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

Although no formal confirmation has yet been received from the Diocese, Bill McDougall has met with the Archdeacon and it is understood that there is agreement for Bill to be appointed as Interim Priest to the Chiddingstones and to be resident with his wife Isobel in the Rectory. This is supported by the sudden activity of workmen at the Rectory, arranged by the Diocesan Surveyor, carrying out plumbing, decoration and general repairs. A timely and successful working party of parishioners, last Saturday, mowed, raked and tidied the front garden and driveway which now looks more welcoming. A big thank- you to all those who contributed to this step forward.

The period of Bill McDougall`s tenure as Interim Priest is likely to be dependent on the timing of the merger with Penshurst and Fordcombe and the related arrangements for services, administration and potential joining of PCC’s. The likely extension of Tom Holme`s position at Penshurst will also be a factor, as will the preparation and advertising for long-term successors.

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


Services for May will appear in our Twitter feed.

Before last Sunday’s Palm Sunday service at St Luke`s, we were appropriately accompanied to the church – and up the aisle – by Wonky the donkey, by courtesy of Annemarie to whom we are most grateful for making one of her donkeys available at short notice.

The Toddlers’ Service will continue on the first Thursday of the month at 9.15am in the Parish Room.


One of the early benefits of our proposed merger is that the Penshurst ringers – who are unable to ring at Penshurst due to a technical problem – would like to ring at Chiddingstone. They are due to ring on Easter Day and, going forward, on a fortnightly basis dependent on the situation with their own bells.

With Ian Coleman now a ‘ringer-in-training’, it would be lovely in due course to have our own team again. Janice Byrne is happy to train others so if there are other would-be ringers, please contact Ian Coleman (01892 870435) or Jan Byrne (01892 740393).

Quinquennial Repairs at St Mary’s

The internal repairs at St Mary’s are now virtually complete but the masonry and other external repairs will continue in May/June when frost-free conditions are expected. We are very grateful to those who have come forward with donations to ease the financial burden and would appreciate any further generosity.


Any wedding matters should be addressed to our wedding co-ordinator and verger, Christine Roberts (01892 870437).

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. (contact numbers in our local directory).