St Mary's Church

St Mary's Church

Main Road
Nr Stone
ST15 0RA
A small car park for about ten cars can be found next to the church.
Terry English
Telephone 01782 796426

Ray Lewney
Telephone 01785 760366

Who are we?

We are an evangelical church located north-west of the town of Stone in Staffordshire and are part of the Diocese of Lichfield. St Mary’s is the parish church of Swynnerton & Cotes Heath (with St James’ Church) and is part of a group of parishes called a benefice led by our Rector Revd Dr Stephen McKenzie. Under Stephen’s leadership we are a church family that includes and welcomes people from every age and walk of life.

We are united, however, in knowing and joyfully following Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. The Bible is central to our teaching. We welcome all those who wish to explore the meaning of personal Christian faith for themselves and who want to grow in deeper relationship and service of God. At our services children and families are very welcome. Midweek, we run a wide range of groups and courses which offer the opportunity to explore Christian faith further and to celebrate the fun and joy of belonging to a Christian family.

What we believe

The Bible
We believe the Bible is inspired by God and is the authority on which we base our faith, conduct and doctrine.
The Trinity
We believe in one God who exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to this earth as Savior of the world.
We believe Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for our sins. We believe that salvation is found by placing our faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross. We believe Jesus rose from the dead and is coming again.
Water Baptism
We believe water baptism is a symbol of the cleansing power of the blood of Christ and a testimony to our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe in the regular taking of Communion as an act of remembering what the Lord Jesus did for us on the cross.
Growing Relationship
We believe every believer should be in a growing relationship with Jesus by obeying God's Word, yielding to the Holy Spirit and by being conformed to the image of Christ.

History of the Church

A Norman church

There have been people worshipping on this site in Swynnerton for around a thousand years. The origin of the church is Norman, though evidence exists that some stones date back to Saxon times when the manor house in the village was the royal residence of a Saxon prince.

The inner doorway leading into the main part of the church is where you can see fine Norman craftsmanship. The arch displays eighteen “bird beak” mouldings.

The nave, chancel and south aisle were rebuilt in the middle of the thirteenth century and the north aisle somewhat later. The Victorians launched a major restoration and added the clerestory high up to make the church taller and lighter.
The screen between the nave and chancel is Tudor and on the south wall of the chancel is a thirteenth century double sedilia and piscina.  Also in the chancel is the tomb of a crusader, believed to be that of Sir John de Swynnerton, who died about 1254.

There are some interesting memorials to local families in the stained glass windows and the east window was designed by Sedding, probably inspired by Burne-Jones. Six bells hang in the tower.


The Vestry

The part of the church which we now use as a vestry was added in the middle of the fourteenth century. Fixed to the wall in here is the top of the original altar from the main church and another sedilia and piscina. Against the west wall there is a majestic figure of Christ which was found buried a short distance from its present position. Tradition has it that it was one of several figures dispersed about the county from Lichfield or Rheims cathedral. This seated statue of Christ, as he appeared to his doubting disciple Thomas, is thought to date from the thirteenth century.

Beneath the vestry is a vault containing remains of sixteen members of the Fitzherbert family (ancestors of the present Lord Stafford who lives in Swynnerton Park across the lane from the church).

More details on the church history can be found in this leaflet.