East Kent Church Visits – 16 July 2019


Today we visited West Stourmouth, Elmstone and Wingham in East Kent and Mary Gibbins was given a presentation by our President, Bishop Michael Turnbull.

Our incoming Executive Committee Chair, Sir Paul Britton, researched and wrote up highlights about the three churches but due to family matters was unable to deliver the information at each location. However, the organiser for the day – John Lumley – not only read out Paul’s material but usefully pointed out key features to us inside the churches and explained specific items to look at outside; thank you Paul and John.

News of our visits follows. For more pictures and detail about these churches from Chris Rigby please click for the Recent Visits page.

West Stourmouth is a relatively small church under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. Much of the main fabric is Saxon with additions through the centuries and renovations as a result of a 14th century earthquake and subsidence.

West Stourmouth – John Lumley reading from Paul Britton’s notes – under the watchful eye of Mary Gibbons!


Whilst John was talking about the church Mary was listening attentively from behind the pews – a quality check, perhaps!?

In the two pictures below the missing top of the original north-side windows can be seen – presumably as a result of the roof being lowered – and the replacement windows would have been added to let in light. A question for our readers – has anyone seen another location with what appear to be “dormer” windows?

West Stourmouth a “dormer” window on North-side – directly above original.

West Stourmouth a “dormer” window on North-side – offset above original.

Elmstone is another relatively small church. Just behind John’s arm (first picture below) is a priest’s stall said to be made from the remains of a boat in which the priest was shipwrecked. Between the camera and Bishop Michael is a side view of the stall (second picture below).

Elmstone – welcome.

Elmstone – priest’s stall

Wingham is a collegiate church, large in comparison with West Stourmouth and Elmstone, whose scale can be seen in this picture.

Wingham collegiate church – size contrasts with other churches visited on 16th July.

Although we had another excellent talk from John (content courtesy of Paul) and a superb afternoon tea, the highlight here was Bishop Michael making a presentation to Mary Gibbins whose time as Chair of the Executive Committee has just come to an end. Mary is, however, continuing as the Vice-Chair. Michael complimented Mary on how she had given leadership to the Executive Committee in a friendly way and had made people feel very welcome whether new to the EC, other current FKC members and people turning up to events such as our summer afternoon church visits. Pictures taken at the presentation are below.

Wingham – Bishop Michael giving many thanks to Mary for all she has done for FKC over many years.

Wingham – do not shake well before opening!

Wingham – it’s heavy; still unsure about contents though!