The primary objective of the congregation of St Mary the Virgin is the promotion of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the doctrines and practices of the Church of England. This is grounded in the ‘39 Articles agreed upon by the Archbishops and Bishops …..and the whole clergy in the Convocation holden at London in the year 1562, for the Avoiding of Diversities of Opinions, and for the Establishing of Consent touching True Religion’.
To this end, worship at St Mary the Virgin is conducted exclusively according to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) has been in regular use in Britain for centuries and many phrases from its services have passed into everyday English, either as deliberate quotations or as unconscious borrowings; together with the 1611 King James Version of the Bible (and the works of Shakespeare), it has to a degree provided the fundamental underpinning of modern English.
Many worshipers feel – with justification – that the vocabulary, syntax and style of the 1662 Prayer Book continues to lend a telling plangency and a potent sense of added mystery to the liturgy.
Who indeed can fail to be moved by the simple words of the Nunc Dimittis as used in the Evensong service, ‘Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation’.
St Mary the Virgin is a member of The Prayer Book Society. Further information can be found on their website.