Everyone is welcome to attend
Welcome is what we, the regular congregation of St Mary’s, like to think we make all the visitors to our lovely old church.
The church of St Mary The Virgin, South Benfleet, has a history that dates back over a thousand years. The church stands on the corner of the High Road, surrounded by three Pubs and a stone’s throw from the railway station. It was once the heart of the village, a village which has grown into the “commuter belt” town that Benfleet is today.
We are proud of our long history
Many people have never heard of the Battle of Benfleet, but you will find it mentioned in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles. In 893 AD King Alfred the Great’s son Edward and son-in-law fought a decisive battle with the Vikings who had settled here under Haesten. Evidence of the burning of the Viking long boats was found during the building of the railway and it is believed that an earlier church on the site would have suffered the same fate. Tradition has it that the foundation stones of the existing church were laid in 894 AD to mark this event.
In 1994 the 1100th anniversary of this event was commemorated by the congregation and the people of Benfleet with a year of celebrations including a magnificent pageant.
The church which you can now see has been added to over the years, by the many people that have worshipped here. There are many features of architectural interest, including one of the oldest timber porches in England. It is well worth a visit for it’s historical interest, but of even more importance, it is the spiritual home of those that worship here now. It is a home that we delight in welcoming visitors to, whether it is for a quick visit, or whether you are looking for something more long-term. The worship is of an Anglo-Catholic tradition, but there are events to suit all families.
You can find more details of services, the ways we help, the history and what we are up to now on this website.