St Mary’s Church, Hadleigh was recognised as one of England’s major parish churches in 2016. Its last major restoration and re-ordering took place 150 years ago. We believe that it is now time to renew the building, so that it can meet the needs and challenges of the 21st century.
St Mary’s is a major asset for the wider community in Hadleigh and beyond. As a parish church serving an expanding town, it is primarily a place of worship. The church is also used regularly by a broad range of organisations with educational, social, cultural and recreational interests. There is no other building in our locality large enough to accommodate their activities.
If the most is going to be made of the church building, the main space of 450 sq metres (see plan below) needs to be as flexible as possible. The pews were very heavy and difficult to move; the new chairs are easily moveable and stackable so that the church can be set up in many different ways for a wider variety of events and uses.
Unlike most churches, there is not a church hall, so everything has to happen in the church building. We will actually be returning the church building to something close to its original purpose. In medieval times churches were used for all sorts of events and were truly the centre of the community - This is our vision - maintaining, restoring and developing St Mary’s so that it is welcoming and accessible to everyone; expressing its history and tradition, and facilitating a sustainable church that is alive and active in the community.
The renewal of St Mary’s project was launched with “The Challenge of Change” during January 2013 and the setting up of a Task Group with the launching of Phase One in October 2013 to replace the pews with chairs.
In July 2015 The Project committee was formed to take forward a four-pronged project looking at Reordering, Major Fabric Work, an Interpretation Project and Parking.
Thank you for playing a part in the continuing story of St Mary’s - helping us to achieve our vision and to provide a legacy for future generations.