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Our History

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Our beautiful and historic parish church has been the centre of the Wendover community for over 700 years.

St Mary’s is steeped in history. In medieval times the rood cross was venerated as a place of pilgrimage. During the Civil War, Cromwell’s troops camped in the church (you can still see the graffiti) and in 1799 the first penny savings bank in the country was started in the vestry.
For generations the church has participated in the main events of life. Babies are baptised, young people are confirmed, and couples are married and at the end of our earthly life we are commemorated before our remains are laid to rest in the churchyard.

St Mary’s is a living building, meeting the needs of its members and the village community.  Week in, week out, the active congregation comes to worship God and local organisations use the facilities of St Mary’s Centre. The church is also used for musical concerts and other village events.

The History of the Church Building

Although it is certain that a church has existed on the site since the 12th century, the present building dates mainly from the early and later parts of the 14th century.   It consists of a tower, nave, chancel, north and south aisles, north and south porches an chancel aisles (the north side now being St Mary’s Centre).

The building was restored in 1838-39, 1868-69 and in 1914.  The fittings are mainly Victorian with some excellent examples of stained glass.  More recent improvements include new glass entrance doors, a bell ringing floor and external lighting.

2011 Refurbishment

In 2010/11 we closed the church and carried out an extensive refurbishment aimed at ensuring the building could be used for a range of community activities as well as worship. We now have a new stone floor with underfloor heating, high quality chairs and benches, a high efficiency multiple-scene setting lighting system, comprehensive sound system and projector with retractable screen.  We are really proud of the refurbishment.  It is still a sacred space and is now very flexible, and appreciated and enjoyed by all who visit and use the special space.

There is a book describing the history of St Mary’s available at the back of church or from Just.

Friends of St Mary's

The upkeep and preservation of our wonderful church building is generously supported by the Friends of St Mary's, a non-religious group that is dedicated to ensuring that the church is maintained for the appreciation of many generations to come.
Hello and welcome to St Mary's. If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

A Warm Welcome! 

The following information is specifically for those planning to visit us for the first time, so that you know, beforehand, what to expect on a Sunday morning.

Where and When

We meet at St Mary's Church in Church Lane, Wendover, for our two main Sunday services each week, which start at 9.00am and 10.45am. For your first visit, we recommend arriving 10-15 minutes early to ensure you get a parking space and find somewhere to sit before the service begins. When you arrive, you will be greeted by someone on our Welcome Team.

Plan your journey


There is wheelchair access, and a sound loop for anyone who needs it. Please let one of the Welcome Team know on your arrival and they will help you to get set up. There are disabled toilets in the Church Centre, which you can find through the door towards the front of the church on the left hand side.

Our Main Sunday Services

Our 9am Holy Communion is a more traditional service, including music and hymns in an established style but using up-to-date language. It will probably appeal to those who are used to more formal Anglican worship.  There is no provision for children at this service.

Our 10.45am Sunday Worship services follow a more informal style with contemporary worship songs. These services are typically most suitable for families. On the second and fourth Sundays of each month, we share Communion at this service and Ignite (for children aged 5-11) and Surge (our youth group for 11-16s) run on these Sundays. The first and third Sundays are All Age services, designed to be rich in teaching and learning for people of all ages - from 2 to 92!

You can find details of our other services here.

Getting Connected

Small Groups

While Sundays are a great way to meet new people, it is often in smaller gatherings that you can really get to know someone. Being part of one of our small groups allows you to make new friends, share together and support each other. We have a variety of groups that meet throughout the week, some afternoons and some evenings. Check out our Church Life section on this website to see if there’s a group that you'd like to join, or we can put you in touch with a small group leader who will be more than happy to invite you along to their group.

Serving and Volunteering

If you want to get involved in the life of the church, why not sign up to serve on a team. We are always looking for volunteers to get involved in different aspects of our work.

Get in touch with us to plan your visit
If you would like to come and visit the church beforehand you are more than welcome! St Mary's is open every day from 9am to 6pm and you would be very welcome to come and have a look around before you come to a Sunday service. In the meantime, please fill in the form below if there is anything you'd like to kn
Email Address:
Comments / Questions or anything you would like to say?
We hope that whoever you are and wherever you come from, you will feel at home at our church.

Best Wishes,

Rev Sally Moring