The Church of St Mary the Virgin has been in existence since 918, when the monks from St Peter’s Abbey in Gent, set up the first worshipping Christian community in Lewisham.
The base of the tower is medieval and there’s a well in the crypt. Bell ringers practice in the ringing chamber high up in the tower every Monday evening, and there are many fine historic tombs in the surrounding churchyard.
St Mary’s loves to welcome visitors to look round such an historic and interesting building, and also tries hard to improve the churchyards, turning them into beautiful, peaceful and environmentally friendly spaces for the community to enjoy.
They now have a second wildflower meadow, as well as many more flowerbeds, hedgerows, and a splendid new waterbutt, which collects rainwater from the church roof!
The ‘Heritage Open Days’ are a national event which takes place every September, and St Mary’s likes to get involved. Entrance is free, but a small charge is made for the guided tour.
The Therapeutic Garden was established in 2017, and was a collaboration between the Church and the Ladywell Unit, which is situated close by in the grounds of Lewisham Hospital. It is maintained every Tuesday afternoon by volunteers from the Unit, as well as ‘Mind’, and from GP surgeries.
Both the Church and the Therapeutic Garden are much loved by the local community, so Saturday September 17 will be a great time to visit, and to support such an historic and well established part of Ladywell.
St Mary’s church open day: September 17, 10.30-16.00.
Guided history tour 11.00-12.00
Therapeutic garden open day with lots of activities 10.30-16.00. Heritage tour, raffle, plant sale, book stall, music, and much more.