Category Archives: Articles

Supporting St Mary’s with Regular Giving

Today we are launching a new way to give regularly to the life and work of St Mary’s. As we are entirely self-supporting, regular giving from our community and supporters is the primary way by which St Mary’s can provide for itself.

The Parish Giving Scheme is a new mechanism for regular giving, which we encourage you to use. Whether you already give, or are giving for the first time, you can join this scheme:

  • Online at
  • By phone on 0333 002 1271
  • By post Please collect a giving pack from the back of church

Simply quote our parish code 320632250.

Anyone who is currently giving by standing order is strongly encouraged to make this change, although it is not mandatory – you may continue to pay by standing order if you wish.

The benefits of giving in this way, rather than by standing order, include:

  • For the donor: easy and flexible, allowing you to adjust your giving at any time. Option to increase gift annually in line with inflation, if you wish.
  • For St Mary’s: significantly reduced administration for our Treasurer and Stewardship Team.

The following leaflet explains more about regular giving and the Parish Giving Scheme:

5 minutes with Revd Rachel Wakefield

The new vicar of St Mary’s church was recently appointed. Revd Rachel Wakefield comes to us from St Francis in Welwyn Garden City, where she has been working as assistant curate for three years.

Prior to that she had been a Lay Reader at St Nicholas Harpenden, and she has spent much of her life in this part of Hertfordshire. She has worked extensively in media and communications, and music teaching.

Together with her husband and two older children, we look forward to her getting stuck into life in Redbourn.

What attracted you to Redbourn?

My family and I used to live in Markyate so know the village fairly well and understand what a wonderful place it is. There have been changes, the co-op has moved and a few shops have shuffled around, but it still has that wonderful character of a village which I am drawn to.

I was born in Cornwall, and although I spent some of my childhood in north London, it is that Cornish sense of community I grew up with which appeals to me and seems so evident in a village like Redbourn. The only thing I could do with adding is the sea, but you can’t have everything!

When did you first get the vicar bug?

That’s a long story, but I was finally encouraged into the discernment process for ordination to the priesthood not long after being licensed as a Lay Reader in 2014. I really only went to keep people quiet as I was sure Reader Ministry was what I was called to….but here I am!

What’s the most exciting thing you’ve ever done?

Can I pick 3? 1) Being one of the producers for the radio coverage of the 2001 Wimbledon Men’s Final between Pat Rafter and Goran Ivanisevic. It was extraordinary as due to the weather (before the roof was installed) the match had rolled over into a third week and Ivanisevic was a wild card entrant.

Just before they walked onto court, I had to take some information to the commentary box, situated just by the players’ entrance. I went to leave and standing before me were these two incredible (tall) players waiting for their moment of history. I almost bumped into them as I emerged down the ladder from the commentary box.

2) I once had to commentate while being driven around Silverstone in a Ford Cosworth by an F1 test driver, but my final answer might be 3) doing the Crystal Maze with my former colleagues for our Christmas party!

How do you like to relax?

Listen to music, go to the cinema or theatre, look after my plants (and soon my garden) and when the opportunity arises sit and look out to sea.

Who would be your ideal dinner date?

I’m assuming the answer should be either a) Jesus or b) my family but assuming you want something more insightful about me, in all honesty probably my friends as we know what makes us laugh and relax.

However, if you’re looking for famous guests probably David Bowie, Grace Darling, Antonio Vivaldi, and Victoria Wood.

What luxury would you take to your desert island?

iPad (presumably solar powered) fully loaded with Kindle, Disney+, Netflix, All 4, iPlayer and Spotify. If that’s cheating, then please may I have a solar powered radio?

What have you recently watched on TV?

Ted Lasso, The Mandalorian, Wild Isles.

The licensing service is finished and the bunting cleared away. You’re installed as Vicar. So what do you do now? 

Come and say hello, meet people, then ask you these same questions to find out about you! And pray…..

Looking forward to meeting you all very soon.

God Bless. Rachel

Rachel officially joins us on Monday 4th September.

Looking After the Garden of Rest

Our beautiful churchyard, graveyard and the Garden of Rest where ashes are interred are much-loved green spaces for the whole village community, and places of comfort and reflection for those grieving loved ones. They are also a haven for wildlife, insects and wild flowers.

As such, we are committed to the ongoing upkeep of these areas, making sure they look their best all year round. We have a dedicated team of churchyard volunteers who spend many hours each month mowing, clearing, weeding and planting. We also work with people from the Community Payback Scheme who visit weekly to assist with all areas of maintenance.

Looking After the Garden of Rest

In order to keep this particular area tidy and under control, it is important that we all keep to the regulations which are provided to  families when ashes are interred.

These are in line with churchyards across the country, and are designed to allow for mowing and maintenance, to protect wildlife and for the safety of our visitors.

  • Natural flowers (not in any packaging please) may be laid on the lawn
  • Plaques no larger than 8″ x 6″ / 20cm x 15cm – only in the Rose Beds
Not Permitted:
  • Artificial Flowers
  • Vases or flower tubes
  • Plant Pots
  • Any other form of memorial

Please note that flowers may need to be moved whilst we’re mowing. If they are still reasonably fresh, they will be replaced as near as possible to where they were taken from.

If you have placed any items in the Garden of Rest which are not permitted, we would be most grateful if you could arrange for these to be removed by the beginning of March. If that won’t be possible for any reason, do let us know and we’ll do our best to help out.

After this time we will begin the process of removing items that are not permitted, so that we can restore the lawn to a fine condition for all to appreciate.

How can I get involved in helping out in the churchyard?

Our churchyard team are always grateful to hear from new volunteers. They meet every four to six weeks on a rota basis, usually on Saturday mornings, but can also allocate jobs to be undertaken in your own time.

Please get in touch with David Swift to find out more or to volunteer.