Not exactly restoration, but necessary nevertheless:
New toilets at All Saints, completed April 2019, available during services and events:
CELEBRATING 70 YEARS RESTORATION OF ALL SAINTS CHURCH
Extract from architect's report. October 1951:
“The fact facing you is this. The Church in its present condition is dangerous to enter and should be closed until at least the tottering masonry has been removed.”
And so the fund-raising started:
The early work included repairing the fire-damaged tower: roof, brickwork and the massive oak cradle for the bells, although the bells and pews had been sold to fund the work. The damaged South transept window was bricked up and not opened again until 2003. In more recent years the tower brick and stonework has been made safe, drains and soakaways constructed for rainwater, the South porch opened up for disabled access, ten windows, including all those with medieval glass repaired, disfiguring algal growth on the internal walls removed, and the South transept window re-instated to provide light to a very dark corner. We were very fortunate too to be offered a fine 1905 organ made by J W Walker & Sons of London, whose beautiful sound is worthy of the outstanding acoustics of the building. In addition to these and numerous plastering jobs, the 13th century vestry screen and doors have been cleaned, the 1751 royal coat of arms renovated, the Robert Moyle memorial which had been lying broken on the floor for perhaps 90 years, repaired and mounted in the South transept, and in 2017 a major roof repair project completed. Finally, in 2019 a small attractive toilet block was constructed in the churchyard to replace some outdated and unsightly portaloos.
But there's still stuff to do: a rotting beam in the vestry roof is disintegrating and must be replaced urgently, while some high level plaster in the vestry has fallen and needs replacing. The latest lightning protection inspection also identified some upgrading which, again, needs attention this year. So you can see it never stops. A huge amount has been done to restore this beautiful Grade 1-listed church, but there is always a need for funds to preserve what has been achieved and to carry on with the restoration.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Come along and enjoy a service in this beautiful old church during the summer.
Attend and/or help run one of the many activities taking place to help raise funds.
Become a Friend of All Saints. Contact Mr Robert P Oliver, Chestnut Lodge, The Lees, Boughton Lees, Ashford, Kent. TN25 4HH. Phone 01233 623761 or email:
Give a donation, perhaps in memory of a loved one.
Give a legacy.
If you are able to make a donation or include All Saints in your will, it would help enormously if you could state whether it is for immediate use or for the All Saints Endowment Fund which was set up to provide a secure income for repairs in perpetuity. The capital of this Fund cannot be touched, and for this reason the churchwardens are not permitted to make deposits into it unless specifically requested by the donor.