February 2022 – Our Pub and Our Church

We are very blessed to still have a lively pub and an equally lively church in this village of Stansted. At a time when many rural communities are struggling to retain their churches and pubs, we are glad that we can still enjoy these privileges. I love the pub and I love the church. They have both played a significant part in my life as a Priest here over the past quarter of a century. When I was first ‘installed’ as the incumbent there was nowhere for the Bishop and the clergy to put their robes on, so we all gathered in what was then the lounge bar of the Black Horse. A swift half served by Brian and Mary was followed by a short ceremony and then back to the pub for a chaser. What a great way to begin a life’s work in the countryside.

Over the years the Black Horse has been such an important place for me as I have met and got to know lots of different people from this community and beyond. Iain Duncan and the Roberts family heralded the arrival of the Irish years along with Irish Sundays, a Thai restaurant and even a small gift shop. More recently Terri and Rick have worked their socks off to make the “Black Hole” the friendly and lively hostelry that it is today.

The Church has also seen many different seasons over this time as it has adapted to the shifting sands of faith in the last quarter of a century. Many people from both inside and outside these villages have seen to it that this gem of a building continues as a living place of Christian worship and community life. It’s an easy walk from the pub to the church and many a groom has walked that path to tie the knot at the chancel steps of St Mary’s.

Both the pub and the church are so much more than the buildings that house them. Pubs and churches are about the people who gather there to drink and to eat together. They are about fellowship, friendship and life as we walk together on this road of happy destiny. Let’s keep drinking together.

Rev. Dr Christopher Noble – Rector

For more information see our website stmarysstansted.com. Recorded Sunday sermons available on acts6-4.com. For further details please contact the Rev Dr Chris Noble on 01732 822494 or email: rev.stmarysstansted@gmail.com