insurance and security reasons. However we welcome visitors and endeavour to open the church as much as possible. If you plan to visit the church it is advisable to contact us in advance and we will do our best to accommodate your visit. St Mary’s Church is situated at the top of Cowes adjoining Northwood Park and overlooks the town centre which is just a short walk away and is close to the bus and Red Jet terminals.
8.00am Holy Communion First Sunday Book of Common Prayer (BCP) (4th Sunday no 8am at St Mary’s – service held at our sister church of Holy Trinity – BCP)
11.00am Parish Communion Common Worship (All Age Worship on 1st Sunday in the month) Service is followed by refreshments in the parish hall
6:30pm (4:30 November to February inclusive) First in month said BCP Holy Communion, second, third and fifth Sundays offer various styles of non Eucharistic worship, fourth Sunday BCP Evening Prayer
10.30am Said Holy Communion – Common Worship followed by refreshments in the parish hall
5:00pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: Said Evening Prayer (entrance through east-end of church via red door by park wall)
Said Morning Prayer 9am Monday, Wednesday and Friday at our sister parish of Holy Trinity
Saints Days as announced
About our orders of service
As a Church of the Church of England we are authorised to use the following service material
Book of Common Prayer ‘The BCP’ is the original service book of the Church of England and generally the version from 1662 is used in conjunction with the King James Version (or Authorised Version) of the Bible. Although the language used is from another era using ‘thees’ and ‘thous’, the BCP is nonetheless a rich and poetic service book and is still much loved. Services from the BCP offer a meditative and calming dimension to the worship. The BCP is authorised for use ‘in perpetuity’ and unlike the ASB (see below) will never be withdrawn from authorised usage.
Common Worship (CW) is the contemporary service material which replaced the 1980 Alternative Service Book (ASB) in 2000. CW enhances the liturgy of the BCP with a wide range of options which offers material to suit all occasions from our regular services outlined above to weddings, baptisms and funerals and civic services.