Dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, and overlooking the outstanding three-mile Rhossili Bay, the present structure was probably built in the late 12th century. The entrance arch is a fine example of the late Norman period. The outer dogtooth moulding and the inner moulding of deeply cut chevrons are considered to be rare in Wales. On the left hand pillar can be seen the remains of a scratch dial. An older church, from which the scratchdial pillar may have been rescued, is buried by sand in the Warren above the beach of Rhossili Bay.
A memorial tablet in white marble can also be found dedicated to Petty Officer Edgar Evans, RN, who died in 1912 with Captain Scott on the tragic return journey after they reached the South Pole. It was erected by his widow, Lois Evans (formerly Beynon) and bears the inscription: ‘To seek, to strive, to find and not to yield.’ Of particular note is the Edgar Evans memorial window designed by Anne Clarkson and installed in 2016, in shades of blue and grey, depicting two figures standing above a crevasse, conveying the bleak inhospitable nature of the terrain.
In the graveyard, Sailors' Corner is a memorial to unknown drowned sailors who have washed up on Rhossili beaches since 1830.
St Mary's welcomes many visitors through the year, who find peace and tranquility, and the prayer pool at the Lady Altar. It is customary for the congregation, during Sunday intercessions, to pray together for those brought before God on prayer slips left at the Altar during the preceding week.
Pastoral care for weddings, funerals and occasional offices, visiting and sick communions is available from Rev Justin Davies. Tel 232829 or email: justindavies26 at gmail.com
SERVICE TIMES AT ST MARY'S
From June 2019 normal service times are 10am on Sundays, so, with the exception of some 2nd Sundays,
you will always find us in church on a Sunday morning, and the church noticeboard gives details.
2nd Sundays in the month are United Parish Eucharist services when we all meet together
at one of the six churches in South West Gower - twice a year in St Mary's.
5th Sundays are United Parish Eucharist services always held at St Mary's (four times a year).
On 1st, 3rd and 4th Sundays there is Morning Worship.
We are a small congregation but we always welcome visitors and holiday makers to our ancient church.
Starting on 24 April 2019 we are introducing monthly House Communion,
where the local congregation will meet to take Communion at somebody's home in a short service conducted by Revd Justin.
A rota is starting and the usual meeting will be at 11am on the 1st Wednesday of each month from June 2019.
If you are interested, please ring Revd Justin for details, on 01792 232829.
St Mary’s is open throughout the year every day from about 9am. In the winter months it closes about 4pm, slightly later between April and October.
You can access a virtual tour of the church on Googlemaps – Streetview.
Buses travel to Rhossili from Swansea.
Rev Justin Davies
©The Parish of South West Gower is part of the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon in the Church in Wales