Worship at St Martin’s

Why is worshipping at St Martin’s special?

St. Martin’s Church holds a special place in the history of Christianity, as it is recognized as the oldest parish church in continuous use within the English-speaking world. Founded in the 6th century by St. Augustine, the missionary who played a crucial role in the conversion of England to Christianity, the church stands as a testament to centuries of worship and spiritual significance. 

Its ancient architecture and tranquil surroundings create an atmosphere of reverence, inviting visitors to connect with the roots of their faith and experience a profound sense of continuity in the practice of worship. St. Martin’s Church remains a cherished sanctuary, embodying the enduring spirit of Christian devotion throughout the ages.

Sunday Mornings – The 9am Eucharist

Our main Sunday service stands aims to make the most of our special space in the form of a Quiet, reflective Eucharist. We gather together early on a Sunday Morning for peace and stillness to celebrate the Eucharist (also known as Holy Communion or Mass), to hear a sermon given by one of ministry team, and to pray for the needs of the world, our communities, those we love and ourselves.

On the first Sunday, we have a sung service with hymns.

Sunday Evenings, 5pm – Quiet Prayers (4th Sunday in the Month)

At St Martin’s the walls are saturated with the prayers of monks and archbishops (historic and contemporary), pilgrims and visitors. Its small size brings intimacy to prayer, and is ideal for quiet reflection.

‘Quiet Prayers’ is a group (but not one you have to ‘sign up to’), which meets monthly, on the fourth Sunday at 5 p.m. for time together in silent prayer. We have no formal liturgy, though we come together at the end with a short form of said Compline, before going out into our lives and busy weeks ahead. In the winter, the darkness outside is challenged by our candles within; in the summer, with the church door open, we are blessed – sometimes! – by sunshine and birdsong, and look out onto, or walk quietly around, the beautiful churchyard.

‘Welcome friend, here find rest; rest, stranger, here find welcome’.

Thursdays – Midday Informal Prayers

As a precious place of pilgrimage for many from across all nations and denominations, each week we have a period of informal prayers where all are invited to gather to spend time in stillness and especially join in prayer for Christian Unity and peace.