The church of St Mary’s has been at the centre of Charlton Kings for over 815 years.
Originally a chapel-at-ease for the Mother church – St Mary’s in Cheltenham – it was consecrated as a chapel in 1190, surrounded by a few farmsteads.
Gradually a village grew up around the church, and some of the street names we still have tell us of the lives and occupations of the people who lived in medieval times – Horsefair Street, Sappercombe Lane, Lyefield Road, and others.
The villagers prayed at St Mary’s in times of tumult and pestilence, celebrated there in times of personal rejoicing – the churchyard chronicles the lives of families from the seventeenth century.
All the time, Charlton Kings was growing…. housing estates have grown up, particularly in the last seventy years, but local folk still come to St Mary’s to be baptized, to be wed, to be buried, and to worship together each Sunday.
Each generation has striven to maintain and improve the fabric of the church to ensure its continuity and serene beauty and welcome.
The obligation on us all to maintain this vital work in the 21st century is greater than ever.
The Friends of St Mary’s Church was set up as an independent charity in the year 2000.
Its main objectives are to help maintain the fabric of the church and to enhance its fittings, ornaments, monuments and churchyard, so as to advance the Christian faith and keep St Mary’s as a focal point for everyone living in and around Charlton Kings.
Since its formation, the Friends has spent over £25,000 on these objectives. Membership is open to everyone interested in supporting this work into the future.