Who we are

St Martin-in-the-Fields is a unique configuration of cultural, charitable and commercial initiatives rooted in the life of a vibrant Church of England congregation. Our vision is At the heart. On the edge. This declares that we see ourselves at the heart of London, through our location on Trafalgar Square, and of the nation, through our 500-year links with the royal family, and also of the church, through our national profile gained through nearly a century of broadcasting and our flagship role in social issues – but also appealing to the heart through our long tradition of choral and classical music and our reputation for compassion gained through a century of engagement with poverty and destitution. It also names our calling to be on the edge, not just of Trafalgar Square but alongside those on the edge through being excluded, ignored or oppressed by society or church, and on the cutting edge of innovation in culture, commerce, charity and congregational life.

History

St Martin-in-the-Fields is a landmark. Its fine architecture and prominent location place it at the heart of the nation. Its work has valued historic tradition, but St Martin’s has always been innovative in response to changing needs. From London’s first free lending library to the first religious broadcast, St Martin’s has broken new ground in defining what it means to be a church.

What we do

The life of our community is rooted in the discipleship, ministry and mission of our Church of England congregation.

  • Discipleship refers to the ways we meet the God of Jesus Christ and seek transformation by the Holy Spirit to become more like Christ each day.
  • Ministry refers to the way we build one another up as one body in Christ.
  • Mission refers to the ways we meet God beyond the church in the face of the stranger and the outcast, in work and school and neighbourhood.

Everything we do is some form of discipleship, ministry and/or mission.

Discipleship

Discipleship

Refers to the ways we meet the God of Jesus Christ and seek transformation by the Holy Spirit to become more like Christ each day.

Ministry

Ministry

Refers to the way we build one another up as one body in Christ.

Mission

Mission

Refers to the ways we meet God beyond the church in the face of the stranger and the outcast, in work and school and neighbourhood.

What we believe

We believe the following things about what we are called to think and to do and to be together

It’s possible to be a church without being defensive and closed-minded.

It’s possible to care for those ostracised or in trouble in a way that enhances, rather than diminishes your community.

It’s possible to be highly aspirational, financially sustainable, and rewardingly participatory all at the same time.

It’s possible to have commercial activities and administrative practices that deepen and embody our understanding of the kingdom, rather than conflict with or confuse it.

It’s possible to grow without becoming impersonal, two-dimensional, or an ogre.

You can do unbelievable things together if you start with one another’s assets rather than deficits.

It’s possible to believe that, in Christ, the future is bigger than the past.

Sermons

Each week the sermons preached at the 10.00am Sunday Sung Eucharist, and other special services, are posted on our website together with the references for the lectionary readings, providing a valuable resource for reading and further reflection.

Preaching is a vital part of our ministry and worship at St Martin’s.  Each week the sermons that are preached at the 10.00am Sunday Sung Eucharist, and other special services, are posted on our website, together with the references for the lectionary readings.  These sermons are written by different members of our clergy team and occasionally by visiting speakers. Based on the bible readings for the day they aim to engage with the text and provide exegesis, insight and meaning, opening up the scriptures in a way which is both relevant and challenging to our present lives and context. The sermons often draw, in a practical way, on real experiences and the issues of our time aiming to explore the depth and breadth of the Christian scriptures.  They can be a valuable resource for further reflection, discussion and sharing.

You can also hear many of our sermons on our podcasts page.

How we worship

One old statement of Christian faith says as human beings our chief purpose is to glorify and enjoy God forever. Worship is the fundamental moment when we discover who God is and realise who we are. Most importantly

  • Through confession and forgiveness we are restored as God’s beloved children
  • Through praise and thanksgiving we express and rejoice in the glory of God
  • Through petition we call on God to make the world more like the kingdom
  • Through sharing the food of communion we seek to become Christ’s body in the world

We offer four kinds of services

  • Our central acts of worship are our Sunday 10am Parish Eucharist and our Wednesday 6.30pm Bread for the World Eucharist. They are the key moments when we meet together as one body. Both are choral services with much congregational involvement, followed by opportunities to make and deepen relationships and explore faith.
  • We have several occasions when people can gather and reflect without an expectation of joining a regular community: Choral Evensong on Sundays at 5pm and Mondays at 4.30pm; Choral Eucharist on Wednesdays at 1pm; Great Sacred Music on Thursdays at 1pm; Sacred Space on some Sundays at 7pm; and spoken weekday communion services in the Dick Sheppard Chapel on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays at 1.15pm.
  • We have informal gatherings to pray and meditate outside a regular ‘service,’ including Nazareth Prayers (7am-8am Mondays and Thursdays), Meditation Group and Breakfast Group. There is a silent retreat for one weekend each year.
  • We offer special services for weddings, funerals and memorial services, and we also do baptisms (christenings) by arrangement.

Regular Service Times

Whether you worship regularly at St Martin’s, are visiting London or haven’t been to church in a long time, all are welcome to join us at any of our services at St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Special Services

Special Services and Memorials

We are glad to receive enquiries from organisations and individuals who wish to mark a special occasion or commemoration with a service in church.

Weddings, baptisms and funerals and services of thanksgiving

If you live in the parish of St Martin’s, have a close pastoral connection with the church, or regularly attend services here then please contact us.

How we belong

We regard everyone as belonging to St Martin’s if they either live within the parish boundaries or make St Martin’s their regular church home. There are more formal ways to belong as follows:

  • Baptism is the way we signal that we want to belong to God forever
  • Confirmation is a way of asking the Holy Spirit to bring to life in us the fruits of our baptism
  • Joining the electoral roll is the way we become able to participate in the governance of the church
  • Joining a group or committee is a way to participate in the running of the church
  • Joining the friends of St Martin’s is way to participate with people around Britain and the world who want to remain part of our fellowship

Behind the scenes are governance and money. The Parochial Church Council has around 15 lay members, and oversees the ministry and mission of St Martin’s. Once you’ve enrolled on the electoral roll, you have the right to vote on the members of the PCC, and, after just six months, you can stand for election as well.

To be involved in the governance of St Martin’s, contact our Vicar at sam.wells@smitf.org

St Martin’s has ambitious plans for the future. We are running a fundraising campaign, Building Futures, to secure money to support our mission, music and work with homeless and vulnerable people, and most importantly to secure the upkeep of our buildings for the next generation. To find out more, please contact the development team at development@smitf.org

How we are organised

Any group that functions well needs to organise events and programmes and make and implement decisions.

  • We organise events and programmes through our various groups, including Education, Hospitality, International, Disability Advisory, and Sustainability
  • We make and implement decisions through our Parochial Church Council, which has three clergy and 13 lay members, and its five committees, covering Finance, Programming, Common Life, Communications and Strategic Planning

In addition the St Martin-in-the-Fields Limited Board works closely with the PCC, and the PCC also has close links with The Connection, the St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity, and the St Martin-in-the-Fields Trust.

How we’re growing

From 2006-08 St Martin’s undertook a major extension and refurbishment, known as the Renewal, since when we have magnificently restored buildings and wonderful new spaces. In 2017 we began a new campaign called Building Futures, designed to sustain the site but also to renew our musical, theological and charitable life. The details of our aspirations are in our St Martin’s Action Plan, which we renew every two years – next in March 2018. In particular in February 2017 we launched HeartEdge, a network seeking to catalyse kingdom communities around the nation and beyond.