Church History

Background to St Mary's Church

The Church of St Mary the Virgin, East Preston with Kingston, is located at the corner of Station Road and Vicarage Lane in East Preston. It is a grade I listed building and has a long and interesting history.

A church in East Preston may well have been established by the time of the Norman Conquest, as there is a reference in the Domesday Book to East Preston as ‘Prestetune’, meaning priest’s settlement. The earliest known date for the existing church building, however, is 1150. By the 13th Century it is documented that the current Church had acquired its present form. Eight centuries later it stands as a proud icon of the Heritage of the village and has, over the centuries, played an important part in the development of life there.

Early in 2006 Saint Mary’s Church was in a poor financial state with regards to a regular income and was not in a position to deal with expensive repairs to the building. A plan was put forward to install a mobile phone mast in the church tower that would have been able to attract a steady income of about £5000 per year. A group of people were opposed to the scheme and started a lively campaign to oppose it. In the end, it was agreed that there would not be a mobile phone mast on the tower, but that this group would form the "Friends of St Mary's" to raise funds to keep the Church in a good state of preservation for all to enjoy.