The Church of St Mary the Virgin
There has been a Church on the present site for over 800 years. St Marys’ began as a Chapel of Ease, whose rights were given by Sir William de Burle to Bordesley Abbey in 1189. These were then given in 1221, by John de Burle, to the Prior of “Wotton Wawen”. At the Reformation, when the Abbeys were suppressed, their rights passed to Kings College Cambridge. In 1730 Divine Services were held once a fortnight. Services are much more frequent than that of today.
From May 1929 the patronage of the living passed to the Bishop of Coventry. Bearley Parish is part of the Arden Valley Benefice which also includes the Parish of Snitterfield and the former United Benefice made up from Wolverton, Norton Lindsey and Langley parishes. The Arden Valley Benefice has a Rector who lives in Snitterfield. The register of baptisms in the church begins in 1549, of marriages in 1550, and of burials in 1552. There is a gap from 1647 to 1653 due to the Civil War. Parish records are held in the Public Records Office in Warwick, but a copy of some 16th Century records are on show in the Church.
The Church is a “single cell” structure with the Nave dating back to the 12th Century and the Chancel to the 13 or 14th. The octagonal Font is believed to be 15th Century. The building was extensively rebuilt in 1875 when the brick tower (1830) was altered, windows were opened up and new buttresses added. The small East window, by Hardiman, dates from this time. The chancel floor was raised and the graves of the Ryland family (related to George Washington) were covered. The three bells were recast and replaced by the current single bell which weighs 200kg! The interior was remodelled into its present form in1963. An attractive abstract memorial window representing the River of Life was installed in 2001. The roof was replaced in 2004 at a cost of over £15000 and the interior redecorated in 2008.Neither receiving any external funding.
A service is held virtually every Sunday. On the first three Sundays of the month there is Holy Communion at 9.30a.m. On the 4th Sunday at 1030 there is a Service of Morning Prayer. Home Communion is available. All the major Church Festivals are celebrated and Baptisms Weddings and Funerals are held at St Marys’.
Rector: Rev Richard Mutter 01789 731475
Churchwarden: David Harrison 01789 731042
Treasurer: Philip Hampson 01789 731153
Verger: Gwen Smith: 01789 731798
Services for February:-
Sunday 4 March 0930 Holy Communion No flowers until Easter. Cleaning Mr & Mrs Mitchell
Wednesday 6 March at 7.00pm The traditional Service of Imposition of Ashes to mark the beginning of the 40 days of Lent.
Sunday 10 March 0930 Holy Communion
Sunday 17 March 0930 Holy Communion Cleaning Mrs C McAteer
Sunday 24 March No service at Bearley, BUT
Benefice Services:- 11.00 at St James Snitterfield and 6pm Evensong at St Mary Langley
Monday 25 March 7.30 Holy Communion marking the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sunday 31 March 10.30 Family Service for Mothering Sunday Cleaning Mr & Mrs Whitecross
The Lent Bible Study, for which the theme is Prayer, will be held on Tuesday Mornings from 10.30 -12.00 am starting on Tuesday 12 March, then for the next four Tuesdays until Tuesday 9 April. Mr & Mrs Gorsuch are hosting the sessions at their home:
Woodlands Barn Snitterfield Road Bearley CV37 OEX.
These courses are stimulating and thoughtful! Do come along.
Lent Course. Details to follow.
Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) – the AGM for St Mary’s! Monday 29th April in the Church at 7pm.
Parish Electoral Roll. All parishioners are entitled to be on the Electoral Roll and this allows you to vote at the APCM and to have your say!
The Roll is due for updating this year. Contact Julia Hayes (Electoral Roll Officer 01789 731237) for details as soon as possible if you want to get on the Roll.
NOTE: Even if you are on the Roll you must re-register this year.