About Us

St Mary's remains Biblically orthodox in its Christian faith (as defined in the '39 Articles of Faith and the historic formularies of the Church of England).  Jesus is Lord of every area of our shared and private lives.

We're all on a journey of repentance and transformation, it would be great to share with you on the same journey

Our Vision

Our vision is:
"To reveal Jesus as we love God and serve others in the power of His Spirit."

Our Purpose

To enjoy fellowship as we worship in Spirit and Truth, grow in discipleship, develop in ministry and deploy in mission

Our Values

Faithful to the Message - Focussed on Ministry - Flourishing in Mission

Covid-19 Update

There are still some differences between current church services and the arrangements before Covid measures were introduced. These include:-

  • Services will be shorter than we are used to.
  • For the time being we will only have morning services of Morning Worship or Holy Communion.
You will be asked to: -
  • Enter only by the main door.
  • Sanitise your hands-on arrival and as you leave.
  • Face masks are not mandatory, but you may prefer to wear a face covering as you enter and leave the church, or when chatting with other members of the congregation. You can then remove your face covering once you are seated.
  • Sign-in with a welcomer to enable us to track and trace. This is not mandatory but we have been asked to continue this for the time being.
  • Follow a one-way system as much as possible inside church, avoiding walking in front of members of the congregation already seated.
  • Leave your offering in the collection box as you arrive if you gift either by envelope or cash.
  • The service order will be on the screens.
  • Refreshments are available after the service.

Covid-19 Risk Assessment

To view our risk assessment click here.

Prayer Request Form

Please submit your prayer requests by completing the box below and clicking Prayer Request

Renew 2022

For more information email renew@rossendalecofe.church

Renew 14th May 2022


Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011
Draft Pastoral Scheme

The Church Commissioners have prepared a draft Scheme in respect of proposals sent to them by the Bishop of Manchester for:

  • terminating the team ministry established for the area of the benefice of Bacup and Stacksteads;
  • the union of the benefice of Bacup and Stacksteads, the benefice of Saint Anne Edgeside, the benefice of Goodshaw and Crawshawbooth, the benefice of Newchurch, the benefice of Rawtenstall and Constable Lee and the benefice of Saint Bartholomew, Whitworth and Saint John, Facit (their constituent parishes to remain distinct); and
  • the establishment of a team ministry for the new Rossendale Benefice. It also provides for:
  • the cure of souls in the new benefice to be shared by a team rector and two team vicars,
  • the appointment of the team rector and one team vicar;
  • the housing arrangements for the team; and 
  • the future patronage arrangements for the new benefice;

The draft Scheme is on our website www.churchofengland.org/consultation or you may obtain a copy from me. Large print and/or audio copies are available on request. Anyone may make representations for or against all or any part of the draft Scheme (please include the reasons for your views) by post or, preferably, by email to reach me no later than midnight on Monday 20 December 2021. If I have not acknowledged its receipt, please ring or e-mail me. For administrative purposes, a petition will be classed as a single representation and we will only correspond with the sender of the petition, if known, or otherwise the first signatory for whom we can identify an address – “the primary petitioner”.

  • When making a representation, please indicate the nature of your interest in the proposals (e.g. parishioner, member of parochial church council, etc) and whether you would like an opportunity to speak to the Commissioners regarding your representation if they decide a hearing should be held regarding the case.
  • If we receive representations against the draft Scheme, we will send them, and any representations supporting the draft Scheme, to the Bishop whose views will be sought. Individual representors and the primary petitioner will then receive copies of the correspondence with the Bishop (including copies of all the representations) and will be told whether a hearing is to be held. They and individual petitioners may comment further to the Commissioners. Copies of all of the representations received and associated correspondence will be published on the Commissioners’ website if the matter needs to be considered by the Commissioners.
  • If a hearing is held, anyone may attend the meeting of the Commissioners’ Committee that considers the case and representors may have an opportunity to speak to it. Otherwise, if a hearing is not to be held, the case will be considered in private and you will be informed accordingly.
  • When we acknowledge representations we will let individual representors (and the primary petitioner) know the next few dates of our Committee’s meetings. We will confirm the actual date if a hearing is to be held nearer the time.
  • The Committee will decide if the draft Scheme should proceed when it considers all the representations on the basis of a paper prepared by the Commissioners’ staff and any points raised at the meeting. The Commissioners will notify all representors of their decision and give a statement of the reasons for it.
  • If they so decide, any representor or petitioner against the draft Scheme may seek leave from the Privy Council to appeal against the decision.
  • Please see www.churchofengland.org/consultation for further information about the procedure.

Katie Lowe
Tel: 020 7898 1737
Email address: katie.lowe@churchofengland.org
Church Commissioners, Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ

On-line Service

Church Services during Covid-19 Lockdown

All service Readings and Prayers will be posted here and on our Facebook page. We are keeping this under regular review. Please take care and stay safe.

Prayers from Chris

22nd May 2022

Some prayers from the Church of England

A prayer for Ukraine 

God of peace and justice 

We pray for the people of Ukraine.

We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons 

We pray for all those whop fear for tomorrow,

that your spirit of comfort would draw near to them.

We pray for those with power over war or peace,

for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions.

We pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear,

that you would hold and protect them.

We pray in the name of Jesus,

the prince or peace.



A prayer for Justice.

Living God,

deliver us from a world without justice

and a future without mercy;

in your mercy, establish justice,

and in your justice, remember the mercy

revealed to us in Jesus Christ our Lord.



A prayer for those caught up in tragedy and disaster

O Lord our God,

source of all goodness and love,

accept the fervent prayers or your people;

in the multitude or your mercies look with compassion

upon all who turn to you for help;

for you are gracious, O lover of souls,

and to you we give glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.



A prayer for the refugee crisis

Heavenly Father,

you are the source of all goodness, generosity and love.

We thank you for opening the hearts of many 

to those who are fleeing for their lives.

Help us now to open our arms in welcome,

and reach out our hands in support.

That the desperate may find new hope,

and lives torn apart be restored.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord,

who fled persecution at His birth

and at His last triumphed over death.



A prayer from the Crux magazine concerning change and uncertainty:-

Loving Creator,

as we enter into a time of change;

may we discover new vision and purpose

in the changelessness of your love.

When we feel lost in times of uncertainty

help us to remember that we are never 

lost to you.

As we go forth in faith

may you teach us to sing

a new song of hope

to the glory of your Name

and for the sake of your Church.



We pray for those living in our parish at Marl Pits & Waingate Close.

Merciful Father,

Accept these prayers 

for the sake of your Son

our Saviour Jesus Christ.


Worship Songs/Service

Today’s talk is from Julie

22nd May 2022

 “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them,” 

How often do we read or hear those words as: “Those who love me will keep my word, then my Father will love them”.  If we keep Jesus word then God will love us.

This is not what Jesus is saying. The whole sentence says: “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

“My Father will love them, AND we will come to them and make our home with them.”

God loves them already but when they keep Jesus word Father and Son “will come to them and make our home with them” as well as love them.

God already loves us and he loves us unconditionally whoever we are and whatever we do or don’t do. 

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8)

Jesus didn’t wait until we got our act together to die for us.

The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation is full of the love that God has for his people regardless of their behaviour.  It is filled with stories of God’s people disobeying him, turning away from him, worshipping other gods.  But in spite of that it is filled with even more stories of God showing his love for his people and working to bring them back to himself.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son”.  He sent his Son to redeem us, because he loves us, for no other reason.

“Those who love me will keep my word,” 

Maybe we get that God loves us but we hear those words to mean that we have to work hard to show our love for Jesus; to strive and strain to be worthy of that love.  If we are not visibly working hard to keep his word then we don’t love him enough.

That’s not what Jesus is saying either. 

He is simply saying “Those who love me will keep my word.”  We love Jesus, therefore we keep his word. Keeping his word is a natural by-product of loving Jesus.  It is as simple as that. We do what he wants us to do because we love him.  We follow his example, we do the things that he did, we obey him – we learn to keep his word.  And we do that by becoming his disciples: we learn from him, we learn to live like him and to become more like him. Keeping Jesus word is a lifelong task. It will take time, intention, and hard work.  Not the hard work of striving and struggling but the work of aiming to please someone we love.  Not work done to appease but work done as an act of giving, of love on our side – done because we love him.  Just as we do for the people around us that we love.

But it will take effort on our part.  We need to put in the work needed as a disciple to learn from Jesus and to learn to keep his word. We need to set aside time to do the work, we need to be intentional about it.  It’s something that we cannot achieve in a few weeks – it is the task of a lifetime.   We are trying to become like Jesus and it won’t happen overnight.

So what exactly is the work that we need to do as disciples who love Jesus?  What will help us to keep his word? What will help us to become more like him?  The Spiritual Practices, the things that Jesus himself did: prayer, studying the scriptures, worship, fellowship, celebration, solitude, silence, living simply, service and others.  There is no definitive list: we need to do the things that bring us closer to God and the list will be slightly different for each of us.  I am an introvert so silence and solitude are not difficult for me but fellowship and celebration are quite hard.  And so fellowship and celebration are the ones that I need to work harder on.  An extrovert on the other hand would find fellowship and celebration easy and silence and solitude much harder. Equally we will work harder at one practice than another at different times in our lives.  It takes time, intention and effort on our part to practice the things that Jesus did in order to become more like him, in order to keep his word.

And it can seem like an impossible task.  How do we, weak and imperfect human beings that we are, become like Jesus?  How can we make the sort of effort needed to achieve that?

 “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.”

We can’t keep Jesus’ word in our own strength and we don’t have to; God sends the Holy Spirit to work in us, to help us, to make it possible.  We supply the effort but he supplies the grace and power to do it.

When Jesus said “and my Father will love them” the Greek word for “love” here is agapao, which in the New Testament usually means the active love of God for his people.  When Jesus says “Those who love me will keep my word”, the word there translated as love is also agapao: God’s active love.

So when we keep his word, the love that we love Jesus with is actually God’s active love.  In other words, the Holy Spirit works in us to make it possible for us to love Jesus with God’s active love, and so to keep his word.  The Holy Spirit gives us the strength, the ability, the power to do what we need to do, as disciples, to keep Jesus’ word. 

So the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to put the effort in, to do the spiritual practices necessary as Jesus disciples.  It’s the Holy Spirit who gives us the ability to be intentional about keeping Jesus word, who helps us to make the time and who gives us the power to make the effort so that we can become more like Jesus.  We don’t have to strive and stress and fight and struggle to do what we need to do; by the grace of God the Holy Spirit will work within us to help us.  We still have to decide to keep Jesus word, and make the effort; it is a partnership, we are not puppets or robots but if we do it in the power of the Spirit it’s possible.  With God anything is possible!

We love Jesus, so we want to keep his word.  We want to do as he asks.  So we pray, and study the bible, we worship, share fellowship, spend time in silence and solitude, we live simply, we celebrate, we serve, we do whatever it takes.  We already do these things, but perhaps we need to be more intentional about it, we need to work more closely with the Spirit as we do.  Don’t take this to mean you have to try harder, as I said it is not about striving and stressing.  Yes there is some effort involved but if we work with the Spirit it will be minimal.  What we are doing is not trying harder and harder to become like Jesus, we are training to become like Jesus. We are not striving and struggling and fighting to be good disciples of Jesus, we are training.  There is a big difference. As the writer of Hebrews put it we are to “run with perseverance the race that is set before us” so that we can, as Paul puts it “press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.  We persevere, we press on, we train.  Discipleship is training.

Jesus was talking about discipleship when he said: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’” (Matt 11:39-30)

Take Jesus’ yoke upon you, become his disciple. Follow him, imitate him, live like him “and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Jesus gives us the teaching and example to follow, and the Spiritual Practices to engage in; it’s all there in the Gospels for us. And God sends the Holy Spirit to enable us to follow Jesus, to give us the strength and the power to live and train as his disciples, disciples who love Jesus and keep his word.



Communion Reflection

This is a short Communion Reflection that you can join at any time. There is a quiet period within it that you can pause if you want a longer period of reflection

Safe Guarding Policy

St Mary’s, along with all parishes within the Church of England, seek to take the safeguarding of all people who are part of our congregation very seriously.
To that end we have appointed two persons who are designated as the Safeguarding Officers within our Parish:
Vicky Rhodes for Children & Young People Jay Dempsey for Vulnerable Adults

A hard copy of the ‘Manchester Diocese Safeguarding Handbook’ and the ‘Church of England – Parish Safeguarding Handbook’ are available for inspection in the vestry at St Mary’s.

View Policy C of E Handbook

If you have any concerns whatsoever about safeguarding issues then please contact the PCC who will be more than happy to listen and hear your concerns or address any questions.

"The Diocese of Manchester partners with thirtyone:eight in relation to Disclosure (i.e. DBS) services and accessing their safeguarding Helpline when required. For DBS related queries, please contact them on 0303 003 1111 option 1.

In the event of the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser being unavailable due to being on holiday or other absence, you will be advised to contact thirtyone:eight for safeguarding advice on 0303 003 1111. This also includes any emergency safeguarding queries outside of office hours on weekdays and weekends. An Information Sharing Agreement between the two organisations will allow fhe Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser to receive a copy of the advice thirtyone:eight may offer the parish church/caller.

The Diocese of Manchester also uses thirtyone:eight as its approved Listening Service provider, supporting anyone impacted by abuse. Should you be interested in this service, please contact he Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser in the first instance and we will offer you more information. You can read more about thirtyone:eight's Listening service here: https://thirtyoneeight.org/media/2392/listening-service-leaflet.pdf


Some interesting facts about St Mary's Rawtenstall (when I speak to Chris Cotterill)


Average Congregation


Books in Bible


Year Opened


Number of Weddings


  • All
  • Adults
  • Scouts
  • Guides

Mothers Union

3rd Monday, 7:30pm


Monday, 5:30pm

Ladies Fellowship

Alt. Wednesday, 2:00pm


Wednesday, 6:15pm


Monday, 6:30pm

Mens Breakfast

1st Saturday, 8:15am


Tuesday, 7:00pm


Thursday, 7:30pm


Monday, 7:30pm

Our Churches/Friends


Meet the team of people at St Mary's who keep the building functioning, but the real church is not the building but the people who use the building.

Julie Barratt

Julie Barratt

Associate Minister

Julie Barratt

Pete Terry

Pete Terry

Church Warden

Pete Terry

Jean Lang

Jean Lang

Church Warden

Jean Lang

Nick and Suzanne

Nick and Suzanne

Childrens Work

Suzanne & Nick


Message from the Church Wardens - The interregnum

At the moment St Mary’s is in a period of Interregnum. That means we have no Vicar!

It is the responsibility of the church wardens, together with the Area Dean, and acting as the Bishop’s Agents, to ensure that the church functions normally during the interregnum.

If you have any questions or concerns, or need to contact the church about any matters, please use the contact form on this site. You can phone the vicarage number, and calls will be forwarded to the church wardens, but the contact form is a better option.

Contact Us

Please contact us if you need any further information, or clarification of services/times. We will try and get back to you as soon as possible.


St Mary's Terrace, Rawtenstall, Rossendale, Lancashire, BB4 8SQ, United Kingdom

Phone Number

+44 1706 215585