St. Mary the Virgin
To ensure the future for this historic building, a ‘Friends’ charity was formed in 2011.
The aim of the Friends of St. Mary the Virgin is to bring together everyone who values this historic gem that forms a part of our local heritage and enhances our local community.
Our objective is simple: to raise enough money for regular and planned maintenance in between our five yearly inspections and to look after the fabric within.
People join us for any number of reasons: they want to ensure the Church is open to them for baptisms, weddings and funerals; visitors who enjoy the beauty, history and architecture of the building and surrounding churchyard and wish to create a link with St. Mary’s; our local schools who visit regularly for pre-Easter tours and ‘tales of old Letchworth’.
Please do take with you our Friends information leaflets and think about joining us. Our heritage is precious for all.
Letchworth’s ancient church as we see it today, dates from the late 12th century, but the reference to a priest in the Domesday Book of 1087 suggests that the present church replaces an earlier Anglo- Saxon building.
St. Mary the Virgin is the oldest surviving building in Letchworth and its history is closely linked to Letchworth Hall Hotel, the former Manor House.
St. Mary’s was the Parish Church for the hamlet of ‘Old Letchworth’ and remained so until 1967.
Among its notable features, the building contains a small effigy of a crusader, the Knight Sir Richard de Montfichet. His heart is reputed to be buried beneath the Church.
St. Mary’s affords an intimate environment for traditional worship, which continues to attract and inspire a near capacity congregation. Here, successive generations come seeking God, a place for prayer and reflection and the reassuring sense of continuity with the past, as we look for- ward in faith to the future.
The Friends of St. Mary the Virgin is a registered charity number: 1141377