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Our Story

Social innovation at St Mary's, 1830-2020

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It’s easy. Just click “Edit Text” or double click me to add your own content and make changes to the font. Feel free to drag and drop me anywhere you like on your page. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

​This is a great space to write long text about your company and your services. You can use this space to go into a little more detail about your company. Talk about your team and what services you provide. Tell your visitors the story of how you came up with the idea for your business and what makes you different from your competitors. Make your company stand out and show your visitors who you are.

The Beginning

1830

St Mary’s Church was built in 1830 as one of 3 churches built in Sheffield to commemorate the battle of Waterloo. The others were St Philip’s Netherthorpe and St George’s Portobello. St Mary’s is the only one which remains a church.

When it was built St Mary’s was “quite in the country” but as Sheffield’s industry developed it became surrounded by small “Mesters” housing. It seems that St Mary’s was always at the heart of the community.

World War II

1940s onwards

The parish history records that over 250 men regularly attended Bible studies - of whom 137 served in the Great War, 15 did not return. 

 

During the blitz of the Second Word War the church was badly damaged: the roof was virtually blown off and the congregation relocated to St Barnabas in Highfield. Due to shortage of materials it wasn’t until 1950 that rebuilding work began.

Rebuilding

1950 - 1960

To reflect the changing needs of the parish the vicar, Stephen Burnett planned to split the building, so that one half would become a community centre and the other remain a church.

 

This plan was enthusiastically supported by the local community who raised £40,000 through pub collections, jumble sales and tea parties.

Growth

1961-1990

For the next 30 years or so the community centre thronged with life and all sorts of societies sprang up: boxing, fishing, sewing, cricket, dancing, amateur dramatics, young couples societies and youth clubs forming a network of community support which sustained people through times of immense poverty and change.

 

However the housing around St Mary’s was poor quality with shared toilets and baths and the city council embarked on a housing clearance programme, reducing the local population sharply and by the 1980s the community centre was really struggling to remain viable. St Mary’s has a rich history in community development

Innovation

1991-2000

When Julian Sullivan became vicar in the early 1990s he recognised that a new cycle of social innovation was needed and started the vision to completely refurbish St Mary’s to meet the needs and opportunities of the 21st century.

 

At the turn of the millennium a £2.65m refurbishment programme was started. The congregation moved to Sheffield United football club for the duration and the new St Mary’s opened in October 2001- offering a completely integrated building of church, conference centre and community centre.

Inclusion

2001 - Present

Over the past 20 years St Mary’s has continued to innovate to remain a parish church in the 21st Century: welcoming all, responding to the whole of a person and bringing together different people in society for the common good and the thriving of all. This is a unique space in the civic arena. TimeBuilders is the latest expression of this mission.

Contact Us

St Mary’s Church 
Bramall Lane
Sheffield
S2 4QZ

 

Tel: 0114 223 0223
Email: sales@stmarys-church.co.uk

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