A short tour of St Marys Church to follow the annual Friends of Luton Parish Church Service.
About this Event
St Marys Church has stood at the heart of Luton for some 1200 years, the present building was completed in 1135. It is Luton's only Grade 1 listed building, is regarded as one of the finer medieval churches in England, and has been described as Luton's Medieval Jewel.
The present church building mainly dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries, though elements of the original building, built on the site in 1122 by Robert, Earl of Gloucester and consecrated in 1137. It was enlarged and changed over the following centuries. Simon Jenkins notes the church and its surrounding churchyard easily belies the grim surroundings (though things have and are changing) and speaks of the inside as "big white and elegant, a challenge to its surroundings." He goes on to say "the two richest periods of English architecture, the 15th and 19th, are in glorious harmony."
The tour will take in the main features of the church, including it's tiny and rare Barnard Chantry (possibly a "Leper Chapel"); its Baptistry, one of the finest font covers in England; the graceful Wenlock Screen; and the beautiful Magnificat Window. There will be plenty of time to take pictures both inside and outside the church.
The tour at 12.00 noon will follow the 10.30am Annual “Friends of Luton Parish Church” Church Service. All are welcome to attend. This year we are especially giving thanks for the recently completed work to replace the Victorian heating system.