About Church Life

The Parish of St Mary is situated on the edge of the Peak District, an area renowned for its beauty and extensive outdoor pursuits. The church is close to the centre of the market town of Leek – historically a coaching then later, a mill town. We are one of the largest parishes by area in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. Thus St Mary’s church also serves the many small villages and hamlets in the district.

The present church was built in 1887 and is a fine example of heroic Victorian Gothic. Although plainly decorated (unlike the original architect’s design), it boasts splendid stained glass windows, an impressive reredos (the decoration behind the alter) and some attractive statuary. For more history, please see our Short History article.

Church Life

Worship

In addition to daily Mass (including a vigil Mass for Sunday), there are various devotions, such as Benediction, Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Rosary or Stations of the Cross, according to season. There is also a weekend Mass said in Polish by a priest from the Polish Mission based in Stoke-on-Trent. Please see the What’s On guide for more details.

Local Groups

There are several Catholic groups associated with St Mary’s, including: Scouts and Guides, the Knights of St Columba, the St Vincent de Paul Society (with its junior counterpart, Minnie Vinnies, run from the school), a Bible study group and a Julian contemplative prayer group.

If you are interested in participating, please see the respective pages and/or contact us for more details. All are welcome.

Community Groups

We work closely with our fellow Christians in the town and are involved in several joint projects including the Leek & District Foodbank and Leek Street Pastors. We also worship together, attending and hosting Churches Together in Leek & District services throughout the year.

Schools

Our very successful primary school, St Mary’s Catholic Academy, is located a short distance away in Cruso Street. Preparation for the sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation is usually carried out at the school. However, individual preparation is available on request for those who are not at this school. Most of the children move on to Painsley Catholic College in Cheadle for their secondary education.

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