About St Mary’s   

St Mary’s Church, Chalgrove, has been a place of worship since 1045.  The Church that we see today was built between 1140 and 1455.  It is a Grade 1 listed building containing renowned early 14th century wall paintings depicting, in 44 images, the Life of Christ and the Death and Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

In 2016 Richard Wheeler, author of Oxfordshire’s Best Churches, visited St Mary’s and afterwards wrote this comment,

“Chalgrove’s medieval wall paintings represent one of the finest and most complete cycles to be found in any English church.  The chancel walls jostle with painted figures, in tier upon tier of narrative incident.  Together they give a rare sense of the colour that once enriched our medieval churches, but now lost from all but a tiny handful.  The scrupulous refurbishment of the church is a triumph.  The wall paintings have been restored and new ones uncovered, bare walls replastered and carved stonework stripped of later paint.  Now more than ever this wonderful church deserves to be better known and seen.”

About The Friends   

The Friends of St Mary’s scheme was relaunched in 2016 with that aim at its heart – to make St Mary’s “better known and seen”.  Working under the auspices of the Parochial Church Council, we seek to bring together a community of people who, regardless of faith or belief, share a desire to preserve this beautiful place for present and future generations.  We provide financial support and promote a wider awareness of the church and its inspiring heritage.

Membership is open to all and new members are always welcome.

What we do

Members are involved as much or as little as they like in our activities.

These include

         orchestral and choral concerts

         church hospitality for Heritage Open Days

         representing St Mary’s at the Chalgrove May Festival

         Church Quiz

         hosting workshops/seminars in support of medieval heritage and building conservation

         Annual Strawberry Cream Tea (for members only)

Friends’ events are publicised through this website and through the Friends Quarterly newsletter which is distributed free to all members.  Our latest Quarterly Newsletter can be read here.

What is the money raised by Friends used for?

Friends money is used to enhance the appreciation of St Mary’s beautiful building and remarkable heritage features locally, nationally and internationally.

Because membership is open to all regardless of faith, Friends revenue is banked and administered separately from church revenue.  It is not used to finance the cost of ministry, Diocesan obligations, or liturgical provision for the Parish, all of which is paid for through congregational giving and church fund raising events.

Recent contributions include

         financing the upgrading of St Mary’s sound system

         money to continue the necessary hosting and support for the St Mary’s smartphone app which offers a tour of the church. The app is available in both Apple and Android formats and can be downloaded free; just look for “St Mary’s Chalgrove” in your phone’s app store      

         payment for three specialist RNIB sound recording devices which, when used in conjunction with raised line images, will give visually impaired visitors to St Mary’s the opportunity to enjoy the church’s wonderful heritage and architectural features to the full.

If you would like to make a donation now, you can do so by clicking here – DONATE

How to join  

Please complete the short Friends membership application form here.

There is no set subscription fee.  The amount you donate annually is up to you.  All donations are valued and gratefully received, whether they are £5 or £200 or anywhere in between.

If you would like more information about membership of this rewarding group, please contact  friends@chalgrovechurch.org.


Please join us !