St. Mary's Episcopal Church

Episcopal Crest Diocesan Crest

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
Fleeton, Virginia

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 clicking here.

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.

Our Values

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 “my church”.

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 Church.

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 talented musician!

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.

Thrift Shop.

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.

Under Development.

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!

Our mission statement:

St. Mary's Fleeton Episcopal Church is a community of faith and fellowship; an open and welcoming congregation that is nurturing and supporting of one another. We respect and embrace the various backgrounds and spiritual paths of our congregants and neighbors.

We share our gifts and talents to minister to the needs of our surrounding community as a reflection of God's grace and unconditional love.