Church of St Mary the Virgin

About Claire Alcock, our Curate

Welcome to the Church page of the village website. I am the Associate Priest with responsibility for St Mary’s, Whitchurch on Thames and St John’s, Whitchurch Hill. I took up the post in 2010 after being ordained at Christchurch in Oxford; I’m married to Chris and we have three children.

Whitchurch is a House for Duty post, which means I’m combining parish ministry with another ‘job’ (in my case, a part time Masters Degree and being a mum). My regular rest day is a Monday, but you can get hold of me on other days by phone or email.

What is the Church for? A good question, particularly in the 21st Century when a lot of people are unsure of the role of faith in society.

The church is, simply, a gathering of people with Christ at the centre. We seek to worship God and be a Christian family looking outward to bless our community with the love of Christ. We do this by gathering on Sundays and at other times in the week, to pray, learn and serve; and to find ways of communicating God’s love to people in all walks of life.

St Mary’s is on the Thames path and sees many come inside for a quiet moment, to be in a beautiful place where centuries of prayer and worship have taken place. You are more than welcome - the church is open in daylight hours. We have a weekly coffee morning, a Spring Fayre, Lent Lunches and Lent Groups in The Old Stables Room. A bi-monthly prayer meeting, a ladies bible study group and a monthly service of worship at our local Care Home are all ways in which we try and share God’s love with all. Do feel free to get in touch and find out more.

Revd. Claire Alcock

Claire has a blog called PART TIME PRIEST, describing her busy life combining the priesthood with motherhood. This has more thoughts on ministry, faith and culture and you can join in the conversations. Every three months, Claire writes a letter to parishoners.

Schedule of Services

For the times of services at St Mary's, Whitchurch on Thames and St John's, Whitchurch Hill please see here.

Tuesday Coffee Mornings

Every week in term time there is a Community Coffee Morning held in the Old Stables from 10:30 until 12 noon.  (Tuesday Coffee Mornings). All are welcome.   

Saturday Art Cafe

Whitchurch’s community Art Café opens each Saturday in the Old Stables bringing people in to enjoy the art, chat with friends and raise money for a good cause.

Parish

The ecclesiastical parish of Whitchurch is part of the Langtree Team Ministry in the Diocese of Oxford led by the Team Rector, the Rev. Kevin Davies.  It consists of the villages of Whitchurch-on-Thames and Whitchurch Hill.

St. Mary's church, looking from the south
More views of the church are available in the Photo Gallery.

Claire Alcock with other team clergy and lay members maintain regular services at our two churches: St Mary’s, beautifully situated by the river in Whitchurch, and its sister church St John’s, next to the green at Whitchurch Hill. You are warmly invited to attend services at either Church, whatever your denomination. The clergy, choir and congregation alternate between them in accordance with the schedule of services.

A welcome pack for all newcomers to the village is available from Churchwarden Kenneth Baker on 0118 943 2778 or email

Read Kenneth's Letter of Welcome.

Links

Read the latest edition of the three-monthly Parish Magazine.

The Langtree Team Ministry has a  website. There is also a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

The Oxford Diocese.

There is a History of St Mary’s Church provided by the Langtree Team Ministry.

You can find photos of church related activities such as Remembrance Sunday and Christmas on the Gallery page of the main (village) website - thank you to all the contributing photographers.

Old Stables Meeting Room

In partnership with the diocese, we have a parish meeting room and office in the old stable block next to Rectory Cottage, Whitchurch on Thames. This  facility allows small groups from the whole community to come together in attractive surroundings, as well as providing a venue for church meetings.

If you wish to book the Old Stables Meeting room, please contact Alan Matthews on 0118 984 4489.

Choir

Whitchurch has a proud choral tradition and three sung communion services are a regular part of our schedule every month. We have excellent Walker organs in both our churches and three regular organists to play for us.

Although we only have 7 regular members of our Church Choir we aim to sing at all the Parish Communion services and other services as required. Several members of our Choir also sing with other Choral Societies in the area. We are very fortunate to be able to call on friends to assist us for special services including Weddings, special services and the various Church festivals such as Christmas. We would welcome any new members to the Choir especially those that can sing Soprano, Alto or Bass.

For further information please contact Kenneth Baker on 0118 9432778 or email: baker_kenneth2@sky.com

Children

Children are welcome at all our services. Twice a month at St John’s, Whitchurch Hill (2nd and 4th Sundays) we enjoy Family Worship, with a small band and plenty of opportunity for interactive participation in worship. Most of our baptisms take place on 4th Sundays at All Age Worship, and we have outdoor worship in the summer, with a chance to picnic together on the green outside the church. We have strong links with the primary school through participation in assemblies and some RE sessions, and the children visit the church for RE and at Christmas.

Other Activities

  • Bell ringing
  • Twice monthly daytime bible study group
  • Harvest Supper
  • Lent lunches and Lent Course
  • Readifood Collection in both churches
  • Twice monthly Prayer Group
  • Occasional Events in association with The Ferryboat Inn
  • Monthly All Age Worship service at St John's - contact email is allageworship@outlook.com

Baptisms, Marriages, etc

Please contact Rev Claire Alcock on 0118 984 5702 or email: claire_alcock@hotmail.com