St. Mary's Church

87 GoodGymers have supported St. Mary's Church with 19 tasks.

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EalingGroup run
Nicola HartleyJenni HChrisMike C

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Tree

Tuesday 12th December 2023

Written by Kash

The last group run before the Christmas break needs a truly joyful task. What can bring the GoodGymers more festive spirit than helping a friendly church with the tidy-up before the holiday season? Putting up a Christmas tree, of course! Vicar Steve from St Mary's Church had both of the tasks for us tonight! Emily found out about the tree decorating opportunity early enough to beat anyone else to it and book the artistic job for GoodGym.

Four runners, including two speedy Santas, met as usual in Ealing Broadway and went for a short run to South Ealing where they were welcomed by Steve and invited inside the church. Aaah, an indoor task in December - a luxury!

With more GoodGymers arriving soon after, everyone wanted to have a go at the Christmas decorations, leaving only three people to give Steve a hand upstairs. The upper level had a great view but got a bit dusty. The floor needed hoovering - a job diligently done by Cam, joined later by Madhan. Steph Ducat and Kash were spraying the benches with Mr Sheen and polishing the seats. Reinforcements: Sevan, Christos and Claire would come later.

In the meantime, if the Christmas tree had emotions, it would have felt pretty overwhelmed, surrounded by a crowd of GoodGymers. If you are thinking about the "how many GoodGymers does it take to...?" question right now, it needed a team of five to wrap the lights around the tree! Putting up the baubles was an equally strategic exercise and, after the decorations were in place, no one dared to challenge the status quo.

Don't touch it, don't touch it!

There was only one ladder - most impressively used by Chris to deliver the star to the top of the tree - which meant that others, standing on the floor, like Jenni (not as tall as Mike!), had to resort to throwing the remaining decorations at the top of the Christmas tree.

There was some Christmas carol-themed jamming going on at St Mary's tonight, with Claire singing accompanied by Jenni at the piano. Madhan and Milly gave the drums a shot.

Steve was delighted with GoodGym's 45 minutes of joyful tidying and decorating activities. Even if the people-to-efficiency ratio was not convincing (we're sure it was!), the ratio of enthusiasm-to-people was skyrocketing! Steve wished the gang of merry men and women a happy Christmas and a great party tonight. The GoodGymers said their Merry Christmases and goodbyes too and ran and walked to Drapers pub for a night of fun, food and festivities.

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EalingGroup run
Cristina Mameli DzidoSevanClaireMike C

The Knights of the Round Staircase

Tuesday 3rd October 2023

Written by Kash

Four Knights met at Bodyline Castle and mounted their coconut warhorses to set out on a quest to find Wizard Steve. As dusk was approaching, Annabel, Steph Ducat, Sevan and Kash went around the dim forests of Walpole and Lammas fast to escape the monsters lurking in the darkness.


They arrived at St Mary's Church, known for its secrets and a tower with a long Round Staircase. Wizard Steve welcomed them to his fortress and introduced them to his adept wizards, Mike, Shan and Rohan who also appeared at the church, looking for an adventure.

Steve told the knights and wizards about a terrifying drigeon terrorising Ealing and recently breaking into the church through a gap in netting and a fragile window. The monster resided for some time in the Round Chamber and fouled the holy place. The traces of its outrageous presence in the church had to be removed. Annabel, Sevan and Rohan volunteered to exorcise the corruption left by the winged demon with water, buckets, clothes and latex gloves. They climbed the stairs to reach the Round Chamber and have been trapped in it.

In the meantime, the rest of the Knights were asked to remove the Cursed Scaffolding from another secret chamber. Steve had brought the scaffolding inside the church as a treasure but over time it had become a liability. It was taking space and attracting monsters like the drigeon. The Knights started moving the treasure down the Round Staircase, fighting the weight of the scaffolding parts and vertigo. Luckily, the reinforcements arrived: Claire on her coconut steed and Divya on a mechanical mount.

When the treasure that had looked like gold inside the church was moved outside, it turned into a stack of metal poles and wooden planks. Steve directed the Knights to the back of the church where they were going to bury the treasure in a den, hopefully not occupied by any demons. When they thought their path was clear, a shadow emerged from the church walls and blocked their way. In the darkness, the Knights thought that the shadow was a homeless person squatting at the back of the church. But he was the Denkeeper. And he had questions.

Who would cross the Path of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.

The Knights were not up for mental games and let Wizard Steve deal with the puzzle. They didn't hear the answers but Steve managed to get the Denkeeper out of the way.


After all the Cursed Scaffolding was left in the den, Steve and the Knights climbed back up the stairs to rescue others from the Round Chamber. St Mary's has been cleansed of evil, dust and drigeon waste. Wizard Steve was amazed by the Knights' bravery and efficiency. He awarded each of them with the title of the Knight of the Round Staircase and with exclusive access to the top of the tower. Of course, to get there, they had to climb the Round Staircase which seemed to have no end. At the roof awaited a stunning panorama of the nighttime Ealing and its surroundings.

The vista was magnificent but the Knights were longing to get closer to the ground level and find a cosy inn. They descended from the tower and found themselves in front of The Rose & Crown pub. There was another obstacle on the way! No monsters, no challenging questions, and no proving one's strength this time. The Rose & Crown only accepted royalty as its patrons and refused the Knights to go inside. Someone had to wear the crown for the team. It was decided it would be Kash who had accomplished the most Feats of Glory in the crowd, five hundred. She disguised herself as a queen and the other knights as her lords and ladies. The innkeepers let the merry men and women in and everyone had fun and a piece of Round Cake at a Round Table.


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EalingGroup run
Mike C

Almost tree-pull the attendance!

Tuesday 22nd August 2023

Written by Kash

Our GoodGym has a fantastic history of working with St Mary's Church in South Ealing. We haven't been to their church garden for a while. Someone had to make a move and make things happen. That person was Milly. She got back in touch with Vicar Steve and organised a gardening task for us. Result?

14 Ealing GoodGymers weeding, chopping, cutting and pulling trees - that's a 2023 record! 🥳

Today's session featured:

  • A welcome to Arran and Louise 🎉 (the latter we had already met at Pitshanger junior parkrun) to GoodGym Ealing - a welcome with a twist! Both of them have been already doing group sessions in Ealing back in 2018, so they should be really welcoming the rest of us! 😆
  • Comebacks of Ben and Cam who rushed to the group run so much that the GoodGym logo of his red t-shirt couldn't match his pace and was left behind. We are sure it will catch up with Cam before his next group run
  • The usual suspects: Claire, Mike and Milly
  • Cyclists: Emmanuella, Madiha and our Hammersmith friend, Divya
  • Runners: Steph, Sevan, Kash and already mentioned Ben who all ran through Walpole Park and around Lammas Park to the church - it was a lovely run in the late afternoon sun 🌞
  • Madhan who walked to the task which earned him his own category on this list!

Milly and Ben volunteered to help inside the church move boxes with documents. The task involved heights and climbing a ladder. Our heroes' skills could match the Horsenden mountain goats, so no one fell down. Steph and Mike were taken on a special expedition to cut back a large tree. The rest of the group stayed in the main garden area that was troubled by weeds.

Our main enemies were:

  • Sycamore tree saplings - they grew from the seeds fallen from the nearby adult trees and covered the area like a carpet. We had to remove them with the roots while they were still young before they all turned into full-sized trees!
  • Brambles - Ealing is already full of brambles. Why would they hesitate to enter the land of a holy building?
  • Bindweed - there was surprisingly little of that bad boy but pulling it was satisfying as usual!

In an hour we transformed the area, making the weed blanket disappear and the clear ground reappear. We made space for the native perennial plants to thrive. Steve was pleased with our efforts and was sure our work will help the area's biodiversity.

After we transported all the garden waste to the back of the church garden, it was time to...

go to the pub!

...but then an alternative appeared:

who would like to do a fitness session first?

There were seven takers for the fitness. They were served an easygoing core workout with a focus on the lower back, followed by musical planks. The latter was a brutal survival game in which the players enter a grassy arena and run around cones accompanied by classical music. When the music stops, a person who cannot find a cone to plank in front of is out of the game. Did I mention burpees as the penalty? Ealing was by Hammersmith's plankiator Divya who earned the title of the King of Planks.

The fitness session was so absorbing that the group that exercised showed up a the pub too late to mingle with the original party crew. Nevertheless, they stayed for a quick one and enjoyed the still warm August night in the pub garden 🍻.

Next week we are running to Acton to flyer for the Reduce & Recycle Hub.

A week after, at the group run, we tackle a task similar to the one at St Mary's but for a new church - St Andrews Church and its community centre! It is 5 minutes walk from Ealing Broadway. Check it out here.

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EalingCommunity mission
Mike CYvonna BalyszChrisTom BBryon ChanMira

Hard rock and heavy nettle

Tuesday 6th July 2021

Written by Jenni H

St Mary's Church has long been a GoodGym Ealing regular task - we've done lots of work inside the church and in the gardens over the years.

This evening's task for our Mötley Crüe was pulling out nettles at the back of the church garden and removing some of the ivy at the front. With no time to MUSE on the task, the two teams were able to make a great difference to both spaces in the hour we had!

During all of the clearing work, we discovered some gravestones (Rolling Stones??) which had long been hidden showing just how long the church has been a part of Ealing's community, but not quite from (Queens of) the stone age!

Steve was very grateful and no doubt we will be back again to do some more over the summer!

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EalingCommunity mission
Alex SchatzHarvey GallagherJenni HLiv Parker-Scott

Lop, chop and two smoking barrows

Tuesday 3rd November 2020

Written by Liv Parker-Scott

A chilly and beauitfully clear evening saw 13 of us out in force to help continue to clear the overgrowth and brambles at St. Mary's Church.

With lockdown 2.0 looming this was our last Tuesday evening community mission for a while. We were keen to make the most of it with one last go at getting on top of a couple of years worth of overgrowth at the back of the church garden.

It was really lovely to see a couple of new faces in the (socially distanced) crowd too, massive welcome to Marie and Jojo! Hope to see you both lots more in the not too distant future!

Here's what Marie had to say about her first session:

"Absolutely loved my first run. The running group was very thoughtful and considerate to my extremely slow pace 😋 thank you!" - Marie

With Mars beaming down on us (yes, you could clearly see Mars in the sky last night!) we all worked really hard for an hour to get as much done as possible. You could tell that Ben meant serious business when, despite the chill in the air, he stripped down to a t-shirt. We basically had to tear him away from the task!

Excellent work everyone! Hopefully we'll cross paths over lockdown, we will have some essential community missions still going ahead and we'll also have some fun fitness challenges everyone can join in with too.

Watch this space! No literally, click the link and see what's coming up in Ealing!

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EalingCommunity mission
MariekeChrisJenni HMike C
Liv Parker-Scott

There's something about St. Mary's

Tuesday 18th August 2020

Written by Liv Parker-Scott

What a wonderful evening!

It started with a small group of 6 hardy souls taking on a HIIT workout before the gardening and then we were joined by 9 other wonderful humans for the gardening part.

We were blessed with some glorious evening sunshine to help Vicar Steve in the church garden. Since lockdown the garden has been in need of a little TLC and although they have some amazing local volunteers (including Alex who was on hand last night to show us what needed doing and give us endless thank yous!) there was still a lot to get done.

Jo joined us for her first every GoodGym deed - welcome Jo! Go give her a cheer!

This is how it went down:

  • Chris, Jenni & Jo worked to trim the overgrowth around one of the trees
  • Tracey & Marieke weeded around the grave stones
  • Sevan & Milly dug out a border
  • Ellie & Emily did some serious clearance
  • Claire chopped back all the overhanging plants from on the pathways
  • Mike, Shan, Chris J & Callum all worked together to dig out and clear a large area ready for new plants

We worked hard for an hour before lots of us went off in search of some eat out to help out action. If eating also helps, we're there!

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