Welcome to St Mary Magdalen Church – we are the church with the blue roof in Chapelfields, Coventry.
We are an Anglican congregation in the Catholic tradition of the Church of England in the Diocese of Coventry with a heart for social justice. We are “liberal” and “inclusive”, recognising that everyone is made in God’s image. Accordingly, we welcome all into our midst, irrespective of their age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, nationality, physical or mental abilities, culture, background or their present or past situations.
Join us to celebrate one hundred years of St Mary Magdalen Church, Chapelfields! See the What’s on page for more details.
Ideal for those who find it hard to keep standing and sitting throughout a normal service, this is a service without hymns and followed by our Lunch Club.
Sunday – 8am Said Communion
Short service of Communion quiet and meditative without hymns.
Sunday – 10am Sung Eucharist
With hymns, choir, incense, and Sermon this is a traditional service for all the family.
Sunday – Messy Church
4pm — 6pm, second Sunday in every month
Imagine – one night a month where no one has to make supper! Instead everyone gets to enjoy making a craft, playing a game, learning about the God who loves us, and enjoying a meal together! Messy Church is a fresh new way of experiencing church. It’s creating, worshipping and sharing a meal together. It’s for all ages. It’s fun. It’s family friendly. It happens when you arrive – the doors open at 4:00 pm but you come as you are able. Typical programme:
4:00 p.m. Welcome. You may arrive anytime through the evening. You are never ‘late’ for Messy Church.
4:15 p.m. Crafts and Activities for all ages and interests.
5:00 p.m. Bible story and prayer with music and/or drama
5:15 p.m Meal (provided)
Sunday – 6.30pm — 7.30pm Julian Contemplative Prayer Group First Sunday in the month
Julian meeting are for people of all denominations — or none — who wish to join with others in contemplative silent prayer in the Christian tradition. A brief reading and / or piece of music leads into half an hour of silent prayer, followed by another reading and more silent prayer. The whole meeting lasts around an hour, and is followed by tea and coffee.
What we do is perhaps best expressed on the Julian prayer card:
Relax your body and quieten your mind.
Be open to God in the silence.
God is with you — here, now.
Do not strive or be anxious.
Be silent, be still and let God reach you.
Let God love you.
Sunday – 8.30pm — 9.00pm Sung Compline Third Sunday in the month
Come experience sung night prayer (compline) by candlelight. A beautiful and contemplative way to end your weekend!
Please enter the Church by the wooden door on the right of the Magdalen Centre, on Sir Thomas White’s Road.
Sunday – 6.30pm — 7.30pm Occupy Adoration Fourth Sunday in the month
An opportunity for a reflective and contemplative hour of prayer in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Please enter the Church by the wooden door on the right of the Magdalen Centre, on Sir Thomas White’s Road.
Tuesdays 1.30pm — 3.30pm Knit for Peace
An opportunity to meet, socialise and change the world (a little) at the same time. In a relaxed and social environment we chat and knit clothing and blankets, which are then given to Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Our group is made up of a diversity of ages, some come to church some don’t. We are also all at different standards in our ability to knit so don’t worry if you drop a stitch someone is on hand to pick it up again or to help you find your place on a pattern.
Tuesdays 7.15pm — 9.15pm Chapelfields Community Choir
If you are interested in singing, passionate about choral music performed well and want to make some new friends in the community then this choir is the place for you! No experience required, just a desire to make some music with a fun and diverse group of singers. We rehearse for just under an hour, stop for a glass of wine (or two) and then rehearse for another 30 minutes or so. At the end of rehearsal, we head to a pub for drinks and a time to get to know each other.
Wednesdays 1pm — 3pm Jolly Tots
Do you sometimes feel isolated? Do you want to get your child used to playing with others? A safe place for children to play and socialise and for carers to meet with their peers over refreshments. Space to play, toys, singing, craft, baby changing facilities, quality refreshments. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02476 673138 to register an interest in attending or for more information.
Thursdays 11.30am — 1.30pm Luncheon Club
The club was formed on 25th April 1974 to provide aged like-minded parishioners a meeting point for a meal, chat and a Communion service. Transport was provided and the total cost was 15p. Although we don’t provide transport nowadays and the cost has risen to £2, the club is still going strong. We meet every Thursday and the Communion service commences at 11.30am for those who wish to attend, followed a little after 12 noon by the meal. The average attendance is 26 including the helpers in the kitchen and usually everyone has departed by 1.30pm.
If you would like to join this social occasion and have the ability to make your way to the church, contact us for further details, out phone number and address are at the bottom of this page.
Saturday 4th November 2017, 14:00 — 20:30 Come & Sing Fauré’s Requiem
An opportunity to rehearse and perform a well-known choral masterpiece under the expert direction of Simon Russell. Music will be provided on the day. Admission is free, drinks and biscuits will be provided but bring your own packed tea.
Performance at 19:00, friends and families welcome.
For more information please contact: Patsy Howes (tel: 07747 046374).
Saturday 14th October 2017,18.00pm — Wednesday 18th October George Wagstaff Exhibition “The Artist’s Wife”
A moving exhibition of work by George Wagstaffe, of his wife, Beryl, made in sculpture, painting and drawing, revealing their life together over sixty years, opens at St. Mary Magdalen Church (The Church with the blue roof) on Saturday 14th October at 6pm. You are most welcome to come along to the opening night, or to visit on one of the other days (noted in the Opening Times below). The exhibition runs until Wednesday 18th October and is free to visit.
George is most known in Coventry for his sculpture of the Phoenix in the Bull Yard, which has become part of the furniture and iconography of the City. This exhibition though, is more personal. The work ranges from a drawing of Beryl made in March 1957, just two weeks after they met, whilst George was a student at the Coventry College of Art (he said of this, “I was trying to impress her!”) to one of the final works, a painting produced whilst Beryl was in hospital, a week before she passed away.
The exhibition shows, in a range of media and styles, both the passage of time in Beryl’s life and the development in George’s work and thoughts.
The work was conceived and produced in times of joy and sometimes in difficulty and sadness. In Beryl, George found a muse who continually challenged and developed his thoughts and this exhibition shows how both their lives and work became entwined.
George’s work has mainly centred on themes of destruction, rebirth and resurrection, monumental forms splitting apart and decaying, yet with more delicate forms created through this destruction. Another theme in his work is that of the enigmatic woman, the horse and the moon. Many of these threads are evident in this current exhibition.
It is an honour for our local area and the culture of the city, to host work by such a renowned international Coventry-based artist. It is also extremely unusual for a body of work by an artist to focus on one other person for such an extended period of time. Denis Nugent, from St Mary Magdalen Church, organised the hosting of this exhibition.
If one sentence could sum up the collection of work, it might be the final line of the poem Arundel Tomb, by Coventry born poet, Phillip Larkin: “What will survive of us is love”.
Saturday 14th October 6.00pm-8.30pm
Sunday 15th October 3pm -5pm
Monday 16th October 10am-noon
Tuesday 17th October10am-12noon and 1.30pm-3.30pm
Wednesday 18th October 10am-12noon and 6.30pm-8pm
Centenary events (27–29 October 2017)
This month, St Mary Magdalen Church is celebrating its centenary with a number of special events.
On Friday 27th October the church will be open to the public with an archive exhibition, flower displays and refreshments. On Saturday 28th October there will be a Service of Holy Communion in the Lady Chapel at 10am following which the church will be open again until 2.30pm. On Sunday 29th October a Centenary Eucharist will be held at 10am where the guest preacher will be the Very Rev’d John Witcombe, the Dean of Coventry Cathedral. Finally, at 6.30pm there will be a Service of Choral Evensong.
Some readers of this page may remember the old “Tin Tabernacle” which stood in Sir Thomas White’s Road next to St Mary Magdalen Church until the early 1960s. Before the “new” church was built in 1934, that tin building served as the church for seventeen years. It was bought from Spon End where it was used as St Thomas’ mission church, and the first services in the “District Church of St Mary Magdalen”, as it became, took place on Sunday 28th October 1917. See our history page for more details.
Our Organist and Director of Music, Tim Campain, said “We look forward to welcoming anyone wishing to celebrate with us, either by coming to one of the services or just coming to have a look round our beautiful church. You will be made very welcome, and we would particularly like to hear from anyone who may have particular memories of the Tin Tabernacle itself”.
Friday 27th October
The Church will be open all day with an exhibition from our archives on display
Saturday 28th October
10.00 Holy Communion in the Lady Chapel
The Church will be open from 10.30–14.30 with an exhibition from our archives on display
Sunday 29th October
10.00 Centenary Eucharist with Very Rev’d John Witcombe preaching
11.30 Bring and share lunch (following the 10am service)
18.30 Choral Evensong with the choir of St Nicolas, Nuneaton
It can be daunting to step into a Church for the first time, and we try to make visitors as welcome and comfortable as possible. This page is intended to answer some common questions about St Mary’s, but if your question isn’t answered here, please do get in touch with us — our contact details are at the bottom of the page.
Will I be welcome?
Everyone is welcome at St Mary Magdalen and members of our Church come from all walks of life. As of June 2017, St Mary Magdalen is an official Inclusive Church parish. The Inclusive Church statement of belief is:
We believe in inclusive Church – church which does not discriminate, on any level, on grounds of economic power, gender, mental health, physical ability, race or sexuality. We believe in Church which welcomes and serves all people in the name of Jesus Christ; which is scripturally faithful; which seeks to proclaim the Gospel afresh for each generation; and which, in the power of the Holy Spirit, allows all people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Jesus Christ.
Can I come to church if I am not a Christian?
Yes, definitely! You will be welcome at St Mary Magdalen whether you have been a Christian for many years, or you have never stepped into a Church before.
What should I wear?
There is no dress code at St Mary Magdalen and no need to wear “Sunday best”, just wear whatever you feel most comfortable in.
Will I be asked to do anything during the services?
No, if you are new to St Mary Magdalen you will not be called on or asked to do anything.
What will happen when I come to a service?
You will come in to the Church through the Magdalen Centre (the modern entrance on Sir Thomas White’s Road) and a welcomer will be there to greet you. They will give you a service sheet and anything else you need to follow the service. When you take a seat in the Church, there will be a hymn book for you in the back of the chair in front of you — there are some large print hymn books in some seats. Braille copies of the service sheets are available and can be provided by the welcomer. If you have never been to Church before, or you are not sure about following the service, just tell the welcomer and they will find a friendly person that you can sit next to who will show you the ropes.
Can I sit anywhere in the Church or are there reserved seats?
Feel free to sit anywhere in the wooden chairs in the main part of the Church. Towards the back of the Church, near the altar, there are some wooden pews which are for the choir and clergy.
Can I leave half way through if I feel uncomfortable?
If you feel uncomfortable you can leave at any time.
Will I be expected to give any money?
No. We do take a collection during our main Sunday services, but if you are just visiting or trying us out then feel free to give as much or as little as you want, or nothing at all. The money collected during the services goes towards the day to day running costs of our church, mission work in the community and the parish share which pays for Church of England clergy and staff in the Coventry area.
Who can take communion at St Mary Magdalen?
Anyone who takes communion in their own church is welcome to take communion at St Mary Magdalen. If you do not wish to receive communion, you are welcome to come to the altar and receive a blessing.
Can I bring children to a service?
We have child changing facilities, a microwave to heat food and toys if they need distracting. We are used to children running around but also have the service being relayed into another room if you become uncomfortable and need to give them space to fidget and scream.
Is the church accessible?
We are all created in the image of God and on occasions we all need assistance to accessing worship. Here are a few things we are trying to do to help:
Disability access entry to our church is on a flat level. All our chairs move so you can sit where you want to with your family and friends. We have new full and dedicated disability toilet facilities.
Hearing assistance if you use a hearing aid switch it to the T switch to gain a clearer sound of the service.
Sight assistance all our orders of service are available in large print. We have large print copies of our main hymn book in the seats and braille copies of the service sheets are available.
Food allergies wheat free communion bread is available, please speak to the Rev’d Dwayne to indicate you have an intolerance. Our kitchen is used by outside groups so we can not be fully confident that food prepared does not contain allergens such as nuts or seeds or has not come into contact with traces of allergens such as nuts or seeds.
How do I organise a christening (baptism), wedding or funeral?
The Church is located in a residential area, and there is very limited parking at the Church itself. However, it is usually possible to park in the surrounding streets, but please be mindful of our neighbours. There is a map at the bottom of the page.
How do I get to St Mary Magdalen by public transport?
The Church is close to bus stops on Craven Street (services 1, 40 and 45), Queensland Avenue (services 6, 6A, 6S, 18, 19, 47 and 53) and Hearsall Common (services 1, 11, 11U, 40, 45). Network West Midlands have a journey planner that can help you find the quickest route to the Church. The Church postcode is CV5 8DR, and there is a map at the bottom of this page.
How do I get in touch with someone at the Church?
We would love to hear from you! Our contact details can be found at the bottom of the page.