Get Involved

Giving

As St Mary’s has no historic endowments or investments, we rely primarily on the financial support of our congregation to sustain the church’s ministry, as well as on income generated from letting out space to community groups. This means we are always grateful for your support to make St Mary’s available to as many people as possible.
If you are a member of our congregation or would like to support the work of St Mary’s, please visit the online giving page to set up a bank standing order or make a one-off donation.
Or you can set up a bank transfer directly to the church’s account:

Name: St Mary’s Balham PCC
Sort Code: 40-52-40
Account No: 00032505

If you have questions or need help, please contact the PCC Treasurer.

Serving

Serving God and those around us is a central part of being a Christian.  Such service takes a variety of forms and happens both inside and outside of church.  Many people contribute their time and abilities to our common life at St Mary’s, and we are always eager to involve others in whatever way is right for them.  This might be as a member of the Gardening Group that meets every Saturday, or as a volunteer in our ‘Place of Welcome’ that takes place each Wednesday.  It might be as a steward ready to greet those arriving on a Sunday morning, or as a reader of a scripture lesson during the service itself.  These are just a few examples of the many ways we welcome participation, not just from established members of our congregation, but from anyone in the Balham community.  To discuss ways in which you might like to help serve the church and wider community, please contact one of the Clergy.

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Learning

Developing our understanding of the Christian faith is a lifelong process.  At St Mary’s, we provide a range of opportunities for adults who wish to explore the Bible, the teachings of the Church, and the ways in which Christianity engages with culture and society. 

Among our offerings for Christian learning are:

  • ‘Around the Table’ Bible Study (monthly, September-June)
  • Theological Reading Group (monthly, September-June)
  • Advent and Lent Groups (seasonal)
  • Quiet Days and Learning Days (occasional)
  • ‘Interactions’ Lecture Series on Art and Faith (annually)
  • ‘Theology on a Summer’s Eve’ (August)

In addition, the clergy are always pleased to offer preparation sessions for any adult who may wish to partake in the sacrament of Confirmation.  To learn about being confirmed as an adult, please contact one of the Clergy. For more information, please also see the Confirmation section of the Church of England website.

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Outreach

As the parish church, St Mary’s is a resource not just for its regular congregation but for everyone in the Balham community.  Our mission is to be an open and inclusive church, so we are always looking for ways to make our facilities and programmes more accessible and relevant to the neighbourhood we serve.  Here are a few of the ways that we currently reach out to those around us:

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‘Places of Welcome’

St Mary’s is affiliated with the ‘Places of Welcome’ initiative, sponsored by the Church Urban Fund’s Near Neighbours programme.  It is a network of local community groups providing places where ‘all people feel safe to belong, connect, and contribute’.  The St Mary’s ‘Place of Welcome’ session is held every Wednesday from 9am-12pm in the church.

‘Love Balham’ Weekend

‘Love Balham’ is a weekend every June during which Christians share the love of God in Balham through practical action.  In 2019, seven churches across five denominations joined together to do everything from painting nails and washing cars to tidying gardens and hosting tea-parties – all in a spirit of service to our local community.  To learn more, please visit the ‘Love Balham’ website.

St Mary’s Concert Series

This series, which takes place seasonally, features recitals by a variety of classical and jazz musicians.  The concerts are always open to the public and are free of charge.  For more information, please contact the Parish Office.    

The Oasis Garden

The church garden, located alongside the south side of the building, is available to everyone looking for a quiet green space amidst the bustle of the city.  In order to access the garden, you must enter a four-digit code: 01, followed two digits for the current month.  For example, in May, the code would be 0105, and in December it would be 0112.

Eco Church

Caring for creation is an integral part of who we are as Christians.  By taking responsibility for our own priorities and practices, we seek to answer God’s call to be good stewards of the earth.  This entails changing both the way we manage the land and building in our care, as well as the way we experience and express our faith. 

To guide our efforts as a Christian community, we have committed to the framework laid out by A Rocha UK’s Eco Church initiative. We are proud to have achieved a Bronze Eco Church Award and are now actively working towards the Silver Award. Our ‘Green Team’ is also keen to partner with local community groups, organisations, and individuals with environmental aims.  If you have any ideas to share or want to join the St Mary’s ‘Green Team’, please contact one of the Clergy.

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