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Nightingale Academy

Minster Church of England Primary School

Nurturing Foundations, Flourishing With God


Our Church, St Mary The Virgin, Minster

Minster Church of England Primary School has very strong, close links with St Mary’s Church.


We are currently without an Incumbant, as our vicar, The Revd Richard Braddy, left this position in February 2022. When he was in post he was a Foundation Governor and Vice-Chair of the Governing Body. Rev Richard led Collective Worship regularly and enjoyed working alongside the School Christian Ambassadors. However, despite awaiting a new appointee, we have strong links with the Church and regularly hold services there, as well as being involved in other community activities.


We have two Foundation Governors appointed by the Church and one of them,  Liz Shervington, is an active member of the church family, serving on the church PCC. The second Foundation Governor, Colin Mills is also an active member of St Mary's Church.


The school visits the church regularly for services and educational visits.


Special services are held at the church for the whole school including Harvest, Nativity, Christingle, Easter and the Leavers’ Service. Parents and friends attend these services and enjoy being part of them, particularly the Christingle Service when the lights are dimmed and all of KS2 are standing with lit candles, reminding us of the power of Jesus, the light of the world. The school choir participates in many activities within the village including the annual open-air nativity and the Civic Carol Service.


Prayer is an important aspect of the link between the church and school. The church is encouraged to pray regularly for the school and members of the church family support the school Prayer Space weeks. There is a monthly Prayer Group that meets in the school which attracts parents, friends and members of the church family.                                                                 


Our beautiful medieval Parish Church stands on the northern edge of the original Wantsum Channel and the southern edge of the village. It receives many visitors each year as it features in both “Pevsner's Guide” and Simon Jenkin’s “England’s thousand best churches”. Known as the “Cathedral of the Marshes”, people are surprised at the size of the church. 

Every Sunday, there is a service at 10:30am, including Holy Communion on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month.  Refreshments are served in the church after all Sunday services. 

There are good ecumenical links with the local Salvation Army and the Roman Catholic Sisters at Minster Abbey. 



The ground upon which the church of St. Mary the Virgin now stands, has long been hallowed as a place of worship. Originally founded in 670AD as a small monastic parish church, it would have been built using the inexpensive materials of mud and wood.

Today, the present church was started by the Saxons and enlarged and absorbed by the Normans. The chancel is typically ‘Early English’ in architecture and style, and the beautiful nave has remained in its present form since 1150.

The ‘Old School’, situated in the churchyard, was originally the village school from 1847-1946.  The school on its present site was opened in 1904, as both buildings operated for a time, taking different aged children (up to the age of 14).



St. Mary's Church Website                   

St. Mary's Church History

Canterbury Diocese

Church Activities


On 5th June, Reuben, our Norman House Captain, and Olivia, one of our Christian Ambassadors, represented the school at the Jubilee Celebration at St. Mary’s Church.

Along with Mrs Hogben, they read excerpts from the school log books starting with the year of the Queen’s Coronation up till her Silver Jubilee in 1977. A number of the audience actually attended the school then and remembered some of the events!

Well done Olivia and Reuben!

Advent Sleepout

Thank you to all the parents and staff who were kind enough to sponsor the group from St Mary’s Church, who slept in tents in the churchyard on December 6th. With your generous support we were able to raise £1300 for the Church Urban Fund to help homeless people in the area. The shelters this money provides offer a safe bed for a night, a hot meal and a chance to wash, which is so often not available to those who are homeless. Thank you so much for helping us do this, and therefore raising awareness of this serious situation on our streets.

Pat Hogben

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Trust Information

Willows Academy Trust

The Federation of Minster and Monkton Church of England Primary Schools

Monkton Church of England Primary School