About St. Mary's Without The Walls

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About St. Mary's

St Mary’s Without the Walls is situated in Handbridge, south of the River Dee, in the historic city of Chester. The present church was built in 1887 to replace the original St Mary’s On-the-Hill, now a heritage centre within the city walls.

Handbridge Centre

Opened in 2018, this new community facility serves businesses, not for profit organisations, and charities, as well as groups with formal connections to the parish church.

Our Mission & Vision

Our Vision for our Parish, for St Mary Without The Walls in Handbridge and in Chester

We recognise that participating in church can feel more than a little intimidating. We hope if you’re coming with particular questions, concerns, or just looking for a place to be then you’ll find Saint Mary to be welcoming, safe, and interested in supporting you in your journey.

We hope that our printed orders of service will offer some guidance about the things we share in during services, and that’s the welcomers who offer them to you will also be a resource to help you make introductions, if that’s what you’d like.

During our current vacancy we do not have a specific separate provision for families, but we hope your children will feel a part of what we do however you wish to involve them. There is a dedicated space in the south-west corner of the main part of the church building for parents to sit with children in comfort, participate in the service, and allow children to play in safety. Each of us is created uniquely in the image of God, we don’t expect children (or adults for that matter) to be quiet in church.

Finally, we are keen that visitors don’t mistake St Mary for a place where everybody is expected to think the same way, or adopt the same passions. We recognise that to be a parish church is to be available for both those who attend very regularly, and those who might think of themselves as non-members. We’d like to be a place that celebrates some of the differences we’ve learned from as we’ve grown in faith. We hope that we place the forgiveness we have found from God at the heart of our worship, our action in the community, and hope for the world. It doesn’t mean there isn’t hypocrisy and challenges in being the church.

St. Mary’s People

The Reverend Maureen Pickering

The Reverend Maureen Pickering

Hon. Assistant Clergy

The Reverend John Carhart

The Reverend John Carhart

Hon. Assistant Clergy

The Reverend Trevor Dennis

The Reverend Trevor Dennis

Hon. Assistant Clergy

Miss Linda Manning

Miss Linda Manning

Reader Emeritus:

Mr David Gilburt

Mr David Gilburt

Church Warden

Mrs. Lynne Jones

Mrs. Lynne Jones

Church Warden

Doris Keen

Doris Keen

Parish Administrator and Centre Manager

The History of St. Mary’s without The Walls

The church was built between 1885 and 1887 to a design by F. B. Wade for the 1st Duke of Westminster.[3] A porch was added on the south face of the tower in 1914 which was designed by P. H. Lockwood.

Architecture

Exterior

St Mary’s without the walls is constructed in ashlar Waverton stone with dressings of Runcorn sandstone.It has Westmorland green slate roofs. The plan consists of a five-bay nave with a clerestory, a three-bay chancel, a chapel at the southeast, an organ chamber and a vestry. There are two porches, one on the south and one on the north. At the west end is a three-stage tower with a recessed spire. It has clock faces to the north, west and south, paired louvred bell-openings on each face, a machicolated parapet, two pinnacles at each corner, lucarnes to each cardinal face of the spire and a weathervane.

Interior

The baptistry is in the tower and has an encaustic tiled floor and a stone font with an oak cover. The stained glass in the baptistry is dated 1887 and is by Edward Frampton. It depicts Christ’s baptism. In the baptistry is a portrait memorial dated 1900 to the first Duke of Westminster. The nave is floored with wood blocks. There are three steps up to the chancel with wrought iron rails. The chancel has a mosaic floor. The southeast chapel has a wrought iron screen. The pulpit and lectern are in oak. To the north of the chancel is a sedilia. The east window is probably also by Frampton. The reredos was designed by Frederic Shields and made in cloisonné by Clement Heaton.[3] There is a ring of eight bells which were cast by Mears and Stainbank at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1887.[4]

External features

The walls, gates and railings of the churchyard were also designed by F. B. Wade for the first Duke of Westminster in 1887, and are listed Grade II.

The history is taken from Wikipedia.