Welcome to St Mary’s

church welcomeSt. Mary the Virgin, Ware is an ancient foundation, mentioned in the Doomsday Book. The present church building is a Grade One listed building standing at the head of the High Street and is attributed to ‘The Fair Maid of Kent’, mother of Richard II. The gift of the living is with Trinity College, Cambridge, being a part of their foundation, presented to the college by Henry VIII. For a fuller introduction to our building please see the histories available in church or on the History page of this website.

I hope that you enjoy your visit to our website and that this will encourage you to visit us in person if you are able to do so. You will find the Parish Church open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Alternative visiting times for groups etc. are by arrangement.

We aim to be welcoming and relaxed, should your visit be for quiet private devotion or to join with any of our congregations in formal worship. Our worship is open and friendly, within a catholic tradition. The quality of our choral tradition is of local renown and of some national interest (our choir has deputised at cathedral churches in both the Southern and Northern provinces). We play host to monthly lunchtime music concerts (1st Monday) and to many local and national musicians who have performed and do perform here. Our website has a list of these events.

The Sacramental elements are reserved in our Lady Chapel and are available for the sick as well as anointing in Baptism and Confirmation. Please contact the clergy should you need more information.

Derrick Peel

Meet Ysmena Pentelow – Our Vicar

Ysmena Photo 2Hello! from Ysmena Pentelow

In time we will get to know one another properly, but while we wait for that opportunity a brief introduction.

I’m currently serving in a dual-role post as Vicar of St Paul’s Langleybury (in the Watford Deanery) and as Diocesan Officer for IME 2 (which means overseeing training and development for all new curates and Readers).

Before moving to my current post I have lived, worked and/or studied in Stevenage, Hatfield, St Albans, Norway, Scotland, Northamptonshire and London. I’m married to David Munchin, who is also ordained; he is Team Rector of the Welwyn Team and currently Rural Dean of Welwyn Hatfield Deanery. We live with two Labradors and a rabbit!

My interests include the study of the Old Testament, which I also teach; and among things I count as hobbies are music, hill/mountain walking, reading and cooking.

That’s just a tiny bit of background before we meet properly and start to work together. And as a final thought – if it helps at all, my name is pronounced ‘Is-main-a.’

Wishing you all every blessing


Latest News…

woofyt logo

Discover the Mysteries Behind the pipes

Thursday 29th September from 7-8pm

A layman’s guide to how pipe organs work featuring the award winning WOOFYT organ and introducing St Mary’s newly restored pipe organ

Drinks and nibbles from 6:30pm


Organ logo

St Mary’s Organ Appeal

Our website for the St Mary’s Organ Appeal is now live.

To find out more about our appeal and how you can help, please visit stmarysorgan.co.uk for more information.






Lunchtime concert logo

Children’s Activity Session – September 2016

Our next activity session will be on Saturday 24th September. The theme is Madagascan Harvest . Please have a look at our Children’s Activity Sessions page for more details.


September Lunchtime Concert

Lunchtime concert logoOur September concert will be performed by Marion & Michael Smith – Piano Duets on Monday 5th September at 12.30pm in St Mary’s Church.

Everyone is welcome, there are light lunches available both before and after the concert, with a retiring collection in aid of church funds.

For more information about this and future concerts, please visit our Concerts page.

Photo’s from some of our past concerts are available in our Gallery.


Join the St Mary’s Choir

choir newsWe here at St. Mary’s are recruiting for more singers to join our choir.

The choir, which supports all our worship, has a choir practice on Friday evenings for our Sunday services. It has a high reputation in the area.

It makes no difference whether you are young or old. If you are soprano, alto, tenor or bass, especially with an ability to read music, you will be very welcome.

If you are at all interested, please contact Peter Smith our choirmaster and organist.

Peter can be contacted at church, at music@stmarysware.co.uk or on 0208 360 4599 but please leave a message if there is no reply.



We are always looking for new ways to raise funds to keep this church running and for special causes. In line with this we have become an Amazon affiliate. Which means that if you are considering buying something online through Amazon and if you go there from our site (by clicking the image) en-route to your purchase, The church will receive a small percentage of the price paid. It will not affect the price you pay.

The Vicar – Ysmena Pentelow

crossThe previous Incumbent, the Revd. Derrick Peel, retired in October 2015. For the moment, our services are being conducted through the kindness of local clergy. Our new vicar, Revd Ysmena Pentelow will be installed on Saturday 9th July. In the meantime, please visit our contacts page for details of other church officials.







In Brief


  • Said Eucharist: Sunday, 8.00 a.m.
  • Family Eucharist: Sunday 10.00 a.m.
  • Evensong: Sunday 6.30 p.m. (once a month)
  • Eucharist: Wednesday 11.00 a.m.

Ysmena Pentelow

Parish Office

Lynn McLean: 01920 462539

The Church

St Mary the Virgin
High Street
SG12 9BA