In 1924 Captain Goddard of the Lawns gave the site in the Mall to Christ Church, plus £100.00
toward building a new Church, as it was felt that Swindon would expand in the direction of Okus.
Built of timber and asbestos, it was only planned to be temporary and cost £1,200.00. The site has a history of it’s own, being part of the Old Okus Great Field in the Old Manor of Westlecott in High Swindon.
The Church is attached to Goddard House, a sheltered housing complex which has been updated during the last ten years and people don’t always realise the Church is there. Although small, it can seat up to 100 people which proves very useful particularly for special occasions, like the annual Carol service.
The normal Sunday service is either Holy Communion or Morning Prayer, held at 9.00am. Morning Prayer is led by a member of the Lay Ministry team, lasting about 45 minutes and is followed by coffee and a chat!
Whilst the Church still has an organ, (donated by Dr. John Henderson of Goddard Avenue) the choir disbanded in 1992. If hymns are sung, a CD is often used. On the second Sunday of the month, a healing service is held at 6.30pm, when Tim Eyles from Christ Church kindly plays the organ and some members of their choir attend.
After the Parish boundary is walked on Rogation Sunday during May, St. Mary’s welcomes the walkers back with tea and cake. Commonweal School also use the Church for some of their exams.
Prayer meetings are held here some weeks, with the Mothers Union meeting at St. Mary's once a month. Other groups also make use of the facilities, as it is an ideal venue for lectures and meetings.
Coffee Mornings are known to raise about £600.00 for the two churches each year.