Welcome to Saint Mary’s Church, Harborne, Birmingham, UK.

Order of St. Augustine.

Archdiocese of Birmingham

“Before all else, live together in harmony, being of one mind and one heart on the way to God.”  St. Augustine.

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St. Mary’s Holiday Trip to San Gimignano

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A holiday trip to San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy.

October 2012 and 2013

   I took this video from the Castle Park across the town and it shows the Augustinian Monastery where we stayed in the middle distance.

For the past few years a group of parishioners from St. Mary’s have joined up with a similar group from      Edinburgh and stayed at the church of St. Augustine for a holiday week. Sant’ Agostino is the  second largest church in San Gimignano and is owned by the Order of St. Augustine.

Behind the church and the Monastery there is a garden, and a terrace built into the old walls of the town. From the Terrace there are spectacular views of Tuscany, olive groves, the town’s roof tops, and vineyards. Day trips have included visits to Assisi, Sienna, Florence, Lecceto and other important historical places and hill-top villages. There were free days where one could explore and do some shopping!

San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town on the ridge of a hill in the Province of Sienna, Tuscany, in north-central Italy. It is encircled by three walls and it has as its highest point, to the west, the ruins of a fortress dismantled in the 16th century. There are eight entrances into the town, set into the second wall, which dates from the 12th and 13th centuries. Today San Gimignano is on the tourist route and many Tours of Italy include an afternoon in San Gimignano to savour its cosy restaurants, shops and ice-cream parlours, not to mention the spectacular views from the famous “Panorama Walk”! It is also nicknamed “The Town of the Towers.”

Typical roof-top scene in San Gimignano.

The Monastery in  Piazza Agostino.

View from the Castle Park.

View from the Castle Park.

The Monastery in  Piazza Agostino.

View from the Castle Park.

The Piazza Agostino.

The Piazza Agostino.

View from the Castle Park.


Morning Mists.

View of Olive Groves and Vineyards.


Just across the town is a public park which is a part-demolished 16th century Fortress (La Rocca, also known as di Montessaffoli) where many musicians spend the day entertaining visitors. The video below shows a music lesson “in the open” between a guitarist and an accordion player. Halfway through this recording you will hear and see a famous actor reciting excerpts from “The Divine Comedy”. His wife is a highly accomplished harpsichord player who gave a Recital here at St. Mary’s in 2012. She often plays her Harpsichord in the park too!

The Garden inside the Cloisters at The Monastery.

Click here for more photos of San Gimignano on my own web site.http://www.davidsemporium.co.uk/sangimignano.html

The Refectory at The Monastery.

Daily Prayershttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/prayers.html
The Augustinian Convent at Lecceto.http://saintmarysharborne.org.uk/lecceto.html
Sienna, the home of St. Catherine.http://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/siena.html
A visit to the two Basilicas at Assisi.http://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/assisi.html

Click below for more holiday trip photos etc.