The church enjoys a commanding position, standing on one of the highest points in the town overlooking the River Wye. The spire is a conspicuous landmark which can be seen for many miles. It is an image synonymous with Ross-on-Wye and appears on websites and promotional literature used by local organisations and businesses.
The church – one of the largest in Herefordshire and a grade 1 listed building – is a blend of several styles of architecture. It has seen many changes since it was dedicated in 1316, and there is evidence to suggest the site contained earlier Saxon and Norman churches. It is also the burial place of John Kyrle, ‘The Man of Ross’.
However, the church is more than a building – it is representative of the people who worship there and the community it serves. Generations of townspeople have used the building for worship, as well as Baptisms, weddings and funerals. The church community is thriving, comprising many organisations covering all age groups.
The principal role of the building is to act as a centre for Christian worship but it also fulfils an important purpose in acting as a venue for cultural events such as concerts and festivals.
Churches receive no state funding and rely entirely on private donations and bequests to pay for essential repairs and improvements.
You can help to share the responsibility for preserving this iconic building by becoming a Friend of St Mary’s.
You can find out much more about the church on St Mary’s website.