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' MAY MAGAZINE NOTES
Late daffodils rescued us at St Christopher's. Despite fears that there would be none for Easter we were able to have sufficient and the church looked lovely thanks to the band of helpers.
As we write these notes our old organ at All Saints is being taken apart. Already the purchaser has removed the parts he wanted and the remaining structure is being taken by people who have expressed an interest. Complete clearance of the north transept had to be completed before the end of April, and the organ builders will have started erecting the replacement organ by the time you read this. It lies waiting in the corner.
Usually we migrate to All Saints from warm St Christophers in mid-May but this year it may be later as we hope to have the replacement organ in working order for our services before we do. Notices will be at both churches to advise on arrangements.
If you read this before May 2nd you still have time to take part in the 5 Church Walk or even help serve refreshments at All Saints. Everyone is welcome.
If it is after May 2nd perhaps you just feel tired! But thank-you for your help and/or sponsorship. We really appreciate your efforts.
This month, Ali or Nigel Poole from Wye will be joining us on May 15th for our ‘3rd Sunday’ service. This is when we wardens lead the Morning Prayer service and guests give a talk in what is normally the sermon ‘slot’.
Communion is celebrated at our other Services.
We are a friendly church. Come to join us at 9.30. Each Sunday is different and we have coffee/tea afterwards. And if you have any queries or comments please contact either of us:
Rita Hawes 01233 627117 Catherine Wear-Davis 07740 702377