Bury is fortunate to have this magnificent Grade I listed building in the town centre, which commands the highest point in the town.
We welcome everyone who wants to visit our church, whether for religious reasons or to explore its history, architecture and links with the Lancashire Fusiliers, or to seek refreshment in our coffee shop or browse in the bookshop.
The church is open at the same times as the café/bookshop on the following days:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9.30am to 4.30pm
Both are closed on Tuesdays.
On Sundays the church has services at 8.00am.,10.00am and 6.30pm., but the building, including the café/bookshop is closed to visitors not attending services.
The building is as accessible as possible and has the following features:
Opening the church for visitors has become a most worthwhile exercise and a warm welcome awaits you.
The present church was opened in February 1876 having taken five years to build. Inside are stone heads of James Crowther, the architect who designed the church, his Clerk of Works, and the two churchwardens at the time of the opening. The bell tower and spire were retained from the previous church and are dated 1850.
Moving inside the church, there are numerous items of historical interest. The beautiful stone pulpit, with its magnificent carvings, was given in memory of Roger Kay - founder of Bury Grammar School. This school was originally situated in the grounds of the Church, and is now used for a variety of functions. The font, dated 1850, was also retained from the previous church. The church is the garrison church of the Lancashire Fusiliers; their standards hang proudly from their pikes, four of them being given by the Duke of Wellington.
There is much more to learn about the Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin; we look forward to meeting you.
Our stained glass windows add to the beauty of the church interior, particularly when lit by the sun, and each illustrates one or more stories from the bible or recalls one of the apostles or saints.
Some of the glass was given in commemoration of a relative or benefactor and the renowned company, John Hardman and Co. of Birmingham were responsible for some of the panels.
One, in a unique style is by C E Kempe; one of the best Victorian designers in the field.
Some of the windows are at high level and not easy to see, so to help those interested in stained glass, one of our parishioners, Margaret Hutchinson, has researched and written a booklet, describing each window in turn.
Copies of this booklet are on sale, priced £2.00, in the shop inside the church. Contact email@example.com if you need more information.