St Mary the Virgin

St Mary the Virgin is an Evangelical Anglican parish church situated at the western end of the village.

There is evidence to suggest that there has been a church on this site since Saxon times and part of the current building certainly dates from the 12th century.

Today, over 800 years on, it is active, thriving and growing and is very much an integral part of village life.

The vicar is the Rev. Gary Townsend and church matters are to be directed via the Church Office on 01279 814 285.

The Parish Records are within Henham History website. Click here for  Henham History Website.

Should you wish to find out more about the history of the church it is available in an excellent publication at Saffron Walden Library called 'Henham Church and it's Congregation' by Joyce M. Winmill.

Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Church notices will be set out below instead of being in the Dragon magazine:

MAY 2020
From The Parish Registers

• Service of Thanksgiving followed by a Cremation at Cam Valley Crematorium, Great Chesterford on 30th April 2020, Patricia Platt, aged 84 years, formerly of Crow Street, Henham.

• Service of Thanksgiving followed by a Cremation at Parndon Wood Crematorium, Great Chesterford, on 6th May 2020, Bertha (known as Betty) Mary Bohan, aged 97 years, formerly of New Road, Elsenham.

Church Contact Telephone Numbers,
E-Mail and Web-Site Addresses

Gary Townsend 01279 850281
Gary Tubbs 01279 817698
Church Office 01279 814285 Anna Hicks
Church e-mail address
Church web-site address

Enquiries about thanksgivings, baptisms, weddings and funerals should be made in the first instance to Anna Hicks at the Church Office 01279 814285.

2020 June Magazine Article (electronic versions only)
Times New Roman 14 points.
466 words.

We are all looking forward to the time when the lockdown measures will be relaxed and we can return to some of the things that we have had to forego for so long. When that time comes I suspect there will be a rush to get back to the shops, tips and places of recreation etc. I guess there will be a surge and I’m sure we can all understand why. Just like people jumping, clothes and all, into an oasis pool after many days in the desert so the desire to immerse ourselves fully and quickly in what we’ve been denied will be a powerful urge. I have decided that when the time comes I will ease myself back into shopping etc. gradually. This is partly because rushing is against my nature and partly because I’ve acquired more of something during lockdown that I do not want to lose – patience.
Lockdown has shown how capable we all are of being patient. I’ve no doubt that things have been (and continue to be) far harder for many people than they have been for me. I think of those who have lost loved ones; those who have been on the frontline of caring for the sick and elderly; those with children to amuse; workers who have been furloughed or those forced to work from home; those in flats and others with little of their own outside space; those for whom interrupted DIY projects have been on hold; cancelled weddings and holidays - many people have been subjected to greater degrees of frustration than I have and the patience they have shown has been extraordinary. The inspiration I draw from their examples, as well as coping with my own much smaller difficulties, have taught me the value of patience. In fact, can we not all say that lockdown has taught us not simply the value of patience but the absolute necessity of it? This is why it’s said that patience is a virtue. As far as I understand it a virtue is a character trait without which human wellbeing is impossible. Just imagine the mess we’d be in if no-one had been patient during lockdown! I think we’d have been in meltdown long before now.
But we all know patience can run out and pressing on is a hard slog (one of the old ways of translating the Biblical word for patience was ‘long suffering’). Jesus taught His disciples that they should always pray and never give up (Luke’s Gospel chapter 18 verse 1). I know there have been answers to prayer during this pandemic and so, as hard as it is to continue exercising restraint, I believe we can pray and ask God to help us keep going – if that’s what we choose to do.
Gary Townsend.

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