St Mary Magdalene, Woodstock:
Fundraising and Re-ordering


St Mary Magdalene's Woodstock is a grade 2* listed building. 
Our aim is to preserve the rich and varied history of this church and to increase its function.
Essential work is needed even to maintain the fabric of the building. 

Building work began May 2017.

Funding is still required to fulfil the full scale of work. We must invest now to keep the building open to all.


To make a contribution:


Account Name: Woodstock Parish Church Redevelopment Account
Sort Code: 20-98-48
Account Number: 40964077

Latest News - Practical arrangements for May-October 2017


After years of praying, talking, planning, consulting, fund-raising, and seemingly endless legalities, we are there. Our beautiful church is going to be reordered and restored to make it even more beautiful. The tiles will be polished. The stained-glass cleaned. The chancel restored. The broken and battered has been dispensed with, our cherished fixtures and fittings will be cleaned and cared for, and new seating, lighting, heating, electrics, toilets, and facilities, are going to transform our worship, our mission, and our service of our community. It is an exciting moment. We thank God for it all.

It is also a moment of fear and trembling. And rightly so. This is a massive undertaking, and a work of faith and trust. The reason that this kind of project takes years of praying, talking, planning, consulting, fund-raising, and seemingly endless legalities is that it is so important. We are custodians and stewards of a building that will not only serve our own generation, but generations to come. We have sought to make good decisions, decisions that will stand the test of time. Now we watch, and wait, and pray, while the work is done.

As a church, we will not stand still. The first Christians did not have church buildings, and the Gospel was preached, the Lord was worshipped, and the people of God served. So it will be here. This leaflet explains how we will continue to worship together, and how we will organize our life over the coming months.

In my annual review, I wrote about the time we would spend out of the building, and what would happen. I continue to stand by those words: ‘The time we spend outside our building will be a time of pilgrimage, and learning. We shall discover many new things about who we are as the Body of Christ, and I hope and pray that it will be a time of growth, in numbers, and in depth of faith. Someone asked me if I thought numbers would go down while we were away from the building. NO is my answer to that – our ministry will go on, a ministry of witness and worship that is not dependent on bricks and mortar, but on heart and soul, totally dependent on the grace of God.’ 

Canon Adrian Daffern, Rector



Every Sunday
8am Holy Communion (BCP) Woodstock Methodist Church

The First Sunday of the month
11am Family Service Marlborough Enterprise Centre (MEC), 
The Marlborough Church of England School,
Shipton Road

The Second Sunday of the month
11am Sung Eucharist Marlborough Enterprise Centre (MEC)

The Third Sunday of the month
You are encouraged to enjoy worship at one of our sister churches today: St Martin’s Bladon (9.30am), Woodstock Baptist Church (10.30am), Woodstock Methodist Church (10.30am), St Hugh’s RC Church, Woodstock (9.30am).

The Fourth (and, in July, the Fifth) Sunday of the month
11am Sung Eucharist Marlborough Enterprise Centre (MEC)

Every Wednesday
10am Holy Communion (BCP) Woodstock Methodist Church

Service details

When we are at the Marlborough School, all the texts for our worship will be on a screen – it is simply impracticable to continually be carrying books and booklets backwards and forwards each week. If you would like to take a hymn book or Bible with you from church, please do so ON MAY 14th. It will not be possible to do so after that date. Having taken one, please remember to bring it with you!

(Please note that on 4th and 25th June, and 9th July, our worship will be in the school Dining Room.)

There will be parking available at the school – much more than we are used to! Please note there is a one-way system, and follow signs, and marked bays, with care. There is a map of the school site opposite. You will see the MEC Hall on the right-hand side, adjacent to the sports hall. The Dining Room is also clearly marked. Both halls are available to us between 1030am and 1230pm. 

Please note that there will not be a separate Children’s Church while we are out of the church building – we want to worship together as one family during the time we are using the school.

Other Services

Christenings, Weddings, and Funerals will take place at St Martin’s, Bladon. If any funeral services are too large for St Martin’s, other larger local churches will be used.

Morning and Evening Prayer are said privately during this time, and resources will be available on the website.


Marion Williams, Adrian’s secretary, will be working at The Rectory on Tuesdays and Thursdays during this time, and she can be emailed as usual , and contacted on the Rectory phone number 01993 811415. (The Church Office is out of bounds, with the rest of the building). On Wednesdays, Marion will be working from home, and the Rectory telephone will be diverted to her there.

We will continue to produce a weekly newsletter for distribution at services. Sign up for our email reminders.

Our daily life continues as usual, and nothing changes in terms of clergy availability, contact details, and so on, together with the churchwardens and pastoral team. 

It is vital that all members of the church who are online get used to checking this website on a regular basis. Alice will be keeping our church Facebook page updated regularly too. If you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to sign up for the newsletter (you can do so using the form below, or by emailing the office. We shall be depending on each other for the distribution of news and information, so do please play your part in sharing news with family, friends, and neighbours.

And finally . . .

There will be blips, problems, and irritations, over these next months – that’s inevitable. How we handle them when they arise will be a very public barometer of our Christian faith. Please be praying, patient people throughout this time: and be praying, not only for the clergy and wardens, but for our professional team, our contractors, and all involved with bringing our project to fruition. If all goes to plan, we shall ‘get the building back’ at the end of October. If things are delayed, we need to go on doing what we do best: being the praying, patient people God calls us to be.

The church we get back will be an Easter experience: the same, but different. Just as our patron, Mary Magdalene, encountered the mystery of the strange and familiar combined on the first Easter day, so will we. We pray that her experience will be ours – and that, in our new building, the reality of our Risen Lord will lead us afresh to witness, to wonder, and to worship.

May God bless us in the pilgrimage that lies ahead.

Make a contribution


Account Name: Woodstock Parish Church Redevelopment Account
Sort Code: 20-98-48
Account Number: 40964077

General project overview

In 2017 we hope to complete the re-ordering of the interior of St Mary Magdalene’s, with new heating, new lighting and electrics (our present ones are on their last legs), a new servery for food and drinks – and two new loos! We are replacing our pews with beautiful bespoke chairs. (See below for more chair information or click here for a sponsorship form). Funding has been secured to begin the works, but we continue in our fundraising to ensure the full scale of works can be undertaken.

You can explore some of the details of these plans below.


The Sponsor a Chair scheme is only one way to contribute
financially to the future of St Mary Magdalene's church. We are asking for people to set up monthly donations of any size
This kind of giving helps enormously with our planning. 
Alternatively you can download and print the form to give a
one-off donation.


As well as normal services and private prayer, we have visitors, concerts, schools, meetings, craft fairs and more. By updating and developing the building we can make it a more flexible space, accessible to all and suitable for use by the whole community. This invests in the church for years to come.


Chair appeal

We are working to make St Mary Magdalene church more accessible and available for use by the whole community. It is time for our pews to be replaced. We have worked with experts to design beautiful bespoke chairs for the space, which will both honour the tradition of the church and allow for greater flexibility to bring more people into our church. 

We are inviting you to sponsor a chair, which can be inscribed with your name or the name of someone you love. Sponsoring a chair is a lovely way of helping the church, and is also a chance to remember an individual or an organisation that is important to you. We need every member of St Mary Magdalene’s, as well as our friends in the community and other churches, to help us do this. You can either sponsor one or more chairs in entirety, or there are options to donate towards a chair, or to join together with others for an inscription on a chair. Please fill in the form on the leaflet (also available below), or if you would like more information on the options do get in touch. For bank transfers, see our details at the foot of the page.


Detail on our chairs leaflet

Click to download our chairs leaflet in full

Click to download our chairs leaflet in full