About Us

Thank you for your interest in St Mary’s Church.   Situated by the River Cray, St. Mary’s Church is a welcoming community church, which has its origins in the mid-13th century and retains important 13th century fabric and also significant 19th century restorations and adaptations.  The church is part of the Benefice of Cray Valley which was formed in May 2015.   Our sister church, St Andrews’s is also located on the River Cray just 15minutes walk from St Mary’s.  

St Mary’s has been serving the local community for over 750 years.   Our vision is to be more involved in the community and serve those whose faith is firm as well as those who are simply seeking faith by providing a space for worship, reflection, healing and prayer.  

The three aims of our mission statement are to engage in the life of the local community, to use the church buildings as a spiritual and practical resource and to create opportunities for the wider community to engage in the life of the church.  

We invite you to visit our church, participate in church life at St Mary’s, and explore our church’s heritage.   New members to our congregation can look forward to a warm welcome at our Sunday and weekday services and to sharing in our various programs and groups for all ages.

Our thriving Sunday School for children from the age of four is called JaM.  JaM stands for Jesus and Me and our hope is that every child who comes along to JaM will, in their own time, discover and develop a life-long personal relationship with Christ. Children join us every Sunday of the year, including school holidays, and together we learn more about how to follow Jesus.  We also have home groups, an active branch of the Mother’s Union and organise coffee mornings, lunches and other social and fund raising events regularly.  

We have a monthly magazine, 'The Crayfisher' which is kept for sale at the church and church centre, distributed in the community and sold at a local newsagent. This enables us to tell the local community about services, events and activities that we are planning. It also includes reflective pieces; an article by the priest in charge and other members of the congregation, plus the ‘diocesan insert’.

We use our Church Centre for church activities such as our Open Door lunch which is run by the Mother’s Union, and our JaM sessions as well as for suppers and celebrations.  The Centre has full amenities, a fully equipped kitchen and access to a small enclosed garden.  It can hold 50+ seated diners and is available to let for parties, workshops and other events. It is used monthly by one of the Cray Valley neighbourhood groups 

Service in and to the community is at the heart of our mission in the Crays; we try to open our Church as often as we can so it can eventually become a resource, physically and spiritually, for the whole community, as defined within our mission aims. We try to organise more services that attract the wider community such as our Toy Service.  

We have active links with charitable organisations such as Welcare, who provide support for local families and the Children’s Society.  We support Orpington Food Bank, a ‘Churches together in the Crays’ initiative aimed at helping local people dealing with short-term poverty issues. We also have close links with St Paul’s Church of England School

We are part of the Diocese of Rochester