St Mary the Virgin Church, Ivinghoe

st marys ivinghoe largeMore than thirty generations have looked up to the great church built on a rise beside the lower Icknield Way, its three storey tower now crowned with a flèche which they have dubbed a Hertfordshire spike.

On the evidence of the stiff leaf decoration of the capitals of the nave pillars the building dates from 1220, its west wall incorporating part of an earlier church. (if this is so the church survived the torches of Richard Siward and his thugs who set fire to the village on the 9th May 1234 to spite its patron, the Bishop of Winchester.)

Henry III rewarded Peter de Chaceport with the living of Ivinghoe in 1241 and it is he who is honoured as the builder of the church. The effigy of a Norman in priestly robes once described as the ‘best bit of sharpening stone in Buckinghamshire’ now in the chancel is considered to be of Peter, placed there by the Bonhommes of Ashridge. In the chancel there are several brasses to remind us of the sheep farmers of the district. Part of one tomb lies beneath the west wall indicating the shortening of the church by a few feet. In their time the walls of the nave were raised for the insertion of a clerestorey. Parts of the original rose windows can be seen in the walls today. The nave arches show evidence of the rood screen (which once divided the church and it can be seen that the door leading to it from the tower stair has been filled in.) Queen Elizabeth I had its images removed and in her time pews were provided. Their ends are there today, the Ivinghoe ‘poppy heads’ with carvings of witches, knights and the well known mermaid

Regular activities at St. Mary’s Church, Ivinghoe

Information about the benefice of Ivinghoe with Pitstone, Slapton and Marsworth and about all the events and activities going on at the churches can be found at You can also contact Rev. Manning (Details at the bottom of this page).

Songs of Praise at Yardley Lounge

In conjunction with the Chapel Fellowship, 3pm every 4th Sunday of the month. Come along and sing all your favourite hymns and end an afternoon of singing with tea and cake. Contact: Rev. Manning (Details at the bottom of this page)

Evening Bible Study

8pm at 1 Queen Street on 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month; studies are chosen by the group at the beginning of each term. Contact Jane and Chris Grimmette 660972

Morning Bible Study

10am at 5 Windmill Close on 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month; studies are chosen by the group at the beginning of each term. Contact Betty Swabey 668617

Men’s group

A friendly get together enjoying trips, walks, breakfast or simply a beer. Held monthly at various venues and times according to the activity details of which appear in the parish magazine. Contact Rev Manning (Details at the bottom of this page)

After School Club

Held in St Mary’s church on alternate Thursdays at 3.30pm – 5pm during term time.

A whole range of crafts and activities for children aged 3 – 11 years in safe surroundings with competent and CRB checked leaders. Contact Rev. Manning (Details at the bottom of this page).

 Tot’s Praise

Meets in the children’s corner at St. Mary’s Church. We begin our story, songs and activities at 9.45am. We hold a small Communion service on alternate weeks and a shared breakfast on the 2nd Friday of the month. We are a very friendly bunch and our term time weekly meetings are open to all mums, dads and carers. Contact: Sandra Green 668648

Church Choir

At St Mary’s held every Thursday at 7pm. The church choir sing regularly for services and special occasions such as weddings and welcome singers of all ages. Contact: Barbara Cummings 668621

Community Choir

At St Mary’s held every Thursday at 8pm during term time. Everybody is welcome to join with this friendly group of enthusiast’s led by our professional choir mistress, Judith, as we enjoy singing a wide range of contemporary and popular material. The choir are often involved in concerts and shows locally. Contact: Barbara Cummings 668621

St Mary’s Music Group

At the Worshipping together service each month a friendly collection of musicians play the worship songs. The group also play for a few other events; we even played at a wedding last year by special request. The group includes violin, clarinet, saxophone, flute, trumpet, piano and oboe and we would be very happy to welcome any new musicians of any age and ability and any instrument. If you would like to know more contact Rev. Manning (Details at the bottom of this page)

Bell Ringing

Practice is held at 8pm on Monday in St Mary’s church tower. Individuals of all ages and experience, or none at all, are very welcome to come and join in as we practice in readiness for services and weddings under the expert guidance of our tower captain. Contact: Charles Thorogood 661540

Normal service pattern for St Mary’s Ivinghoe

1st Sunday of the month 9.15 am Worshipping together (family service with puppets; music group; etc)

2nd Sunday of the month 9.15 am Holy Communion

3rd Sunday of the month 9.15 am Non Communion Morning Praise

4th Sunday of the month 9.15 am Holy Communion

5th Sunday of the month 10.30 am Holy Communion; rotates around the benefice’s three churches.

Wednesday morning 9.15am Holy Communion; a short said communion in the lady chapel of St Mary’s

Children’s church

Is held in the children’s corner of the church at all services in order for the children to be part of the main service

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