Lent 2024

The season of Lent lasts for forty days (not including Sundays) and it is a time when Christians reflect and prepare for the celebrations of Easter. Some people fast, eat frugally or give up treats following the example of Jesus, who fasted for forty days in the wilderness.

People also give to charity, set aside time to study the Bible and meet with other Christians to reflect on Jesus' life and prepare for the events of Holy Week and Easter.

St Mary's will be offering various opportunities to take part in Lent Courses & Reflections in addition to attending special services throughout Holy Week.  The first service will be Ash Wednesday on the 14th February at 11am.

The Church of England

Watch & Pray 2024

The Church of England are sending reflections via email: Sign up and get free daily Lent reflection emails (except Sundays) delivered straight to your inbox from Ash Wednesday to Easter Day. Their daily emails will offer Bible readings, short reflections and a practical challenge, as well as prayers linked to weekly themes.

Sign Up for Daily Reflections

Holy Week

Holy Week is the name given to the week beginning on Palm Sunday and ending on Easter Sunday.


Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday Jesus arrived in Jerusalem to crowds and cheers. His triumphant entry into Jerusalem has been celebrated on the Sunday before Easter since the first centuries of Christianity.


Join us at St Mary's for our 8am Holy Communion and 9.45am Holy Communion & Junior Church.

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday is the day when we remember Jesus sharing the Last Supper with his disciples before his death.

Maundy Thursday gets its name from the Latin word mandare meaning to command. We remember Jesus' command: 'Love one another as I have loved you'.

At the Last Supper, Jesus washed the disciples' feet. Some churches recreate this act of service at special services and events. This is not only an important reminder of the nature of Jesus, who we serve, but also the kind of service we are meant to demonstrate in our love for one another.


Our service this year will be a Tenebrae Service with Holy Communion. Tenebrae (Latin for ‘darkness’) is a quiet prelude to Easter Day which helps us identify with the darkness and loss felt by Jesus’ followers as they experienced his death. Through readings and music we will hear the dramatic story of Jesus’s betrayal, arrest, trial and crucifixion. The church will get darker as the service progresses, ending in total darkness.

St Mary's  |  7pm

Good Friday

Good Friday is the day when Christians remember the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. It is a sombre day. Usually, churches meet, pray and reflect on the sacrifice Jesus willingly paid for all our sins.

Young Family Service

In the morning at 9.30am, there will be a Young Family service held in St Mary's Church Centre, where family groups will be working on a craft - an Easter Diorama. Join us as we sing some easter songs and remember the true meaning of Good Friday. Suitable for children under 14 years.

Walk of Witness

Many churches take part in a Walk of Witness. Churches gather (often with other local Christian denominations) to walk through the streets of their locality together. They do this to remember that Jesus had to carry his cross publicly through the streets of Jerusalem. It is a public statement of their faith, a retelling of the crucifixion story and a reminder of Jesus’ words in Matthew 16 verse 24: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.'

Join the walk

For those wishing to get a bit of fresh air and exercise (possibly also a little wet), please join us at the junction of Highfield Park & Victoria Road at 10am for the Walk of Witness. There will be opportunities to sing some hymns, listen to poems and readings and finish with a warm hot cross bun and tea & coffee back at St Mary's Church Centre.

Hour at the Cross

There will be an Hour at the Cross service at St Mary's at 2pm. The Hour at the Cross is a service of prayer and reflection where we will hear many passages from the Bible and reflect on Jesus' ultimate offering.

Easter Vigil

The Easter Vigil is the first service of Easter and begins sometime on the evening of Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Day).

It begins with a symbolic expectant waiting (usually outdoors around a fire) for the resurrection of Jesus on Easter morning, and this is represented visually by a large Easter candle, which is lit from the fire and brought into a darkened church. This depiction of new life and light represents Jesus’ resurrection on the first Easter morning. The congregation then light their own candles from the Easter candle, representing their own new life as followers of Jesus.

The service will contain a number of readings from the Bible, and also an opportunity for all the participants to renew the promises made at their baptism. The Easter Vigil is usually a quiet and thoughtful service, but one full of joy.

Easter Sunday

On Easter Sunday, churches across England will celebrate because Jesus died for our sins and then rose again.

On the third day after being crucified, Jesus' tomb was found to be empty. He had risen from the dead. Life triumphs over death! The joy of resurrection is possible only because Christ endured death and conquered it.

Some churches celebrate Jesus' bringing life from death by making an Easter garden. Could you make an Easter garden with your family at home?


There are various services taking place across the Parish on Easter Sunday.

At St Mary's, there will be a traditional Holy Communion service (BCP) at 8am, followed by the 9.45am Holy Communion service and Junior Church.

There will also be a service of Holy Communion at the later time of 10.30am at St Peter's, Knowl Hill.