St Mary the Virgin - About Us

                       The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Church Street, Barnsley.

St Mary’s is a key element in the Cultural and Civic part of Barnsley Town Centre, situated adjacent to the University Centre of Barnsley, near to the Town Hall and at the northern end of the town’s shopping centre. It is surrounded by Central, Local Government and Commercial offices and near to the Police Station, but with few residential properties within a quarter of a mile. Since the demise of the coal and glass industries and the continuing redevelopment of the town, the once high-class residential area surrounding the church has lost its population.

As the town centre Parish Church, St Mary’s is the Civic Church and hosts all Civic Services, the main ones including Mayor’s Sunday and the Civic Carol Service. Many other organisations from the community also hold their annual services in St Mary’s, not least Uniformed Organisations, Air Cadets and the Barnsley Hospice, which has to hold two services because more than 1,000 people attend. Several LEA schools, both primary and secondary, visit during the year to fulfill the requirements of the schools’ curriculum.

St Mary’s also hosts carol services for primary schools, including our own church school. Barnsley College holds its music festival in St Mary’s and also gives other musical presentations there. Because of the excellent acoustics of the church, other concerts also take place during the year.

Interesting features include some memorable stained glass windows; one depicting the Parable of the Widow’s Mite and one window commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. There is also a 17th century organ case, the present one was rebuilt in 1885. The church also has some beautifully carved choir stalls, one of which has a carved pelican representing the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. In the centre of the South Chapel there is a finely painted column in memory of those from the parish who lost their lives in the First World War.

St Mary's is now the "home" of the Barnsley Pals replica standards. The Mayor of Barnsley, Her Majesty's Deputy Lieutenant, Dan Jarvis MP, Sir Nicholas and Lady Hewitt, Lady Mason and representatives of the RBL, amongst others attended a service on the afternoon of Remembrance Day 2018 when the standards were blessed.


We are always pleased to receive visits from school parties and other groups. In fine weather the enclosed garden area provides a perfect spot for children to eat their packed lunch.




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