Prayer and praise has been offered to God in our building for more than seven hundred years, and on this ground for over a thousand. That tradition continues, with a deep love for what we inherit and an openness to new ways of worshipping God.
At the heart of our worshipping life is the Mass, the Eucharist. It is, in the tradition of the western Church, the 'source and summit' of the Christian life.
Whether it is the weekly gathering of the whole congregation on a Sunday morning, with all the elements of music and ritual, or a quiet celebration on a weekday evening with a handful of people, the same extraordinary opportunity is given to us to receive Jesus Christ in the mysteries of his Word in scripture and of the Sacrament of the Altar: and indeed receive him in each other.
Since the earliest days of the Church, and especially once the monastic tradition had begun, the saying of Daily Prayer at least twice a day became part of the heartbeat of Christian life, part of its rhythm. At the centre of this is the recitation of the Psalms.
We say Morning and Evening Prayer in the Shrine Chapel every day except Tuesdays. This is vital to the life of any church, and means that the very building itself is soaked with the prayers of the faithful of many centuries.
Weddings, baptisms, funerals
For over a thousand years local people have been married, christened, had their funeral or made their confession here.
The font (pictured above) is thought to date from around 1150, which makes it older than the church building! It also means that several thousand folk, mostly infants, have been baptised in it over that 850 year period.