Welcome to St Mary’s Church – the heart and symbol of Hitchin.
Historians tell us that this was already a place of worship in the year 792, when Offa, King of Mercia, established a Minster Church on this site. Our large and impressive medieval building today dates from the 14th and 15th centuries, and was described by author Simon Jenkins as “the largest and jolliest church in Hertfordshire”.
But the church is more than buildings. It is a community of people who believe in a God of love and are trying to find meaningful ways of living out that love in our homes, at work, with our friends, and in all the communities of which we are a part.
Together in worship we hold before God our joys and our concerns, our anxieties and our moments of liberation. Or as former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, put it so clearly: “The Church is a place where we are invited to look at one another with a kind of veneration, indeed, a kind of contemplation, delighting in the rich possibilities which our brothers and sisters have – and weeping over all those things which distort or block those possibilities”.
If you are passing through Hitchin town centre, or just visiting our town for the day, do come by, sit quietly, say a prayer and light a candle in this beautiful and sacred place.