St Mary’s has been closed both for public worship and private prayer by decision of the PCC since early January, but in light of the “stay at home” order being lifted (29 March) and shielding officially coming to an end (31 March): the building has re-openend as from 1 April.
Welcome to the website for the Church of England parish of East Preston with Kingston!
Here you’ll find something of the flavour of our parish which combines the beauty of the Village and a stretch of the beach with a mix of housing and shops. The parish is home to approximately 7,000 people and the parish church of St Mary’s traces its origins back to about 1150.
If labels are helpful (and they’re not always) we might describe the parish worship style as anglican, catholic, open, inclusive. It’s very difficult to describe - it’s much easier to experience - so why don’t you come and join us? We need you! We are journeying and exploring together, and we don’t have all the answers - but your experience of life and God will help us become more complete.
Our role as Christian people is to show forth God and be moulded into God’s character. So as we get to know a God who is inclusive, hospitable, forgiving and welcoming towards us, then that is how we are to be towards others. That’s the simple bit. The difficult bit is putting that into practice! It means that we welcome people regardless of things like age, gender, sexuality, ability, skin colour, social background, education, mental health, dress sense etc. (It also means that God’s call to ministry comes to all these people and more).
A word about history: we’re conscious that especially in this parish, we are standing on the shoulders of giants. Hundreds of generations of Christians have worshipped here before us and we rejoice in the faith they pass on to us (that’s part of what it means to say we are “catholic”). That faith is adapted afresh in each generation but the fundamentals of the Good News of God in Christ reaching out to a lost lonely and floundering world never change.
So history is important to us - and there is a lot of it here! But it is also a living faith for today which has been passed on to us, so please enjoy the ancient building and remember this isn’t a museum!
We hope you enjoy exploring the parish and faith virtually on the website and extend a warm invitation join us for worship as we explore and rejoice in what it means to discover God’s love and grace for all God’s creation.
Fr Andrew Perry (Vicar of St Mary’s) 01903 78 33 18