Our Church Buildings
The Church is of course much more than a building. At St Mary’s we consider the church first and foremost to be a movement – a movement of followers of Jesus Christ with a mission to see the world (including our Parish) transformed by the love of God. We are however delighted to have the privilege of worshipping God week by week in some beautiful and awe-inspiring buildings.
Reigate Mill Church
The Mill Church is the only church in England to be housed in a windmill. It is set on a hill in the heart of Reigate Heath and the building iteslf is a finely preserved post windmill. The church is open every month for services and can accommodate no more than 50 worshippers. It has been used as a place of worship since 1880.
Reigate Heath Church
The Heath Church serves the community to the West of the parish and is located on the edge of Reigate Heath. It is a modest, inviting Edwardian building and services are held most Sundays throughout the year.
It is one of the “Tin Tabernacles” (or more properly “iron churches”) that were produced in large numbers from the mid 19th Century into the early 20th Century. They were built with a timber frame, clad with galvanised and corrugated iron, and lined with tongue and groove boarding. Prepared as prefabricated kits, they were also exported to many countries overseas. See Tin Tabernacles
St Mary’s Parish Church
St Mary’s Church is the parish church of Reigate is set on a small hill to the south east of the town centre and is one of the largest parish churches in the Surrey. The church probably dates from the twelfth century, although the exterior is Perpendicular in appearance and was extensively restored in the nineteenth century by Henry Woodyer in 1845 and subsequently by George Gilbert Scott Junior in 1877-81.
For those interested in the detail of the church architecture, there is no clerestory to the nave; on the north side the nave roof extends down over the aisle but the south aisle has a separate roof. On each side of the chancel is a chapel and to the north a short transept, the organ chamber and the clergy vestry. Above the latter is the Cranston Library and the single storey choir vestry, with porches and lavatory, was added early this century. Adjacent to the tall west tower on the north side is the latest addition providing a kitchen, two lavatories and a boiler house at low level designed by Robert J Potter Associates, who also re-ordered the east end of the church in 1984.
The interior of St Mary’s has a great feeling of space for a parish church. The central columns of the aisle are decorated in different styles and are part of the original, 13th century church. Over the years the interior has been re-modelled and has a number of family memorials, including one to the Howard Family (Lord Howard is remembered for leading the navy against the Armada with Drake in 1588), and the Ladbroke memorial.