all about All Saints and St Christopher's Churches
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.
Not long now!
CHURCHWARDENS' DECEMBER MAGAZINE NOTES
We have just taken a look at last December’s magazine!
How busy we were with a Carol Service on the afternoon of the 18th and a Midnight Service on Christmas Eve.
But this year has to be different. Sadly, there will be no Midnight Service on Christmas Eve but we shall still be having our Carol Service, this time at 3pm on Christmas Eve instead of earlier in the month.
St Christopher’s will be lit by candles and decorated for Christmas. This medieval building always looks magical! The Service is traditional, with well-known readings interspersed with carols for all to sing. And afterwards there’ll be mince pies and mulled wine in the Hardy Room next door. All are very welcome so once again we hope for a bumper turn out.
Lastly, we shall be having our Christmas Hamper raffle again this year and it will be drawn at the end of the Carol Service. Tickets - in aid of church funds – should be on sale by the time you read this, and we will deliver the hamper to the winner’s home if they are not present later the same afternoon.
We wish you all a very happy Christmas
You’ll find we are a welcoming church. Do come and join us.
Rita Hawes 01233 627117 Catherine Wear-Davis 07740 702377