all about All Saints Church
St Christopher's church sits by the A251 Faversham Road at the apex of the village green. It was once a hall house and still retains many period features. It became the village school, but after the second world war was used for worship when All Saints was declared unsafe. Nowadays it is the focus for Sunday worship from October to May.
All Saints is the parish church of Boughton Aluph and Eastwell, a village on the northern outskirts of Ashford in Kent. The parish has three churches in all: All Saints in Church Lane just off the A28 Ashford to Canterbury Road, St Christopher's by the Village Green at Boughton Lees (A251) and the ruined St Mary's by the lake in Eastwell Park. We are part of the United Wye Benefice, a grouping of eight churches including Wye, Hinxhill and Brook "down the hill" and the "upon the hill" group of Hastingleigh, Elmsted, Waltham and Petham in the Kentish Downs. All Saints is used for regular worship from late May to early October save for the last two weekends in June, and St Christopher's at other times. Services take place at 9.30am each Sunday: Holy Communion on the first, second and fourth Sundays, and Morning Prayer on the third. On fifth Sundays there is a shared benefice service at one of the eight churches.
The church sits on the Winchester to Canterbury Pilgrims' Way and has been visited by groups of pilgrims from medieval times to the present day. It boasts some fine architecture and a possibly unique pilgrims' porch with tudor fireplace, and not surprisingly is listed Grade 1 (more detail here). However, it was almost destroyed by a stray fire bomb in the last war and the forced sale of the bells and pews to finance urgent restoration work has resulted in a large flexible space that is used nowadays for many different functions, the most important of which being the annual Stour Music Festival, the Five Church Walk and, more recently, the Wye Charity Ball in support of local charities.
The church is open to visitors on Saturdays and Sundays between May and October (details here) and can be visited at other times by requesting a key from Mrs Rita Hawes on 01233 627117. For some views of the interior see below.
Still to come?
Saint Christopher's church
CHURCHWARDENS' NOTES FOR MARCH
March is another quiet month for us but this year we are planning to celebrate Mothering Sunday, which is on the 22nd, with a special Service. It was good to see so many families, many new to the parish, at our Carol Service in December, and so we thought we would repeat the exercise on Mothering Sunday with a special “mother-focussed” activity for the children. Please tell your friends about it and come if you can. The Service will start at 10am so that families can get there.
Also on the 22nd we shall be holding our Annual Parochial Church Council Meeting (or AGM in English!). This will follow the Service and be held in the Hardy Room after our usual coffee. It is an open meeting when the 2019 Annual Report is issued and matters relating to 2020 discussed, with those on the Church Electoral Roll eligible to vote. Rev’d Ravi Holy will be chairing this meeting. As mentioned, it's an open meeting so you'll be very welcome to join us.
Pilgrimages are getting ever more popular, and it has been proposed that All Saints Church be open more frequently to cater for visitors. This year it will be open at weekends in May through to September. We hoping also to have it open occasionally during the week, but in any case the key can always be borrowed, or prior arrangements made, by contacting one of us.
Do come to join us at 9.30 on Sundays and 10am on the 22nd.
Clare Hardwick (01233 623618) and Rita Hawes (01233 627117),