Join Us

Join Us – Become a Friend

We are a group of over 300 members who have an interest in learning about and helping to preserve the amazing church buildings we have in Kent- see Kent Churches. Also:

  • Churches of Kent by John E Vigar
  • England’s Thousand Best Churches by Simon Jenkins

Church visits

In the course of a typical year we will have 3 summer afternoon visits, each time exploring 3 closely grouped churches. At each church we have short talks on its history, architecture, monuments, stained glass, and whatever else might be of interest. The talks are given by one of our knowledgeable members or someone from the church. Most members are not specialists but have a shared, keen interest in what can be discovered in our churches. Normal attendance is between 30 and 60.

Tea is provided at the end of the afternoon in the last church we visit, giving members a good opportunity to mix.

Lectures

We normally have 2 lectures a year. Recent topics have included:

  • Stained Glass in Kent Churches
  • The Black Death and its Aftermath
  • How, for what and for whom should we keep our church buildings?
  • How to read medieval art (on 23 March 2022)

Newsletters and tickets

We have an Autumn Newsletter which gives details of future lectures, grants we have made and often an interesting article e.g. ‘Bench Ends in Kent Churches’ – read it in our Autumn 2021 Newsletter if you are not convinced!

Details of how to book for all these events can be found on Church Visits & Lectures.

Annual General Meeting and Annual Report

The AGM is held in a church during a Saturday afternoon in May and we generally visit a second church during this afternoon. As on our afternoon visits a talk is given on each church and we end the afternoon with tea. The AGM agenda is included in the Annual Report which is posted to members beforehand and is available on the website. This contains the summarised accounts of the Friends of Kent Churches, a list of the grants paid during the previous year, activities of the past year and coming year, and other interesting articles – not forgetting the Chairman’s Report! It is an official report to members on what happened in the previous year.

Ride & Stride

This annual sponsorship event involving over 700 churches in Kent and many hundreds of volunteers is a major source of fundraising for the friends. It takes place every September and involves cycling or walking between churches as a means of raising sponsorship funds. Many members take part or contribute as sponsors. See Ride & Stride for more details.

Legacies

Another major source of income comes from members and others who are kind enough to remember Friends of Kent Churches in their Wills. For more details see Legacies.

Volunteering

We are run entirely by volunteers and you may be able to help us or become more involved if you wish to. For more details see Volunteer.

Grants

This is why we exist. With over 800 churches in Kent, many of them of Anglo Saxon or Norman origin, the money we raise through Ride & Stride, legacies and other donations can only scratch the surface of what is needed in grants to preserve this extraordinary heritage, but a grant from FKC will often act as ‘seed funding’ encouraging other grant giving bodies to make additional awards. This has been the purpose of Friends of Kent Churches since 1949 and we would like to play an even bigger role in the future with the help of new and existing Friends. For more details see Grants.

Membership application

Please Join us by completing the Membership application form and learn more about this extraordinary heritage.