St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church sits in the centre of the Hayes conservation area. It is a Grade 2* listed, 12th Century Church, with many ancient features. The liturgy follows the modern catholic tradition.
There has been a religious building on this site since 846AD. The church in its present form appears to have been dedicated in the 12th Century, as this is when the name of St Mary appeared in England. However, the font is deemed to be much older, dating from the 11th Century. Extensions have taken place at St Mary’s, first with the Nave, then the North Aisle and the South Aisle being added. The church has a bell tower, which was added in 1422, and has a ring of six bells.
John and Charles Wesley were friends of Rev Manning, the incumbent in the 1750’s, and they both preached at the St. Mary’s. The author, George Orwell, lived and taught in what is now the Fountain House Hotel in the 1920’s. He was friendly with the curate and was involved with the church. John Betjeman, a former Poet Laureate, described St Mary’s as “the Jewel in the Crown of Middlesex.”
St Mary’s was extensively renovated in the 19th Century when the wall painting of St Christopher carrying Jesus through the Red Sea was uncovered.
The chancel and the South Aisle have recently been refurbished and painted with lime wash, as suggested by English Heritage. Further refurbishment is needed to complete the Nave and the North Aisle, but lack of funding prevents us from doing this at present. The clock has been completely renovated and will be replaced very soon.