St Mary the Virgin Church, Ivinghoe

st marys ivinghoe large

For 800 years there has been a church in Ivinghoe.


A church existed on its present site from 1220, but in 1234 the Village was set on fire as an act of spite against the local Bishop, and the church was rebuilt.

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 rebuilt 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.

The church is open daily for private prayer and for visitors to look around. A guide book is available for purchase in the church.

Contact details

You can contact the vicar for Ivinghoe and Pitstone at the vicarage (01296 668260) or Sandra Green who is the Lay Minister (01296 668648).

Information is also available on the church website:

And on Facebook:

Regular activities

Evening Bible Study

8pm at 1 Queen Street in Pitstone 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 01296 660972

Morning Bible Study

10am at 5 Windmill Close in Ivinghoe on 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month; studies are chosen by the group at the beginning of each term. Contact Betty Swabey 01296 668617

Tots Praise

Meets in the children’s corner at St. Mary’s Church every other Friday morning. We begin our story, songs, and activities at 10am. We are a very friendly bunch and our term-time   meetings are open to all mums, dads, grandparents, and carers. Contact: Sandra Green 01296 668648.

Messy Church

Messy Church is held on Sunday afternoons from 2-4pm in church every two months. All families welcome for fun, food and all-age activities. We also have a Facebook page – Contact Sandra Green 01296 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 01296 668621

Beacon Community Choir

Rehearsals at St Mary’s held every Thursday from 8.15pm during term time. Everybody is welcome to join with this friendly group of enthusiasts 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 01296 668621

St Mary’s Music Group

At the Worshipping Together service on the first Sunday of each month a friendly collection of musicians play the worship songs. The group includes violin, clarinet, flute, trumpet, piano and guitar 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 Jeanette Lowrie 01296 660194.

Youth Group

Meets on various dates for fun, friendship, activities, and BBQ`s. Contact Jane Grimmette 01296 660972.

Bell Ringing

Practice is held on Tuesday evenings in St Mary’s church bell- 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: Corrall McCormack 01296 662560.

Food Bank

In conjunction with our sister churches in Marsworth and Slapton and also the village community in Cheddington, St Mary`s runs a food bank. If you need a food parcel please contact Babs Byrom 07860 780127 and she will arrange for it to be delivered to you. If anybody wishes to donate food, please take it to the church and leave it just inside the main door.

Normal service pattern for St Mary’s Ivinghoe

1st Sunday of the month 10 am Worshipping Together (informal service with music group)

2nd Sunday of the month 9.15 am Holy Communion with choir

3rd Sunday of the month 9.15 am Morning Praise

4th Sunday of the month 10 am Holy Communion with choir

5th Sunday of the month 10.30 am Holy Communion held at either Slapton or Marsworth churches

Wednesday morning 9.15am Holy Communion; a short said communion.

Phone: 01296 668260

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