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Great St Mary’s is a twelfth century foundation, with the present sixteenth century church positioned in the City of Cambridge between the University Senate House and the Market Square: this position reflects the breadth of its work and ministries. The vital roles it now plays can be found on the pages in this site’s drop down menus.

The demands on the ministries of the church are growing so the leadership team and parochial church council have to regularly review the resources and the way in which an ancient church building can meet these demands.

There had been a growing recognition that the impact and awareness of the historic significance and current work of the church was severely hampered by the configuration of the church’s West end. The magnificent huge oak doors used only to be opened in good weather. So local people and visitors alike perceived that the church was closed and unavailable. This perception needed to change. While considering this, it was realised that directly inside the main doors was space that had hitherto been poorly used. Thoughtful refurbishment has allowed its considerable potential to be realised.

 Building work has been going on for a year to transform parts of the interior and to enable an extended and more varied life and now there is:

A new glass door, opening up the church to welcome all who come in.
The magnificent narthex area at the west end refurbished and available for displays, receptions and meetings as well as an imposing entrance area
A new shop and reception area, newly equipped and open all day and every day.
A new teaching area and video studio, especially for school groups and for others as well.
A new sound system to enrich our worship and other events, also new altar hangings and new furnishings for the side chapel, set aside for private prayer                                                                                                  A modern and well equipped administration centre to ensure an efficient and productive working environment for church staff                                                                                                                                              And even new, improved kitchen and toilet facilities

All of this will improve the resources and facilities for the many visitors who come to the church through the week for many different reasons.




We are so much more than just a place of worship!

We hold concerts and recitals performed by our own choirs and orchestra and also by visitors

Thousands of people come to our church each week: this modernisation is for all of them.


We are launching Heritage at the Heart of Cambridge – a programme designed for schools to introduce children to the rich heritage in our city. Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, interactive displays are under construction, There will be a video studio showing short films about our history and our city, and visitors will be able to spend time in the activity area with brass rubbing and heraldry workshops.

In addition Great St Mary’s operates in other centres of Cambridge life:

The Michaelhouse Centre, in Trinity Street, with its popular café, art gallery, innovative style of worship, and a network of community groups using its meeting rooms.

The Chaplaincy to University Staff which manages Merton Hall Farmhouse multi faith chaplaincy centre on the West Cambridge site of the University.





On Friday 20th February HRH the Duke of Gloucester came to inspect the new facilities after the fantastic renovations.

He was greeted by Cllr Paul Saunders the Mayor of Cambridge, Mr James Buxton the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire,

He was taken round the new parts of the church by Shona MacKay the architect and Canon John Binns the Vicar.e High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire, Mr Stuart Laing Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, and Kevin Reynolds, chair of Cambridgeshire County Council.

He saw the church from every angle and met local children enjoying brass rubbings in the new heritage education area.

On reaching the Michaelhouse Centre he was ready for a cup of tea and a slice of the delicious house special chocolate cake.




How much is this costing? The cost is £1.7m.

So how much is there still to raise? We’ve raised £1.45m.

If you value the witness and full life of Great St Mary’s at the heart of our city….

How can I donate?

Send a cheque, leave a cash donation at church,  out a standing order through your bank or simply click the link at the bottom of this page.

Where will my money go?

You may like to pay for a piece of furniture or equipment.  Perhaps in memory of a departed loved one, in which case we will include their name in the Celebration Book to be kept in the church.

  • Contribute towards the new sound system, total coast £17,000
  • New IT system £5000
  • Refurbishment of historic Gibbs staircase £300 a stair
  • Fittings for the shop £20-100
  • A shelf for the music room £20

If you would like your gift to be used for a specific purpose please  contact us.


Getting in touch – we hope to hear from you soon

Telephone number: 01223 741720  Email: office@gsm.cam.ac.uk


The church is open daily from 9.00am to 4.30pm

Great St Mary’s has proved its ability to bring a large-scale project to fruition, both at Great St Mary’s itself and at The Michaelhouse Centre, formerly a redundant church and now a flourishing town centre café/meeting place is part of the Great St Mary’s presence in the City of Cambridge. It was successfully converted in 2002 at a cost of £1.3million. We remain very grateful to the Foundation for their involvement in that project which goes from strength to strength.

Thank you for reading this, we hope you might want to be involved in this important initiative for a key heritage building in the historic city of Cambridge, England. If you do, please click here to make your gift. It will be much appreciated