Vibrant Life of our church today by Revd Lydia Avery, Priest-in-Charge. Upper Tas Valley Benefice

St Mary’s is a beautiful church with a long and interesting history, but there is so much more to the church than history and a beautiful building! It also has a vibrant life today!

The COVID-19 pandemic led to St Mary’s closure for a period of four months in 2020, but from July it re-opened for Holy Communion services every Sunday at 9.30am and for weddings and Sunday morning baptisms. We’re still not permitted to sing in church, so hymns are sung in our weekly Sunday morning worship on Zoom at 11am – those who love singing often come to both services!

Outside in the churchyard, Norfolk Wildlife Trust manages ‘God’s acre’ with encouraging wildlife in mind and throughout the year it is possible to see interesting plants and lichens, as well as the occasional deer or mole.

The church is part of the eight church Upper Tas Valley Benefice. In pre-COVID-19 times St Mary’s provided a focus for a monthly Sunday mid-morning service and for the meeting of Messy Church, enjoyed by people of all ages on the second Saturday morning of the month. Normally there are Holocaust Memorial services in January, Harvest celebrations, a bi-annual Remembrance Service and a full range of Christmas services, however, the current pandemic means that for the moment some of these are suspended.

As it has always been, the church is also a centre for some of Forncett St Mary’s many social events and meetings. An environmental group occasionally meets here and the church hosts art exhibitions and music and drama events.

As soon as pandemic restrictions are eased enough to allow, the church will welcome an embryonic community choir for its rehearsals and the church will launch the community film club that had been scheduled to begin in the autumn of 2020.

We love this church, we hope you’ll feel very welcome here if you decide to visit - and that you’ll love it like we do!

In the meantime, if you would like to meet and worship with some of the people of this church, you will receive a warm welcome in church on Sunday at 9.30am or at the Zoom Service at 11.00am on Sunday. For a full schedule of services and for the Zoom codes, please look at the Services and Events section of our Benefice pages on www.achurchnearyou.com

lydia avery