St. Mary's Church

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St Mary the Virgin, Chiddingstone

St Luke's Chiddingstone Causeway

Interregnum at St.Mary's and St.Luke's

The way forward

On 30th May, the PCC meeting, which had been brought forward to hasten progress, approved the proposed appointment of Bill McDougall (Chiddingstone) and extended tenure of Tom Holme (Penshurst and Fordcombe). Such approval was required by the Diocese since both are over 70. We await the same approval from Penshurst/Fordcombe at their imminent PCC meeting which will hopefully clear the path for Bill`s speedy move into the Chiddingstone Rectory. This is part of the overall proposal accepted by the PCC for:

  • Tom Holme to extend his Penshurst/Fordcombe appointment (due to retire in November 2019) by 1 year. Also to act as Priest-in-charge for St Mary`s and St Luke`s, Chiddingstone.
  • Bill McDougall to be appointed as Associate Priest (part-time) resident in the Chiddingstone Rectory until end 2021, thus allowing a year`s continuity after Tom Holme`s retirement.
  • A new full-time Incumbent in the Penshurst Rectory to succeed Tom Holme with responsibility for Chiddingstones, Penshurst and Fordcombe (supported by Bill McDougall).

A subsequent Associate/Assistant/Curate to be appointed to serve the combined parishes but living in the Chiddingstone Rectory following Bill`s retirement at end 2021.

We remain greatly appreciative to Bill for his frequent journeys during a typical week to assist in our worship and pastoral care. It will be a considerable relief when he and his wife Izzy are finally given the go-ahead.

Further information and developments will be provided, through this monthly column and weekly hand-out notices at church.


Services for July appear on our Twitter feed. The Toddler Service will continue on the first Thursday of the month at 9.15am in the Parish Room.

The Choral Evensong on Monday 3rd June at St Mary`s was a great success and much enjoyed by the many who attended. The young Chamber Choir of Sevenoaks School sang beautifully, and the candle-lit church was a perfect and peaceful setting for a special evening. How lovely to have Jean Lorimer there with her many colleagues from St Barnabas, including Paul Jenkins who officiated. Particular thanks to John Gordon-Reid for his splendid organisation and to all who helped before and on the night.

We were all greatly saddened by the recent death of Mary Crane who had, over many years, supported the church as a member of the choir with her daughters, as a PCC member and as part of the fund-raising sub-committee. She was too young and a lovely lady who will be sorely missed.

On a happier note, the wedding of Michael and Lauren took place on 7th June and that of Jamie and Lucinda was held on Friday 21st June at 1 pm.

We remain very appreciative of the increased bell-ringing and those who continue to play the organ, take our services and maintain our two churches.


Any wedding matters should be addressed to our Parish Administrator and Wedding Co-ordinator, Louise Sanders (01892 824879) or email:

Any pastoral matters should be addressed to the Pastoral Assistant, Carol Benton (01892 870483) or, in the Causeway, to Helen Barnes (01732 838855) and in the Hoath to Jane Ann Golds (01892 870429).

Any Christenings or other matters relating to St Mary`s or St Luke`s should go to the relevant churchwardens please (contact numbers here).