News & Events

Sunday’s Come & Sing

We had a fantastic Come & Sing event at St Mary’s on Sunday. Faure’s Requiem in a devotional service for Holy Week, with a choir of around 40 singers. Well done and thank you to everyone who came along either to sing or to form a congregation. Thanks also to all who provided cake, to Adrian for playing and Cameron and Fiona for their wonderful solos.

We hope the next one will be at Christmas, as part of the Christmas Tree Festival.

Walk of Witness

What a wonderful group of people we had yesterday for the walk of witness (part 1) from Brampton Abbotts to Ross.

There’s an opportunity to join them for part 2 this evening (from St Mary’s Church to Walford Church). Meet at St Mary’s today (Tuesday 16th April) at 5.30 pm.


A new Rector for the Benefice of Ross with Walford and Brampton Abbotts

We are delighted to report that the Revd Sean Semple has been appointed as the next Rector of the Benefice of Ross with Walford and Brampton Abbotts.

Sean is currently the Incumbent in the Weobley and Staunton Group of Parishes (7 churches) and so is no stranger to Hereford Diocese. Prior to his appointment there, in 2015, he has worked in the Presbyterian and Anglican Churches in South Africa, and in the Anglican Church in Cyprus. Sean was born in South Africa.

He will be moving to Ross later in the year (date to be confirmed) with his wife Jenny and son Lex. Sean and Jenny have four older children currently living in South Africa, North Carolina and Scotland.

We look forward to welcoming them to Ross.


St Mary’s reordering

We’re about half way through phase 2 of the reordering work at St Mary’s and the spaces that already opening up now that pews are almost out of the way are very attractive – a sight not seen since 1862.

We are keeping the church open when possible, that is now most of the time but please be careful when visiting.

If you’re interested in a pew there are still one or two left and we’d like to get them out of the church as soon as possible. Please contact us. There is more on pews (and reordering) at

Good Bye to the pews!

This morning (Sunday 3rd February) was the last time that members of our congregation will sit in the pews that have been in use since 1862. Tomorrow the builders move in to begin removing them and the floors beneath.


This is the end of an era. We don’t know when pews first appeared at St Mary’s, probably around the time of Henry VIII and we know that there have been at least three different lots over that time. This year we move on again and the chairs that will replace them will provide far greater flexibility and allow us to appreciate the medieval building currently obscured at ground level.

There are still just a few pews up for grabs if you’d like one. There is also a large pile of embroidered kneelers, free to a good home, by the entrance to the Markye Chapel – please help yourself to some.

You can find out more about all this at

Your last chance to “grab a pew” from St Mary’s

The next phase of the exciting redevelopment work at St Mary’s begins on 4th February. This will see the removal of all the remaining pews and the renewal of all the flooring beneath them.

There are still just a few pews needing to find new homes. There is just one complete one left and a few with only a good left / right end that are being sold as a pair (same price for the pair as for the complete pew) and require a bit of DIY. The added appeal here is that you can make the finished pew any length you want before warming yourself by a quality fire of 1863 fire wood! They are priced at £150.


There’s much more information on the reordering on one of our sister sites at and if you’d like to reserve pews please contact Mark.

If you’re able to visit the church (open each day until around 4.00 pm) the pews still up for grabs are the ones without a white label stuck on them.

Pews will be available for collection on or after Thursday 7th February.

There are also some hassocks (kneelers) up for grabs – free to a good home but donations via the donations safe by the north door welcome). You’ll find them stacked up by the Markye Chapel. Please help yourself.

Please note that once the building work begins on Monday 4th February access to the building may be limited, at times, for the 8 week duration of the work.

The Greatest Gift – Deanery Youth Event @ St Mary’s

St Mary’s was privileged to host the first Ross and Archenfield Deanery’s youth event last night, The Greatest Gift. Nearly 20 young people came along to hear April Shipton perform and talk about her faith.

It was great to see some of the reordered space in St Mary’s being used so imaginatively.

We very much hope this will be the first of many similar events. Thanks to all those who came along to, or helped with this enjoyable event.

New home for the Community Larder

St Mary’s has always been proud to be the home of the Churches Together in Ross and District Community Larder (food bank) and today was a landmark occasion in its seven year history.

The Larder has moved from it’s rather inaccessible base on the fist floor on St Mary’s Hall to the basement. This means it’s now accessible all on the level. The move is largely thanks to the labours of Bryan Jones who has spent the last three months converting the disused space into a purpose built larder.

We were delighted to welcome The Revd Prebendary Jill Talbot-Ponsonby (the key mover behind the establishment of the Larder in 2011) to open the new facility.

The Larder continues to be open every Tuesday morning from 10.00 – 12.00 and is always grateful for donations of food.



Bereavement Service – 6.30 this evening

St Mary’s annual service for those who have been bereaved takes place on Sunday 4th November at 6.30. This is always a popular and moving service. We look forward to seeing you there.

There’s more help for those struggling to come to terms with bereavement on our website

The next Bereavement Cafe session takes place on Wednesday 28th November, 10.30 am – 12.00 noon in St Mary’s Hall.

Bereavement cafe

Finding a new Rector

We had a great meeting this morning with representatives from the three parishes to begin the process of selecting a new Rector. Everyone left feeling what a great offering we have at Ross, Walford and Brampton Abbotts churches. Thanks to John Daniels from Hereford Diocese for leading the meeting.

Friday Food, Fun, Faith

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new group,

Friday Food Fun Faith (a working title)


Once a month on a Friday 3.45 pm until 5.15 pm Dates for this term are:

  • Friday 28th September
  • Friday 19th October
  • Friday 30th November


St. Mary’s Church, Ross-on-Wye


Food on arrival.
Table talk which is a fun based activity
5.30 pm – Conclusion of afternoon

The idea is that JKHS students can walk up to the church after school. As we will be eating assorted snacks first the start time is flexible so those from other schools can still join us.

This group is open to everyone in that age group (11 – 15) but please let us know you are coming for catering purposes, Contact Christine 07563 382 753

Sarah is leaving us

Our Rector, The Revd Sarah Jones has been appointed to the post of Priest in Charge of The City Parish of St John The Baptist, Cardiff. St Johns is at the heart of Cardiff City Centre. This is a significant post in the Diocese of Llandaff.

Sarah joined us as Assistant Curate in July 2004 and became Rector in December 2007. She has been with us for fourteen years and has been Rector for ten and a half years.

Sarahs last service in the benefice will be at Michaelmas on Sunday 30th September. She will be licensed to her new post on Thursday 18th October.

In the weeks ahead, we will be making arrangements to say farewell to Sarah and we are hoping to organise a visit to St Johns in Cardiff to be present at her licensing on 18th October.

We will let you know the details as soon as things progress.


Open Gardens – Thanks

Thanks to all who came along this afternoon to make our Open Garden such a success. Special thanks though to  Leah, Margaret, Margaret and Tina who served all the tea and cake. Thank you, too, to all who provided the yummy cake.

Together we raised £550 for St Mary’s.