Parish of St. Mary the Virgin

Parish Update: April 1, 2020

Hi All,

I hope this email finds you all doing well.  I know that I myself have found this time of global pandemic a very overwhelming time – full of questions, frustration, and learning.  Prayer has been a great blessing during this difficult time and I write today to let you know about the opportunities that we have made available for you to join in worship from the comfort of your home.  While these worship services cannot substitute for being together in person in our church building, it is my prayer – especially with Holy Week coming up – that you will find some peace from sharing some time together each day. 

Daily Worship: This is the schedule that I have put in place to share the daily offices with you (I will have them posted to Facebook – you can search for my Facebook page Nancy Jones March and I will be able to connect you from there to our Parish’s page)

Monday:  Evening Prayer (BAS)

Tuesday: Morning Prayer (BCP)

Wednesday: Compline (BCP)

Thursday: Evening Prayer (BCP)


On our parish website under the ‘worship’ heading you will find orders of service for each of the week day services that you can down load if you do not have your service book at home.

On Sundays, our Mission Group from the parishes of the Good Shepherd, Ascension, St. Michael’s and All Angels, and St. Mary’s will be live streaming morning prayer on Facebook live.  You can join in that service by going to  and following the instructions.


For this coming Sunday, April 5 (Palm Sunday), while we cannot be together to participate in the traditional Palm Procession, our Mission Group is putting together a ‘virtual procession.’ You can participate in this by taking a picture of you and your family holding a palm cross from last year or a cross from home that you have or one you make, and sending it to  From here Rev. Jonathan Rowe will be putting together a slide show that will appear during our live service.  For those who cannot join us online, VOWR will be playing an audio of the service at 7:00 pm on Sunday April 5.


Holy Week Services

During Holy Week I will continue to offer the daily offices listed above.  On Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday our Bishop will be live streaming services from the Cathedral and I encourage you to join with me at those times. Here is the information:

Maundy Thursday (9 April): 10:30 a.m. The Renewal of Vows and Blessing of Oils. Clergy of the Diocese will join the service virtually to renew their vows at that time.

Good Friday (10 April):12 noon The Celebration of the Lord’s Passion

Easter Day (12 April): 11:00 a.m. The Celebration of the Resurrection

These services will be Live-Streamed on the Cathedral Facebook page ( and the Cathedral YouTube Channel (

Holy Week for Children: We are currently working on services for children and families that will be live streamed on Palm Sunday, Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Good Friday.  As I have more information about these liturgies, it will be posted on our website and Facebook.

I continue to hold our parish family in my prayers and pray that you and yours will be safe, healthy, and stay at home!

Blessings to you all,

Rev. Nancy

COVID-19 Pastoral Letter

Dear Members of the Parish of St. Mary the Virgin family,

I hope you are well and listening to all the directives being given to ensure your health and the health of those around you.  A lot has happened since we last gathered for worship. As you know by now all parish social gatherings and worship has ceased until further notice. However, this will not stop us from being a faith community. We will find new ways of staying connected in the midst of COVID-19 and social distancing.

I will communicate with you each week via email, Facebook and our website regarding updates and online gatherings.

Shared Online Worship with the Parishes of the St. Mary’s, St. Michael’s, Ascension and Good Shepherd: The clergy of these parishes have met regarding how we will share online worship, bible study etc. in the days to head. Stay tuned to how we will make this possible.

Online Evening Study during Lent: Wednesday evening study will be occurring with the parishes of the Good Shepherd, Ascension, St. Mary and St. Michael.

The Coffee Table community grows out of the Lenten devotions of the Anglican Church of St. Michael and All Angels in Kenmount Terrace. The reflection is more interactive than a sermon, and more engaging than a Bible study; it’s an opportunity to engage far more deeply with the Scriptures and make room in our lives for them to build a more compassionate, more generous world.

The Coffee Table approach to reflecting on Scripture involves reading the Gospel three times, each time listening for something different:
1. What is attractive to you in this passage?
2. What challenges you or troubles you in this passage?
3. How can this passage help us become more compassionate and generous?

This may be a new experience for some folks, but it will basically work just like Skype or FaceTime. You can make yourself a cup of coffee at home, connect with your computer,
smartphone, or tablet, turn on your webcam (if you want), and enjoy the experience just like you were there in person!

Click here to join us online:

Online Stations of the Cross: Join Father Jonathan Rowe online beginning Friday at 7:00pm. Here's the link:

Connecting with One Another is vital in the next weeks and possibly months. We are currently working on a plan that will enable us all to stay connected by telephone and email with our parishioners. I invite you to do the same. There are people who are single, widowed, and seniors who will feel lonely during this time. Take time to connect with those you usually see or sit with at church.

Hospitals and Nursing Homes will be caring for our people through our chaplains. Parish clergy are not permitted to visit at this time. If you are hospitalized please ensure a family member notifies the parish so we can check-in.

Funerals: As of Wednesday, March 18, the province is under a Public Health Emergency. One of the directives is no gathering over 50 people. This applies to funerals whether at a funeral home chapel or in a church building. We will continue to support our families and those who face the loss of a loved one during this time. Please be patient with us and our funeral directors as we abide by these provincial regulations.

Parish Operations and Finances: While we are not meeting face to face the operation of the parish must continue. We have taken measures to reduce costs during this time however there are general operations that must continue. We have cut heat to a minimum and there will be no spending outside of general operation costs which include: heat, light, telephone, snow clearing, and parish staff. I will be meeting with the Vestry Executive early next week to prepare financially for 3 months of ceased operation. As a parish we rely on your generous giving and fundraising to support ministry – with no fundraising permitted at this time our finances will take a hit. Please remember to support our parish during this shut down.

Here are some ways to continue your financial support:

1. Electronic giving. This works like any other automatic withdrawal you may have coming out of your account. These forms can be sent to you via mail or electronically and returned to the office – again by mail or at the secure drop box on the Cornwall Crescent entrance door. If you choose, you can sign up for this only during our closure and then you can return to your envelope giving.

2. Post-date your envelopes and mail it to The Parish of St. Mary the Virgin 1 Cornwall Crescent, St. John’s NL A1E 1Z4. Thank you those who have already done this.

3. Canada Helps is our online giving method and found on our parish website at

Stay Connected for parish news, online activities and updates by visiting our Facebook page and signing up for our weekly Parish News. Call or email the parish with your email address and we will add you to the email list.

Parish contacts: Church office (Tuesday-Thursday 9-1) 579-0039 or by email

Rev. Nancy March, (cell) 631-1929 or by email:

Blessings to you all during this very difficult time

Chapel Alter
North Entrance
Main Entrance

Message from the Rector

Hello and welcome to our new website for the Parish of St. Mary the Virgin in St. John’s Newfoundland, which is comprised of two congregations – St. Mary the Virgin on Craigmiller Ave. and St. Peter on the Rock in Shea Heights.  We hope to use this technology as a way to connect with people both near and far, old members and new members; to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and the good news of what you can be a part of here in our Parish.  Jesus calls us into community with one another to share our love for God and each other while we reach out to care for our world.  Much is happening in our Parish and we would love for you to come and join us in trying to make a difference in our service to God and each other. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us – we would love to hear from you!

The Reverend Nancy March

Staff - Clergy

Rector: The Reverend Nancy March
Deacon: The Reverend Gerald Taylor
Administrative Assistant: Mrs. Linda Guest
Organist & Choir Director: Ashley Ruby

Retired Clergy: The Reverend Eugene Castella & The Venerable Neil Kellett

Staff - Vestry

Rector’s Warden: Janet Vivian-Walsh
People’s Warden: Everett Russell
Treasurer: Gerry Beresford

Assistant Treasurer: John Hopkins

Secretary: Jim Robertson

Other Members: Robert Drover, Derrick Foote, Jim Johnson, Rosalind Robertson, Cindy Murphy, Karen Appleby, Cavell Bryant, Sarah Dawe, Sarah Hedderson, Neil Hiscock, Darren Fowler, Gwen Pittman, Jamie Ruby, Paul Williams

Staff - Office

Mrs. Linda Guest,  Administrative Assistant


"The magnificent story of The Church of St. Mary the Virgin begins in the early 1850's when it was recognized that the Cathedral was overcrowded. Also, it was felt that the large number of parishioners on the Southside were inconveniently remote from their church and clergy. Hence, the idea of a sister church to the Cathedral loomed as an attractive idea." (Quoted from the 100th Anniversary Book.)


On June 24, 1859, St. John the Baptist's Day, the first St. Mary's Church was consecrated by Bishop Feild.
The new Church of St. Mary the Virgin was opened on December 23, 1962 and consecrated on October 30, 1966.
By the 1950's the old St. Mary's Church was seen to be too small and there was no more space in which to expand. A new site was procured in the quiet area of Craigmillar Avenure. On the morning of Sunday, June 21, 1959 the congregation paraded from the old church to the site of the new one where the Bishop of Newfoundland, The Rt. Rev. J.A. Meaden broke the ground for the new Church.


We have a daughter congregation at St. Peter's, Shea Heights. At Shea Heights Anglicans had gathered for Sunday School and occasional worship since the early 1960's. In 1967 Bishop Seaborn named it St. Peter on The Rock. For a few years, servces, Sunday School and group activities were held in a one room school obtained from The United Church. A fire in 1970 resulted in some damage and a decision to doscontinue services at Shea heights. In 1966 a Church was built on Learning Road, Shea Heights. Worship Services, Sunday School and social activities achieves a greater degree of stability.

Paddy's Day Party -