St. Mary's Church Centre.

A New Milestone

image...Now open!   After over twenty years of planning, St Mary’s Church Wargrave finally got consent to build a Church Centre which opened in February 2019.

From the total cost of £520,000, 80% has been given by generous donations from the church congregation and the wider village community.

Planning, Construction and Design

Obtaining planning approval was difficult because the church is a listed building, the land around the church is a burial ground and the site is surrounded by residential properties. Permission had to be gained from English Heritage (now Historic England), the Diocese of Oxford and Wokingham Borough Council. 

In the construction of the building, over £40,000 was spent on archaeology. During the excavation, remains dating to Saxon times have been found, and these have all been recorded and archived at Oxford University.

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The Church Centre has been built on the north side of the Church, abutting the outside walls of the Lady Chapel and the Parish Office, an area of the Churchyard where very few recent burials have taken place.

imageThe design allows for both clear open space inside the building and uninterrupted window walls with views into the Churchyard and beyond.  The external form of the building echoes some of the Church and its Churchyard architecture.

The choice of materials includes a mix of natural materials seen within the “tapestry” of the surviving Church fabric – stone dressing, dark oak framing, along with rusticated plinth base courses and render.  The new Centre takes as its base palette of materials the use of a distinctive low maintenance copper roof ideally suited to a lighter structure, oak framed windows with reverse ovolo mouldings to echo the details of the North porch and Church interior detail.

The front entrance for visitors is adjacent to the Parish Office with pathway access direct from Mill Green.  Access from the Nave is through the North Door and a short pathway into the rear of the Centre.

Purpose and Use of the Church Centre

Layout and Facilities

The facility is available for church and community use and comprises of one large meeting space which can be divided into two, a kitchen, three toilets, vestibule and store room.  The seating capacity is 100 in a configuration of 64/36 when separated into two distinct spaces. 

image As well as providing a facility for church activities including youth work, group work and informal worship, St Mary’s Church Centre is an ideal venue to celebrate life events.  The layout and finishes of the building make it an ideal venue for a baptism, wedding or birthday party and for refreshments after a funeral.  Hirers may choose their own catering arrangements and St Mary’s has connections with two local catering companies.

Hiring Charges for the Church Centre 2019

Standard Charges

FacilityDay time
Hourly charge 
Half day
4 hours
Full day
8 hours
Evening
Hourly charge* 
St. Mary's Church Centre £36 £110  £150 £44
St. Mary's Church Centre
West End**
 £24 £65 £85 £28
St. Mary's Church Centre
East End**
 £28 £75 £100 £32
Hannen Room £24 £65 £85 £24


Charges for Regular Users and Church Members

(25% discount)
FacilityDay time
Hourly charge 
Half day
4 hours
Full day
8 hours
Evening
Hourly charge* #
St. Mary's Church Centre £27 £82  £112 £33
St. Mary's Church Centre 
West End**
 £18 £48 £63 £21
St. Mary's Church Centre 
East End**
 £21 £56 £75 £24
Hannen Room
 £18 £48 £63 £18

Special rates are available for long term hirers.
Minimum hire - 2 hours
** Includes shared use of kitchen
#  In consideration of St. Mary's neighbours, noise restrictions apply to evening lettings and all functions must finish by 11 pm.


Hirers are required to leave the facility in a clean condition as found: Cleaning charge £12.50 per hour, minimum 2 hours.

Applications to hire the Church Centre (or the Hannen Room) should be made to Kim Moul on or 0118 940 2300.


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