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all about All Saints and St Christopher's Churches

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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 hills" group of Hastingleigh, Elmsted, Waltham and Petham in the Kentish Downs.  All Saints is used for regular worship from 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.  Details are posted weekly on the home page.

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 - in more normal times - for many different functions, the most important of which being the annual Stour Music Festival, the Five Church Walk and, until recently, the Wye Charity Ball in support of local charities.  More and more it is also being used as a magical spot for wedding receptions (eg meal and disco) after the wedding ceremony.  See pics in the Gallery on the Bookings page here.

 

All Saints is open to the public on practically all weekends from May to September.  At other times you may be able to request a key from Mrs Rita Hawes on 01233 627117.  For some views of the interior see below, and for a "guided tour" click here.

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Glad to have missed this!

 

CHURCHWARDENS' MAY MAGAZINE NOTES

will appear here shortly

 

   

Saint Christopher's church

The Hardy Room at St Christopher's

Some views inside All Saints

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and here's the All Saints' Church stamp for those of you with a Pilgrim's Passport
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And finally a view of St Christopher's when it was still a school (date?).  The teachers and children are outside and you can just see the headmistress' cottage chimney behind.  The porch was later extended to provide a vestry and a new porch added to the other door.

The photo below, taken by a Mr De'Arth of Ashford shows the children and teachers, but where are they? Is the wall behind a section of the Eastwell Park wall?  Or are they in what are now allotments behind St Christopher's?
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