Join our organised church visits in the summer and lectures in the winter – please see below.
We visit two or three neighbouring churches on summer afternoons. We arrange local speakers to give us the history of each church and to point out interesting features, and we end with tea organised by the last parish. We meet at the first church listed and members provide their own transport. Please ask if you haven’t got transport; we may be able to help. The 2018 Programme is below.
Here is the booking form for the AGM and Summer 2018 Church Visits. Each of these events is £8.
Paying for FoKC visits by bank transfer? Please make payment to Friends of Kent Churches, CAF Bank Sort code 40-52-40, Account no 00022279 and let Jill Rutland know which visits you are paying for. EMail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01732 843248.
To save postage members can choose to have their booking confirmed by email or by telephone, just fill in the appropriate part of the form. If you want tickets sent to you, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope.
Church Visits – Summer 2018 Programme.
Church information and location details are courtesy of the Church of England “a church near you” sites. Mouse pointer over the blue text and click.
St George, Benenden TN17 4EF is a large church that needed rebuilding in the 17th century after a fire and was rebuilt again by David Brandon in 1861-2 at the expense of Lord Cranbrook. The glass is Victorian with much interesting detail.
Please note that parking at today’s first church, Benenden, is around the large green above which the church stands.
All Saints, Biddenden TN27 8AJ was mainly built in the 13th century and is distinguished by an extensive collection of mainly 16th century brasses showing that previous husbands or wives were not forgotten in commemorative monuments. There are also three roundels showing the Labours of the Months, survival of 15th century stained glass. It is constructed mainly of local sandstone with some later use of Kentish ragstone and flint.
There is evidence of a church being established at Biddenden at the time of the Norman conquest although no reference has been found in the Domesday Book of 1086.
St Mary, Frittenden TN17 2DD was much rebuilt by R C Hussey in a style which Pevsner describes as very authentic-looking with a tower arch being its best feature.
St Augustine, Brookland TN29 9QP is well known for its timber bell tower like three candle snuffers stacked one on top of another. The interior is full of interest including a font with the signs of the zodiac, a tithe pen, late medieval pews and 18th century box pews.
Although the present church dates back to circa 1250 the dedication to a Saxon saint suggests the presence of an earlier church built by the monks of St Augustine’s Abbey at Canterbury when they were Lords of the Manor of Broke. The famous Kentish spire bell tower which also dates back to circa 1250 and is weather proofed with cedar shingles, stands on the ground adjacent the church probably due to the softness of the ground on which the church was built, evidenced by the church arcades leaning at a perilous angle.
This is the South East Chapel with rare 13th century wall painting depicting the martyrdom of St Thomas Becket above the altar tomb of John Plumber, who as Baron of New Romney Cinque Port attended James 1 at his Coronation.
Brookland’s 12th century lead font is the most important of the thirty lead fonts surviving in this country, and the only one decorated with the signs of the zodiac in ornamental arcading above the occupations of the month, indicating the influence of early calendars which were attached to Psalters.
St Clement, Old Romney TN29 0HP is described by Pevsner as “delightfully unrestored with an unusually full set of 18th century fittings and an especially fine crown post nave roof”.
A Saxon church is believed to have originally occupied the site although the present church dates back to the 11th or 12th century, with enlargements carried out in the 13th century; a dedication to St Clements tends to relate to the period of the Dane King Canute.
The Altar Rail; with the tomb of John Deffray, Huguenot Rector of St Clement’s Church who died 1738 in the foreground, and behind the Altar Rail is a communion table and painted wooden boards with the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Commandments.
The Ten Commandments viewed from the Nave through the south hagioscope.
St George, Ivychurch TN29 0AL is an impressive church left with few parishioners with a good set of arcades and another fine Marsh church. It dates back to the mid 13th century.
An Anglo Saxon church may have previously occupied the site since Ivychurch is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and the discovery of a piece of Anglo Norman moulding suggests the building of a new church following the Norman conquest. Known as the Cathedral of Romney Marsh, being built to such a grand scale probably due to its connection with the Archbishops of Canterbury.
South entrance with wall painting above.
Nave, Chancel, and South Aisle looking east.
St Lawrence, Otterden ME13 0BT: a real opportunity to visit this Georgian church which Hasted said had no appearance of being a church. There is a good collection of fine monuments and brasses, many from the original church and the Chinese Chippendale benches and Geddes window are definitely worth seeing.
St Mary Stalisfield ME13 0JG is a medieval church which was added to in the 13th century and restored by Joseph Clarke, with nave arcades out of sync with each other and a crown post nave roof and a rood screen.
St Peter & St Paul, Charing TN27 0LP was an important centre in medieval times with the remains of the Archbishop’s Palace nearby which are currently the focus of a restoration project. The church tower reflects the importance of the village in medieval times and the church was built over the centuries but gutted by fire in 1590 so that the fittings are all after this time.
Here are some 2018 Dates for your Diary.
And in June at Borden Church:-
The Annual John Briggs Event is on 24 June (3.00 pm) at St Mary the Virgin, Nettlestead. Please click here for details in a flyer.
The theme of the afternoon is the glass at St Mary, a church which was built to house fine glass in the 15th century. Although some was destroyed by a storm in the 18th century there is still much to admire as well as the two magnificent monuments to the two wives of Sir John Scott dated 1598 and 1616.
There will be two talks – “The History of Stained Glass” by Leonie Seliger from Canterbury Cathedral and “The History of our Church Glass” by the Rector, The Revd. Anthony Carr.
Tea will be at nearby Nettlestead Place, a medieval Manor House, by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Roy Tucker.
Tickets are £10 and obtainable from Marguerite Allen and full details are on the enclosed leaflet. It is hoped to ring the fine bells at St Mary before the talks. If you are interested, please contact Marguerite.
Wednesday 19th September: a coach trip to Waltham Abbey and St Alban’s Cathedral.
The coach will leave M20 J11 Stop 24 Service Station (charge for parking) at Ashford at 8.30 and the Mercure Hotel Great Danes Hollingbourne at 9.05. We arrive at Waltham Abbey in time for coffee followed by a tour of the Abbey. We then leave at 12.00 arriving at St Alban’s in time for lunch and a tour of the Cathedral at 2.30. We will arrive back at approximately 6.00.
The cost of the outing is £25 which includes the cost of the coach and entry to Waltham Abbey and St Alban’s Cathedral.