About St Mary’s
St Mary's Bourne Street carries out a unique mission, both as a parish church on the borders of the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and as a continuing witness to the catholic tradition within the Church of England.
On the edge of affluent Belgravia, St Mary's retains a socially mixed character even now, mainly because it has remained a place of traditional Anglo-Catholic worship and teaching, where Christians believe what they pray in their approach to the holiness of the living God. Here many continue to find inspiration and support to live in the light of Christ in contemporary society.
The liturgy at St Mary's beautifully combines Gregorian chant, Renaissance, Viennese and contemporary sacred music with the majestic language of the Book of Common Prayer. The ceremonial is also richly traditional and, with intelligent preaching, High Mass on Sundays is the highlight of the week for all who attend. The setting may have been beautified by successive generations but it remains strangely simple and peaceful…despite the gentle rumble of the trains underneath.
See Calendar for all St Mary's events and services.
Lord Halifax, churchwarden at the time, involved the parish in the Malines Conversations (1921-25) which began ecumenical dialogue between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. St Mary's remains a significant focus of prayer for the unity of the Church and represents something of a near point of the Church of England with that of Rome. Please see History of St Mary's for more.
The church was built quickly and cheaply over a new underground line and dedicated in 1874 in order to minister to those who lived in the surrounding slums. Intended as a servants' church, St Mary's quickly attracted a broad cross-section of society so that aristocrats worshipped alongside manual workers. See Architecture for an overview of the church's rich architectural heritage.