St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
Who We Are
The first service of what was to become St. Mary’s, Fleeton was conducted on October
27, 1907, when 10 Episcopalians gathered in what was known as lower St. Stephens
Parish to worship and celebrate the glory of God. Prior to the call of its first
rector, The Reverend Lewis Carter Harrison, services were conducted by seminarians
from Virginia Theological Seminary in abandoned schoolhouses in the general Reedville
Area. On April 10, 1913, Bishop Robert A. Gibson presided over services consecrating
what is now known as St. Mary’s, Fleeton. Our full history can be found by
We remain a small church of approximately sixty families, with 26 pledges for 2009.
The composition of the congregation leans toward the senior side of the age spectrum,
consisting of an affable blend of “born heres” and “come heres”, representing various
walks of life and previous professions. Despite our general senior status, we retain
the desire to embrace the spiritual and intellectual challenges that could be provided
by greater numbers of younger members and children.
We provide a haven for spiritual needs of all who are searching for traditional
worship, fellowship, a strong family feeling and an interest in community ministries.
The sense of family is so warm, welcoming, and intimate at St. Mary’s, Fleeton,
parishioners often express a sense of personal ownership, remarking that this is
We possess a charitable, mission oriented attitude in doing what can be done for
individuals within the church, and for members of surrounding communities.
We embrace change in a traditionally fair-minded and open fashion, but with a modest,
conservative and cautionary approach.
We subscribe to a sense of humility and tolerance characteristic of the Episcopal
We praise God through music. This is a very strong point in our church. Despite
our small number, we are blessed with an enthusiastic choir, directed by a highly
What We Do In The Church And In The Community Services.
St. Mary’s, Fleeton conducts a single service each Sunday at 11 AM, preceded by
an adult Sunday School and discussion group. Children’s Sunday School is held concurrently
with the main service, and a nursery is available for children up to three years
of age. A lively coffee hour provided by volunteers follows the service. Members
take particular pride and interest as we approach the Christmas holidays. We begin
in early December with a “trim the tree“night that includes a pot-luck supper, ornament
making and singing of carols while the tree in the parish hall is decorated. In
addition to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services, holy week observances include
those on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. When sufficient numbers of children are
available, a Children’s Christmas Pageant is also held.
Institutions and Activities.
St Mary’s has operated an outstanding thrift shop for more than 50 years. Located
just five miles up the road in Lilian, this living institution has provided high
quality merchandise at very affordable prices to the greater Reedville community.
Often referred to as the “Lilian Shopping Mall” by locals, the thrift shop is strongly
supported by the congregation and provides a major source of church income. Episcopal
Church Women. This is another institution that receives enthusiastic backing from
parishioners. Their charity and volunteer work is well known and respected throughout
the area, providing a big boost to our outreach effort.
Blessing Of The Fleet.
This is an annual event unique to the Reedville area, which serves as one of the
major commercial fishing ports in the country. Our church has traditionally served
as the lead and director. The priest at St. Mary’s, Fleeton acts as the host or
master of ceremonies of the event. Shrine Mont Retreat. This activity has grown
in popularity with church members in recent years. It takes place in early autumn,
as we make the journey to the West Virginia border to relax, reflect, and engage
in a lot of fellowship, study and discussion.
We are in the process of formalizing an agreement with a provider to supply heating
oil this winter to needy members of the local community.
Other Widely Supported Activities Include:
• The Lenten supper program
• Annual church picnic
• Meals on wheels program
• The “Mary Men” service group
• The KAIROS Prison Ministry
• The Shrove Tuesday pancake supper
Come And Join Us!