St Mary’s Church AGM

The Friends of St Mary’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Friday 23rd March at 7.00pm at the Stansted Day Centre.

The meeting will be followed at 7.30pm by the popular quiz evening with a half-time break for a fish and chip supper. To help with the catering, could we please have your food orders by the 18th March. Choices are:

  • Cod and chips
  • Haddock and chips
  • Chicken and chips
  • Vegetarian option

Please bring your own drinks and glasses.

Cost of the supper and quiz evening is £8.50, payable at the door. You can order supper by contacting:

We hope you will attend and make up a table. May the best brains win – there will be a prize for the winners. There will also be a raffle and lots of exciting news!

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Christmas Festival 2017

A wonderful weekend at St Mary’s, with a live performance of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” from , a Christmas Festival of trees and ‘all things Christmasy’, mulled wine, mince pies and lots of other goodies. All rounded off by some seasonal snow!

Thanks to everyone who provided the beautifully decorated trees and other exhibits, thanks to the Friends Committee for their help in making the church look so beautiful, thanks to the choir, the organist and the vicar, and thanks to Lynda Dale (Chairman Friends Committee) for organising all of this.

We’re sorry we had to cancel the Sunday events – due to the snow – but we’re hoping that the Stansted Strummers Ukulele Band will come and perform for us sometime in the New Year.

Some photos taken over the weekend:

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Events for December 2017

The following events are scheduled for December, including our Christmas Festivities!

Download a poster with details of all these events and put it in your window or share with your friends. What's on in December

6th December – Forest Hall School Carol Concert at 7pm

8th December – A Christmas Carolthisismytheatre‘ performing A Christmas Carol at 6.30 (for 7pm). Get tickets early for this show, it’s sure to be fully booked on the day. Tickets available from or Goldings Fruit & Veg, 6 Chapel Hill, Stansted. 01279 814270

9th December– Christmas Festival 11am to 5pm
– Carols for all at 3pm.
– Raffle prizes
– Mince pies & mulled wine

10th December– Christmas Festival 11am to 5pm
– Stansted Strummers at 3pm. Back by popular demand to entertain us and get us in the festive spirit!
– Raffle prizes
– Mince pies & mulled wine

15th December – St Mary’s School Carol Concert at 2pm

As always we will have a bedecked church full of beautiful displays and twinkling lights, transforming our church into a winter wonderland !

If you would like to exhibit a ‘family tree’ for the Christmas Festival, 9th & 10th December, please let Lynda Dale  know (Telephone: 07716 099474) and she will reserve a space for you.

We  do hope that you will come and share in our Christmas events.

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Heritage Weekend, 9th & 10th September

Please come and support us on our Heritage Open Days, 9th and 10th September in St Mary’s Church, Stansted, in support of the Churches Conservation Trust.

Open 12.30pm to 5pm on the 9th September (free entry)
Open 12.30pm to 6pm on the 10th September (free entry up until 4pm)

  • Tea’s, Coffee and Cakes
  • Photographic Competition open to all. Wining photo’s will be featured in our Christmas Calendar. Please bring your photo on the day.
  • Treasure Hunt around the church

On the 10th September from 4pm to 6pm we are delighted to have the Blue Skies Big Band in the church, who will play a selection of swing music from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, including some well known tunes by Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and many others.  Come and have a sing-along, a dance, or just listen to some great music, played by a full swing band ensemble. Tickets from:

Blue Skies Big Band

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Events in July. Don’t miss Macbeth and our Tea Party Weekend!

A bit of culture coming to St Mary’s Church on Friday 28th July, when the cast of This Is My Theatre present a one act adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a tragedy about power, ambition, deceit, and murder. Far more entertaining and blood-curdling than the Brexit negotiations! Not to be missed. Tickets on sale now from or ‘phone 07732 253311, or from Golding’s Fruit & Veg, 6 Chapel Hill, Stansted, CM24 8AG.

Also, don’t miss our Tea Party Weekend on the 29th and 30th July. Lots of entertainment for all the family, with games for the children, a ukulele band, a singalong to some memorable tunes from 20cvox, plus some special guest presentations. Free entry, but any donations will go towards the upkeep of our beautiful church.

Please come and support us!

Macbeth and Tea Party Weekend

Download the poster:

Macbeth and Tea Party Weekend

Macbeth and Tea Party Weekend

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Upcoming Events for 2017

The following events are planned for the coming year:

13th May at 6.30pm, Aylesbury Consort of Voices (Kelvin Turner).
Tickets £10 on the door or from Steve Golding Fruit & Vegetables, 6 Chapel Hill, Stansted. 01279 814270

Proceeds from ticket sales to the St Mary’s Church organ fund.

O Nata Lux

14th May at 10am to 4pm, Pew-top sale (an indoor car-boot sale)

An opportunity to grab a bargain, or maybe make a bit of money from all that clutter you’ve been hoarding! Free entry or £5 if your selling. Pew-tops (tables) will be provided.

More details from Lynda on 07716 099474

28th July at 7.30pm, Macbeth, by, with Celtic music. Tickets available at:


29th July at 2pm and again at 3pm, the local Ukulele Band.

29th July at 4pm, Heather Horner with a presentation on “roses”.

9th and 10th September, Heritage Weekend.

9th and 10th December, Christmas Festival.

Please contact the Committee if you have ideas for other events you would like us to run.

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Annual General Meeting – 31st March 2017

The Friends of St Mary’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday 31st March at the Stansted Day Centre, starting at 6.45pm.  On completion of the meeting there will be a general knowledge quiz and chicken/fish & chip supper.

6.45pm AGM

  • Chairman’s Report
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Election of Officers
  • AOB

7.15pm Quiz, followed by chicken/fish & chip supper.

All are welcome to attend. Tickets are £8.50 to include supper and must be ordered by 27th March from Keith Ayres (01279 814471) or Lynda Dale (07716 099474). Bring your own drinks and glasses.

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Memorial To Captain Alan Gardner, Survivor of the Anglo-Zulu War 1879

Battle at Rorke' DriftMany of you will, I am sure have seen the film “Zulu”, starring Michael Caine and Stanley Baker. On the 22nd January 2017, the anniversary date of the Battle of Islandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, St Mary’s Church hosted a memorial service and presentation for Captain Alan Gardner.

Captain Gardner was one of only 5 out of 67 officers to survive the 1879 Anglo-Zulu war in South Africa. He served with the 14th Hussars. The memorial service followed the original funeral for Captain Gardner, who went on to become a member of Parliament and died in 1907, with the same hymns and readings.

We are grateful to Kate, a local historian, who found Captain Gardner’s grave in our churchyard as part of her research, and has paid for the restoration of the gravestone at her own expense!

Kate is very knowledgeable on the period of history and her passion for the topic was clear. She gave an excellent slideshow presentation, telling the story of Captain Gardner’s early life and the part he played in the Anglo-Zulu war. She used original historical artefacts, which included a Zulu shield, an ‘ikwala’ (stabbing spear) and a ‘iwisa’, (a cudgel fashioned from dense hardwood). British Army weapons included a Martini-Henry rifle, bayonet, spent bullets and even a used rocket casing! The red British Army tunic and uniform was also on display. Keith Ayres provided a sound track of Zulu chanting, which added to the atmosphere.

It was a very moving, informative and interesting afternoon. Special thanks to Kate for donating all the takings on the day to the church. Thanks to all for helping make this a successful event.

Lynda Dale
Vice Chair, Friends of St Mary’s Church.

Captain Alan Gardner

Captain Alan Gardner

Original headstone

Original headstone

Restored headstone

Restored headstone

Some of the weapons

Some of the weapons

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Memorial Service for Captain Alan Gardner, 22nd January 2017

Battle at Rorke' DriftCaptain Alan Gardner of the 14th Hussars was one of only 5 officers to survive the battle of Isanlwana, South Africa, 1879 and fought at Rourke’ Drift, made famous in the film Zulu. He is buried in St Mary’s churchyard, Stansted.

There will be a remembrance service for Alan and a presentation about the Anglo-Zulu war, using historical artefacts at St Mary’s Church on Sunday 22nd January 2017 at 3.30pm. Ticket prices (available at the door) of £4, with all proceeds going towards the upkeep of St Mary’s Church. Refreshments are available. All are welcome.


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What’s On October – December 2016

10th/11th December 2016: Festival of Angels and Christmas Trees

Our Angels and Christmas Tree Festival will take place this year on the 10th and 11th December 2016. Open from 10.00 till 5.00 each day. Carols for all at 3.30 on Saturday 10th. Mulled wine,mince pies, tea and coffee too. Please do come along to see our beautiful church all decorated and twinkling……you will all be very welcome.

Some photo’s from previous years:

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