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.
Saint Christopher's church
CHURCHWARDENS' NOTES FOR DECEMBER
Christmas decorations are everywhere and we are only in mid-November as we write these notes. But our decorations in St Christopher's will be different and where else will you see them in a converted original medieval hall house?
Come to our Family Carol Service on December 22nd at 4pm when the candles will be lit, traditional readings as well as modern will be read and well -known carols will be sung. Afterwards there will be mulled wine and mince pies in the adjoining Hardy room.
A lovely way to start Christmas but it continues: On Christmas Eve we have a Midnight Service starting at 11.30pm and all are welcome to come.
Just to remind you, the Nativity Scene outside St Christopher's will be there again this year. Not only village people look forward to this. Many people who daily drive past appreciate its presence. Thank-you to everyone who helps set it up.
Services during December will be the normal time, ie 9.30 on Dec 1st, 8th and 15th but there’s no Morning Service on Dec 22nd or Dec 29th at St Christopher's. As we have a fifth Sunday this month there will be a Benefice Service for all churches in the group is on Dec 29th and will be held at Wye Parish Church. It starts at 10.30am and all are welcome to come.
Finally can we take this opportunity to wish you all a lovely Christmas, and thank all those who have helped and supported us during the past twelve months? We hope very much to see you at one of our Christmas Services. And if you are hard of hearing you’ll be glad to know that we now have a hearing loop, so no excuses!
Clare Hardwick (01233 623618) and Rita Hawes (01233 627117),