Church Blog
News, Updates, Thoughts

The latest news, updates, and thoughts from the team at St Mary's.

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Friday 8th December

Sunday 10th December

Sunday 17th December

Sunday 24th December

Christmas Day 25th December

Do join us this Christmas!

It suddenly seems as if Christmas is about to begin. By the time you read this we will have switched on the Christmas lights at Darby Green and next Friday 1st December, is Charles Kingsley’s school Christmas Fair. We have over 20 special events across the benefice during December, please pray that as we welcome people they will come back in the New Year because they want to know more about the baby who is still ‘good news of great joy’ for the whole world.

This week is also the last chance to sign up for the benefice Quiet Day at St Marys on 2nd December, which is an opportunity to draw breath before all that hustle and bustle begins.

There are a couple of things going on that I would like to bring to your attention.

Did you know that there are 24 chapters in the gospel of Luke? Margaret Manning has come up with the brilliant idea of asking for volunteers to record themselves reading a chapter of Luke each day in December. We can then post these videos, one each day, on our and on our websites and Facebook page. It would be great if we can get 24 different people doing reading a chapter, so if you would like to take part please , let me know which day you can do it and then send a video of your reading to Margaret ready to be uploaded on the correct day. This is an opportunity to be creative – different locations, styles of reading, versions of the Bible and even Christmas themed clothes are encouraged.

One of the exciting things that is happening over the next few weeks is that the Chairman of Hart has requested that he holds his Carol concert in St Barnabas church this year. This will take place on Saturday December 9th at 5pm. It would be great to support him, so please come along for a celebration of Christmas, there will be minced pies, mulled wine and bagpipes!

On the same morning, 9th December, between 9:30- 11:30 we will be meeting at St Barnabas to pray for God’s blessing on our Christmas services and also for the success of our bid to Hart for funding for a community hub. This is something that is relevant to both our churches as the foodbank will be a major beneficiary of the improvements we are hoping to make. Please join us for some or all that time. After prayer, we will be decorating the church ready for the service in the evening. Food of various kinds for pray-ers and workers will be available at all times.

Have a wonderful week. I look forward to seeing you in church on Sunday and around the parishes during the week,

We are moving into a period of the year when we do a lot of remembering. Before we get to Remembrance Sunday itself, we will be holding a short reflective service at St. Mary's Eversley, at 4pm on Sunday 29th October at which the names of loved ones who have died (recently or at any time in the past) can be remembered. 

Whether we have been bereaved recently or a long time ago, many of us carry the pain of loved ones having died. This short, reflective service offers the opportunity to remember these treasured people, to acknowledge the weight of grief we still carry, and to lay it down again afresh before the God who suffers alongside us.

If you would like the names of a loved ones read out at this service (whether or not you are able to attend), please email

The churches of St. Mary's Eversley and St. Barnabas Darby Green are looking forward to the arrival of Rev'd Faith Bailey as our Vicar. 

Faith, with her husband Stuart, have made a short video introducing themselves and inviting all of us to Faith's formal Institution as our Vicar, and her first services in our two parishes, which can be viewed by clicking here.

Faith will be Instituted as Vicar by Rt. Rev'd David Williams at St. Barnabas Church, Darby Green at 7.30pm on Monday 2nd October 2023. 

Faith's first Sunday leading worship at St. Mary's Church Eversley will be 8th October at 10am. Her first Sunday at St. Barnabas Church Darby Green will be 15th October at 10am. 

All these services will be followed by lovely refreshments to give everyone an opportunity to meet with Faith and Stuart as they start their ministry with us.

Thanks to Andrew and Harry Ware for producing this video for us.

Faith and Stuart BaileyWe are delighted to announce that Rev’d Faith Bailey is to be our new Vicar.

Her Institution Service will be at St. Barnabas Church at 7:30pm on Monday 2nd October 2023. All are welcome.

Faith writes:

I’m really pleased to have been selected as your new vicar. Stuart (my husband) and I are very excited to be joining you in early October.

Rachel and the Bishop thought it would be helpful to tell you a little bit about ourselves.

I was born and grew up in Essex and left to go to University where I met Stuart. After living on the south coast for a few years we moved to Yateley over 30 years ago where we have been ever since. We have two grown up sons who are both married and one grandson. Andrew and Hannah (and baby Aedan) live in Witney. Andrew works in parliament and Hannah is a teacher. Chris and Karin live in Dundee where Chris is doing research at the University and Karin works for Christians Against Poverty. We love visiting them and one of the highlights of our year is when we all get together for a week’s holiday. We also enjoy walking, spending time with friends and good food.

I originally trained as a materials scientist but following a career break after having the children I became a teacher and then sometime later worked for St. Peters in Yateley as their schools and family worker. This eventually led me to study for ordination at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford and after ordination I served as a curate both in Yateley and at St Martins in Camberley. I currently work for The Diocese of Winchester where I teach and mentor people training for either Licenced Lay Ministry or ordination. I will be moving on from this role at the end of September.

You may well recognise Stuart; he has been the councillor for Yateley East, Frogmore and Darby Green for many years and is currently the Mayor of Yateley. He has also preached a few times at both St Barnabas and St Mary’s during the vacancy as he is a Lay Minister (LLM).

We are both really looking forward to October when we can get to know each other and discover together what God has in store for us all in this next season of the life of the benefice.


There are opportunities across the Benefice to journeying with Jesus to his Cross and Resurrection this Holy Week. We remember the sacrifice or our Lord so that we can experience again the power of his resurrection, the renewal of our faith, and the knowledge of his love. We are delighted that once again our worship is being supported at St. Barnabas by Bishop David, Bishop of Basingstoke.

Palm Sunday 2nd April           

8am BCP Holy Communion

10am Holy Communion at St. Barnabas Darby Green

10am All Age Worship at St. Mary's Eversley

Monday 3rd April                         

10am Online Prayers via Facebook and our Benefice YouTube channel 

Wednesday 5th April                 

10am Online Prayers (as above)

Maundy Thursday 6th April 

7pm Holy Communion at St. Peter’s Church Yateley

Good Friday 7th April            

10am Family Worship at St. Mary's Eversley, and at St. Barnabas Darby Green

An Hour at the Cross – service of reflection at St. Mary’s Eversley

Easter Sunday 9th April       

8am BCP Holy Communion

10am Family Communion at St. Mary's

10am Family Communion at St. Barnabas Darby Green led by Rt. Revd David Williams, Bishop of Basingstoke

10am Family Communion  at St. Mary’s Eversley, led by Rev’d. Rachel Hartland    

4pm BCP Evening Prayer with Hymns at Bramshill Mission Chapel


Ash Wednesday is on 22nd February, and on the Sundays following, and in our discipleship groups we will be looking at the story of Nehemiah, and what we can learn from it for our churches today.

This focus has been prayerfully chosen by the combined forces of ministers and preachers across St. Mary’s and St. Barnabas, with help from those who are supporting us from other churches. Nehemiah is just part of the story of how, and how well, Jerusalem was rebuilt following the Exile of Israel in Babylon. To get a clear picture of the historic context please can everyone in our churches:

  • Take time to read through the Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah (which were originally one book!) They’re not that long, and you’re only looking at understanding the sweep of the story.
  • Watch the video Overview: Ezra-Nehemiah which will also help us understand what’s going on, and might start to raise some questions about how studying Nehemiah might have relevance to our current situation – it’s only 8.5 minutes long, it’s not a feature film 

If you are interested in buying the book (which costs about £7.10-£7.99 depending on the bulk ordered), please email me (I can use a discount to order). Otherwise our homegroups will be provided with a range of notes for sessions, which will follow on from the preceding Sunday’s sermon. There will be 5 sessions before we break for Holy Week, and 2 further sessions after the Easter holiday’s – which is why we’ve called it a Spring Discipleship Course - rather than a Lent one!

If you’ve got any questions, want to join a group to specifically look at this as we continue to pray and study scripture through vacancy, then please do talk to one of the Churchwardens or ministers!

The leadership teams of St. Mary's and St. Barnabas are working with Rt Rev'd David Williams, Bishop of Basingstoke to appoint a new full time clergy person to serve the two parishes.

Bishop David met recently with both PCCs and explained that he and the Diocese are lifting the Suspension of Presentation in the Benefice that has meant that our last two stipendiary clergy have been appointed Priest-in-Charge. This means that the next appointment to our Benefice will be for a Vicar, although the term makes no material changes to the nature of the post. We are told that formal notice of this change will come from Diocese soon.

Bishop David also agreed that if we progress swiftly with the work of writing the Parish Profile and Person Specification required to advertise our vacant post, the Diocese will not immediately let out St. Barnabas House (the Vicarage) to tenants.

The PCCs of the two parishes have a group of people as a ‘writing team’ for the Benefice and they have already met  twice in February. Once they have produced a draft document, it will need to be approved by the PCCs of both parishes, before being made available to anyone enquiring about the post. 

Over the next couple of weeks we have visiting clergy coming to the parishes. This week Bishop David is leading worship at St. Barnabas at 10am. Likewise the Archdeacon, Richard Brand is coming to St. Mary's to help lead worship and preach at the 10am service. Next week Bishop David will be at St. Mary's to lead and preach at both services.

They are also coming so they can get to know the wider community as they help us prepare to look for a new Vicar. These are great opportunities to engage further in the life of St. Mary's fellowship, as we continue to support various aspects of community life, including running the Lunch Clubs, supporting local schools, running the Foodbank and providing facilities for two pre-schools (one in each parish).

Please come and worship with us, and talk to them about why your local church is an asset to your community.

I'm hoping and praying to restart my home group.

One thought is to run it during the daytime so that those who find night-time driving difficult could attend. So please can you let me know which of the following days would suit you: Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday afternoon, or Friday afternoon.

If daytime doesn't suit you then please let me know and I could look at an evening group too. Again let me know which day suits you: Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday?

Look forward to hearing from you.

Cartoon of children playing in a rainbow coloured churchDue to the temporary relocation of Autumn Cottage Childcare operations to the Rectory Room and associated car park area, we have had to move Mini Church to St. Mary’s Church Hall and change the day it operates to accommodate other established users of that space. 

St Mary's Mini Church re-starts on Friday 13th January 2023 
in St. Mary’s Church Hall, 
8.45am – 10.30am

St. Mary’s Church Hall is behind St. Mary’s Church, Church Lane, Eversley, RG27 0PX. Parking is on the green outside. Access is via the main entrance of the Church, or go around the back on the tarmac path and enter up the path between the church and the hall.

If you want to know more about Mini Church please contact us