Cheshunt to use 600th anniversary year to reach out to its local community
St Mary’s Church, Cheshunt, is proclaiming its 600th year loudly from the top of its tower with a special flag.
Terry Hoare, Churchwarden, said:
“St Mary’s started New Year with a bang. A special midnight service included a peal of bells, followed by fireworks, enjoyed by a congregation of 40.”
The church building, which is grade-1 listed, was erected by the then Rector, Nicholas Dixon in 1418, although there is mention of an earlier building in the Domesday Book (1086). The church stands in a conservation area which was the centre of the original village of Cheshunt.
“Church members want to use this year as an opportunity to reach out to the local community.”
Celebrations will continue throughout 2018, and will include concerts and other special events.
Among the events planned are a Photographic Exhibition of images of the church and its surroundings (March), choral performances, one with Bella Cora, a choir of female voices (June), two orchestras and a professional Shakespearian production of Henry V.
There are ambitious plans to modernise the present church by installing facilities for light catering, building a dais at the front of the building and adding toilets at the back. This will open up the church for general community use as well as improving the experience worshippers. Over the centuries, the building has been much modified and added to.
St Mary’s Mission Action Plan describes the church as:
“An open, welcoming, lively church for all the people of Cheshunt, where God’s grace is freely experienced and made known, forgiveness and new life in Christ are proclaimed and lived out, the sacraments are celebrated with joy, and God’s Kingdom is revealed.”
Their priorities include being “recognised and known by local people as loving, generous and approachable,” which, by anyone’s reckoning is a great way to start a year with the focus of reaching out to the local community. More from: firstname.lastname@example.org, 01992 635190 Churchwarden, Terry Hoare: email@example.com 01707 875909.