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Event Series Event Series: Heritage Open Days

As the area around St Mary’s Church prepares for major development around a stadium for Luton Town FC, we take a look at the magnificent church that has stood at the heart of Luton for 900 years!

The original stone church building was begun in 1121 by Robert, Earl of Gloucester and consecrated in 1137. It was enlarged and changed over the following centuries so that a large part of the present church building mainly dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries.

The church is Luton’s only Grade 1 listed building, is regarded as one of the finer medieval churches in England, and has been described as Luton’s Medieval Jewel. Simon Jenkins notes the church and its surrounding churchyard easily belies the grim surroundings (though things have and are changing) and speaks of the inside as “big white and elegant, a challenge to its surroundings.” He goes on to say “the two richest periods of English architecture, the 15th and 19th, are in glorious harmony.”

The building is very well maintained thanks to major fund raising work of the “Friends of Luton Parish Church” who over the past 50 years have funded major projects as well as ongoing restoration of the stonework and other fabric. In 2019 its Victorian heating system was completely replaced; although this is mostly invisible it will will ensure the fabric is well maintained into the future, as well as allowing people to enjoy the building. As St Mary’s celebrates 900 years of the church we will be considering what work will equip it for the next 100 years.

Join us to take time to wander alone and at your leisure or on one of our hour long guided tours or around the church.

Event Times

Saturday 9 September: 1000 – 1700 Church Open throughout day. 60 minute tours – book on Eventbrite page below.
Sunday 10 September: Regular services at 9.00 and 10.30.
Wednesday 13 September: Church open 10.00 – 14.00 with short reflective service at 11.00-11.15
Friday 15 September: Church open 1600 2000. Church tour at 19.00, book on Eventbrite (below)

Booking Details

Pre-booking: Preferred
Church is free to explore; tours preferably booked.
Go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/st-marys-luton-heritage-events-in-september-2023-2475259
Booking opens: 10 August 2023
Booking closes: 15 September 2023


Main church accessible, but Chancel and Wenlock Chapel not available to chairs. Disabled access to toilets via outside.

Additional Information

Max 25 people per tour/session. Church open for allcomers, hours as shown. Bookable tours


9th September, 2023
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:


Event Price


St. Mary’s
Church Street
Luton, Bedfordshire LU1 3JF United Kingdom
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Event Disclaimer:

Step Forward Luton is not affiliated with the event organisers and disclaims any liability for inaccuracies or discrepancies in the provided information. Please contact the event organisers for more information. If you spot any errors email hello@stepforwardluton.co.uk.