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 second and fourth Sundays, and Morning Prayer on the first and 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, more 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 (meal and dance) after the wedding ceremony. See pics in the Gallery on the Bookings page here.
During these COVID-19 times it is difficult to manage opening times other than on Sundays but 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 this year, thank goodness!
CHURCHWARDENS' AUGUST MAGAZINE NOTES
At last we can look forward to worshiping in All Saints during August. As we write this we are about to have our first weekend in All Saints, first for the Invicta Singers’ concert and then on Sunday for our Morning Service at 9.30. At both we shall hear our new organ being played.
It does not seem that only this time last year we were considering whether to dispense with the old organ and acquire a digital replacement as we were faced with a big repair bill. Now we have a ‘new’ pipe organ, smaller and in good repair. Thank-you to everyone who helped either practically or financially. There is still money to be found, but with a grant (just notified) from the C of E’s church buildings division, we think it’s manageable. The Invicta concert was in aid of the organ fund too. But there are continuing calls on our resources so we shall have to continue with other money raising events.
All Saints is a Grade 1 listed building, much larger than the usual parish church. Built largely in the 13th and 14th centuries, extensively damaged during the reformation, Victorianised in the 1800s, bombed in the 2nd World War and damaged in the hurricane it stands proudly above the Stour Valley and deserves to be used. For the rest of the summer it will be open at weekends, and at other times we can open it by arrangement.
All services start at 9.30 am, with Communion on the first, second and fourth Sundays, and Morning Prayer led by the wardens on the third Sunday. All are welcome to join us, and we hope to see you there.
Rita Hawes 01233 627117 Catherine Wear-Davis 07740 702377