St. Giles’ Church

Details of services are set out below, showing whether the service is in Shipbourne Church or in Plaxtol church.

8.00 9.30 11.00
1st Sunday of month Holy Communion
Plaxtol
Parish Communion
Shipbourne
Family Service
Plaxtol
2nd Sunday of month Holy Communion
Shipbourne
Matins
Shipbourne
Parish Communion
Plaxtol
3rd Sunday of month Holy Communion
Plaxtol
Parish Communion
Shipbourne
Family Communion
Plaxtol
4th Sunday of month Holy Communion
Shipbourne
Family Service
Shipbourne
Parish Communion
Plaxtol
5th Sunday
(when there is one)
Holy Communion
Plaxtol
Parish Communion
Shipbourne
Matins
Plaxtol

 

Every weekday at 8.00am Morning Prayer will be said at Plaxtol and every weekday evening (except Friday and Saturday) at 4.30pm Evening Prayer will be said at St Giles Shipbourne.

Services in Advent and at Christmas

Sunday 17th December: a Nativity Service for all the family, at 9.30am "O come and join the dance"

Christmas Eve, Sunday 24 December:

8.00am Holy Communion

9.30am Parish Communion (said service)

5.00pm Carol Service

Christmas Day, Monday 25 December:

9.30am: Family Communion

New Year's Eve Vigil

"Ringing in" the New Year from 11.30pm on Sunday 31 December 2017 and midnight supper at St Giles

Weddings, baptisms and funerals

Please contact the Rector, Rev Peter Hayler,  at RectorSwP @gmail.com if you would like to discuss having a wedding in Shipbourne church or if you would like to discuss a baptism, funeral or memorial service.

For children...
Some services are designed particularly with children in mind:
The family service is held at 9.30am on the fourth Sunday of every month.
The Nativity and Christingle service at Christmas, when children take part in the nativity tableau during the service.
A new service, [email protected] (see below).

Playchurch
Playchurch is for babes in arms, toddlers and pre-school children and their parents. It is an opportunity for everyone with young ones to meet and worship in a relaxed atmosphere. Playchurch lasts about 3/4 hour with fuzzy felt Bible stories, singing and craft activities for the children and is an opportunity for parents to have an informal discussion on the week's theme. There will be drinks and biscuits for the children and their parents.

Playchurch will take place on Thursday 21 December 2017 in Plaxtol Church, starting at 10.30am.

If you've got young children, it would be great to see you there. For more details, call Mary Perry on 01732 810797 or Carol Crossley on 01732 810801.

Rock Solid
This group is for 10 to 14 year olds in Shipbourne and Plaxtol.
The aim is to help them as they start out in their lives in their new schools and as teenagers. It features discussion on the Bible and life issues, games, films and snacks. The next meeting of the group will be at the Community @4 service (see below). For more information on Rock Solid, please contact Peter Brewin, 01732 810361 or at [email protected]

[email protected]
This is our new modern service.

  Suitable for all ages
  Worship songs with a band
  Discussions for different age groups
  Craft and play time for children
  Bring and share refreshments after the service

This is a joint benefice service and is held once a month in Plaxtol Church from 4 to 5pm on a Sunday. [email protected] will not take place in December but will resume in January.

Worship Review
In 2014, there was a review of worship in the two churches in the joint benefice. Following wide consultation, various changes were implemented for a trial period of a year. At the end of this period a questionnaire was circulated, seeking views on the success of these changes, and the replies have been analysed. The former Rector, Rev Andrew Procter, wrote
"I am grateful to all who participated in the review of our experimental year in our life of worship. The PCCs have now considered the outcome and this note is a digest of the main findings.

1. The [email protected] service has been well received and will continue for the foreseeable future. There is to be further consideration as to its venue but its overall style will be kept.
2. The 5th Sunday benefice worship has also been liked and will be kept as our ongoing pattern on those Sundays.
3. The monthly Family Services in both Churches are good and will stay. There are ways to develop both of them which we will reckon to implement.
4. The main Parish Communion Services. There is little need for change at St Giles. Consideration will be given at Plaxtol to taking up now recommendations originally made for its main communion service but not implemented due to the pressure of launching [email protected] The suggested ways to enhance both services mentioned on the original review will be progressively implemented.
5. Matins is much liked and will be retained at St Giles. Steps will be taken to publicise it more widely around the diocese and to familiarise the congregation with its liturgical structure.
6. Publicity and marketing. All the suggestions of the original review remain worthwhile. Whilst a few have been implemented most remain to be done. They need now to be put in place."

 

What else we do for the parish:

Farmers’ Market
A Farmers’ Market is held at the church every Thursday between 9.00 and 11.00. You can buy local produce including breads, meat, vegetables, mushrooms, smoked fish, pickles, cheeses and fruit. The church organises the Market as a service to the local community.

There will be a special Shipbourne Farmers' Market on Saturday 23 December, between 9.00 and 11.00am, for the collection of pre-ordered meats and the purchase of fresh fruit and vegetables.

There will be no Farmers' Market on 28 December; the Market will return on Thursday 18 January 2018.

For more information ring Bob Taylor 01732 833976

St Giles and Shipbourne Newsletter
The Newsletter contains information about the church and the local community. It is produced by the church and delivered free to every house in the parish. Further copies are available in the church and can also be viewed online from the home page. Mrs Lindsay Miles is the editor of the Newsletter; any items of news or adverts should be sent to her at [email protected]. Her telephone number is 01732 810439. Advertisements for the Newsletter should be sent to Tish Gourmelon (phone 07966 035492).

The Harvest Supper
The Harvest Supper is held each year for the joint benefice at the end of September or in early October. See below for a report on this year's Harvest Supper.

St Giles Fete
The church organises a traditional fete each year on August Bank Holiday Monday. It is held in the Village Hall and on the village Green outside the Village Hall. See below for a report on this year's fete.

Our link with All Saints' Chatham
The benefice has established a link with the church of All Saints' in Chatham. This church set up the All Saints Community Project, a registered charity which operates at the Magpie Centre, close to All Saints' in Chatham. The Centre now has 12 full or part time staff, and provides a wide range of services for local residents, including providing advice and information; counselling; training in skills for the workplace; exercise and other health classes; various regular social groups; youth and after school clubs; and support for families in need. St Giles and Plaxtol Church are now supporting the Project and are exploring ways in which they can help the dedicated staff and volunteers, by providing financial support, donating food or offering voluntary support at the Centre.
Due to an administrative problem at Strood, we have been asked to stop asking for donations of food or household goods for the time being. We hope to be able to collect again soon for this worthwhile charity, as soon as they have sorted out the problem.

If you can help in any of these ways, or you would just like more information, please contact Carole Howlett at [email protected] or on 01732 811430 or Helen Leach at [email protected] or on 01732 811144.

News of events in the parish

Preparing for Advent

Prayerful readings for Advent

Tuesdays 5th, 12th and 19th December at the Rectory, the Street, Plaxtol, meeting at 10.30am coffee for a prompt start at 11.00am, or 7.40pm coffee for 8.00pm prompt start.

The Stable Chapel in the Rectory Garden is open throughout Advent for personal prayer and meditation.

If you have devotional Advent books from previous years that you would be prepared for others to borrow, please label them with your name and leave them at the back of the church.

Appointment of Reverend Doctor Peter Hayler as Rector of Shipbourne with Plaxtol.                                                                                             Reverend Peter Hayler was installed as Rector of the joint benefice of Shipbourne with Plaxtol at a service in St Giles Shipbourne on 6 May 2017.

Peter provided profiles of himself and Donna:

"Peter was born in Nottingham and grew up as a chorister on a traditional diet of chanted Matins and Evensong. A keen musician, he learnt to play the violin from the age of six, spending many years playing in youth orchestras. He studied chemistry at Royal Holloway College and went on to work for Astra Pharmaceuticals in London, while experiencing the renewal of his faith as a member of St James the Less, Bethnal Green.

Donna grew up near Esher in Surrey, and worked for the Church Missionary Society in London before moving to Yorkshire as a member of the Scargill House Community.

Peter and Donna met in college in Blackheath as they trained to be Church Army evangelists. They were married in 1992 and have two children who have recently flown the nest: Oliver (22) and Nat (18). Their work for the church took them first to Cambridge and then on to South Wales (1995- 2009), during which time Peter was ordained and served as Curate and Team Vicar in Magor, Monmouthshire, before returning to Cambridge.

During his twenty four years in ministry, Peter has served many years as a chaplain; first pioneering a chaplaincy to the high tech companies of the Cambridge Science Park, then in traditional manufacturing and the local voluntary sector, latterly bringing his experience and the insights of industrial mission to the developing 'Chaplaincy to University Staff' in Cambridge.

His recent work has focused on the multi-faith aspects of the complex University community, together with issues of staff wellbeing, while also having a full share of the liturgical work as Associate Vicar at Great St Mary's Church. The challenges of this work caused him to take on the Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology as a way of deepening his pastoral engagement with reflective practice.

While in Wales, Donna re-trained in Counselling and Psychotherapy, completing her Master's, practising in the voluntary, public and private sectors, and teaching to Diploma level. Although no longer practising, Donna continues to use her skills in the area of creative spirituality and spiritual direction.

Together Peter and Donna have a miniature Schnauzer, Alfie. They enjoy walking, fresh coffee and caravanning, and are  looking forward very much to getting to know Kent better."

St Giles Summer Fete 2017

In sweltering heat, the St Giles Summer Fete took place on Shipbourne Green, by kind permission of the Fairlawne Estate, on Bank Holiday Monday 28 August 2017. Mr James Swartz of Fairlawne welcomed visitors and opened the fete. The Tonbridge and Sevenoaks Training Band played a variety of great music throughout the afternoon and the popular dog show made a welcome return.  There were some brilliant costumes on show in the children's fancy dress competition. Visitors enjoyed the various sideshows and produce and other stalls. Lunch was available from a barbecue and tea and cakes were on offer in the Village Hall. The afternoon finished with the Grand Draw and prize giving. The fete raised approximately £4,600 for St Giles.

Warmest thanks to all the numerous people who helped with energy and enthusiasm in running the stalls, setting up or clearing away, or who contributed prizes or produce, and in particular to Lindsay Miles and Viv Packer who organised the fete and made it such a successful day.

Harvest Supper 2017
The Barn of the Fairlawne Home Farm was the magnificent setting on Friday 6 October for the Benefice Harvest Supper, to celebrate the Harvest Festival. Long trestle tables were adorned with apples from the estate and straw bales provided rustic seating. Guests arrived to the sounds of English folk tunes played on various accordions by Alan Austin and Linda Smith provided vocal accompaniment.  Our Rector, Peter Hayler prepared the picture quiz and acted as our Master of Ceremonies at his first Harvest Supper with us.

Our thanks to the Fairlawne Estate for generously allowing us the the use of the barn; to James Sheldrick and his team for clearing and setting up the barn with tables and straw bales for us to sit on; to all those who provided shepherd's pies, apple crumbles and salads, and apple juice; to the many people who set up on the day, helped with the serving and clearing up afterwards and helped with the bar. Particular thanks for the generosity of local businesses and individuals who donated prizes  for our raffle. A little over £1,400 was raised for the Benefice.
Special thanks also go to our organisers, Julia Sheraton and Andy Doughty for such a wonderful evening.

Christian Aid week

Thank you to everyone who supported Christian Aid week in May, and in particular to Sally Bryden who organised the collection this year. We raised well over £500 for this year's campaign to support refugees.

St Giles Quiz Night

A Quiz Night took place on Saturday 25 February 2017 in the Plaxtol Memorial Hall, and raised £1,500 for St Giles Church. The Hall was packed and there was keen competition among the various teams.  Warm thanks go to Lyn and Clive Buddle for devising the questions and presenting the quiz on the night.

Farewell to Andrew and Elizabeth Procter                                                    Andrew and Elizabeth took their leave of the congregations at Shipbourne and Plaxtol on Sunday 9 October 2016. It was a bitter sweet farewell. Sad, but with joy and great appreciation of their nine year ministry, large congregations wiped away tears while wishing them a long, happy, healthy and productive retirement. The harvest supper at Home Farm Barn  on the previous Friday, attended by over 150 people, was also an occasion for a light hearted celebration of Andrew's ministry in our two parishes.

Andrew and Elizabeth moved into a house in nearby Platt in November 2016. Andrew writes that he has increased his hours at Sevenoaks Counselling "which I continue to find fulfilling work and is my serious calling at the moment" and has become a member of the church of St Mary's, Platt.

Christmas craft fair
A Christmas Craft Fair was held in the Shipbourne Village Hall on Saturday 11 November 2017, in aid of the Village Hall.

The Roux's return
Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jr returned to Shipbourne on Thursday 17 October 2013 to cook an amazing dinner for 166 guests at the Chaser Inn. This was to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Shipbourne Farmers' Market and to raise funds for St Giles' Church, for the Addington Fund and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution. Photos of the event can be viewed at www.photovisionservices.com/rouxdinner

Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jr will return to Shipbourne in June 2018 for another Roux dinner, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Shipbourne Farmers' Market. 

Where are we?
The parish church of St Giles' Church, Shipbourne is situated on the west side of the Green in Shipbourne. Its address is:

St Giles Church
Stumble Hill
Shipbourne
Tonbridge
Kent
TN11 9PF

Maintaining the fabric of our church: our restoration appeal
We are working with our architect to develop detailed plans for the next phase of the restoration work. The main projects are described below, under "what are we raising money for now?"

We are already taking steps to raise the substantial funds needed to carry out this work. We have some funds available for restoration work but much more will be needed before work can begin.

  We applied to English Heritage for Lottery funding in 2011 and again in 2012 but were not successful.
  We will seek further grants and donations from grant making trusts and individuals.
  We will continue our successful programme of fund raising events. We have held sponsored hymn singing (August 2013) and the Roux dinner (October 2013) and well attended quiz evenings. Each of these events raised funds for the Appeal. You can read more about the restoration of the church below

Our Churchyard
Our churchyard is active which means that it is still used for burials. It is a beautiful area of just over an acre and we aim to manage it for everyone's enjoyment.

Management of the churchyard
The PCC has altered its policy for the management of the churchyard. Our aim is to manage the churchyard so that it has an informal, rural appearance; we wish to balance the need to ensure that everyone can get to the graves easily and enjoy the peace of the churchyard while encouraging the wildlife and widening the diversity of plant life. We have decided:

  We will manage some areas around the edge of the churchyard under the “God’s Acre” guidelines, so the grass will be cut only twice a year; these areas will be used by the children’s Playchurch group for observing wildlife and wild flowers.
  The areas around the paths will be cut and strimmed regularly.
  In other areas of the churchyard priority will be given to cutting the grass between the graves, but the tops of the graves and other areas which need strimming will be cut less often.

The cost of maintaining the churchyard is met by a grant from the Borough Council and a contribution from the PCC.

Our churchyard working parties of volunteers have done good work in recent years in clearing graves which had become engulfed in brambles and cutting back ivy and the encroaching undergrowth.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who met on 22 April to work on the churchyard. The next working party will be in the Spring of 2018.

How we are organised

Shipbourne Rector
The Reverend Doctor Peter Hayler is the Rector of Shipbourne with Plaxtol. His address is The Rectory, The Street, Plaxtol, TN15 0QG. He can be contacted at 01732 811081 or by e-mail: [email protected]

Governance
The Parochial Church Council (PCC) of St Giles Shipbourne is responsible for the running of the Church. The Rector is the Chairman of the PCC. The Annual Report and Accounts of the Church are presented to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting which is held normally in April each year. The members of the PCC are elected at this meeting from the congregation.

Churchwardens
Sir Paul Britton (365794) email: [email protected]
Mrs Vivienne Packer (810822) email: [email protected]
PCC Secretary: Mrs Mary Perry (810797)
Children’s Representative: Glynis Coates (811432)

Church APCM
The Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) took place on Monday 24 April 2017. There were reports on the activities of the Church over the past year and the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2016 were presented for approval. The annual report provides further information on the activities of the church during 2016. A copy of the annual report and the financial statements for 2016 is attached.

St Giles' annual report and financial statements 2016

The annual report and financial statements for earlier years are also attached.

PCC Annual Report and Financial Statements 2015

PCC Annual Report and Financial Statements 2014

PCC Annual Report and Financial Statements 2013

PCC Annual Report and Financial Statements 2012

PCC Annual Report 2011
PCC Statutory Accounts 2011
PCC Accounts Independent Examiner Report 2011

Safeguarding
The PCC has adopted a policy for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, in accordance with Church of England guidance as set out in the House of Bishops' Policy, Protecting all God's Children. This policy is on display on one of the noticeboards in the Church.
The Parish Children's Representative is Miss Glynis Coates
The Vulnerable Adults' Officer is Sir Paul Britton

The Bells
The tower contains six bells which were re-hung in 1993. Bell ringing practice is on Thursday nights at 20.00. Call the Tower Secretary, Bob Taylor on 01732 833976, if you would like to ring the bells.

The Choir
The Choir sings at the 9.30 service every Sunday. Practices are held at the home of John Young, the choirmaster and organist once a week on Thursday or Friday. Contact John Young on 01732 810289 if you would like to sing with the choir.

Flowers
Felicity Ward organises the rota for the flower arrangements in the church each week. Please contact her on 01732 810525 if you would like to help with the flowers or to discuss flowers for weddings or funerals.

Sidesmen
The sidesmen's rota is displayed at the back of the church.

Coffee rota
Volunteers serve coffee and biscuits at the back of the church at the end of the 9.30am service on Sundays. The list of those organising the coffee is at the back of the church.

Cleaning the church
The church is cleaned by volunteers: details are shown on the list at the back of the church. Please contact Mary Perry on 01732 810797 or by e-mail at [email protected], if you would like to help.

History of our church
The present church was built by Edward Cazalet of Fairlawne and opened for worship in 1881. It replaced a smaller Georgian church which had fallen into disrepair; this church replaced an earlier building which had been in use since the late middle ages. A leaflet providing further information on the history of St Giles is available at the back of the church.

How do we manage the church's finances?
St Giles' is responsible for all its own expenses, including making a contribution to the costs of the diocese, and relies on donations from parishioners and other friends from outside the parish, who support the church’s work. Income from endowment funds provide some income to maintain the fabric of the church and much of the funds required for major restoration work on the fabric necessarily comes from grants and donations as well as fund raising events. You can read further details on the finances of St Giles Church in the annual report and financial statements.

Donations to St Giles can be made by bank standing order, an envelope scheme or by donations in church and benefit from Gift Aid where the necessary declaration has been made. You can find information on the envelope scheme and Gift Aid forms for completion at the back of the church. Cheques should be made payable to "St Giles' Church, Shipbourne". Further information on supporting the ministry of the church can be obtained from the Treasurer, Martyn Williams, at [email protected]or telephone 01732 833751.

St Giles Trust supports the St Giles Church restoration appeal

One of the funds which has been supporting the continuing restoration of St Giles is a local charity, St Giles Trust. The Trust was set up in 1985 by the Venerable Edward Maples Earle who was Rector of St Giles at the time, and two Shipbourne residents, Bernard Russell and Aubrey Beach. Their aim was to create a fund which would contribute to the cost of the maintenance and decoration of the church’s fabric and the upkeep of its churchyard. The Trust has continued to pursue these aims and it remains a local charity, run by five trustees who are all members of the congregation of St Giles.

Over the years the Trust has contributed over £11,000 to various projects. The Trust contributed to improvements to the lighting and to the installation of the new oil fired central heating system. In 2008 the Trust contributed towards the cost of the first stage of the restoration appeal, which involved replacing the nave roof and doing urgent repairs to the roof, stonework and joinery of St Giles’ distinctive tower. In 2010 the Trust contributed to the overhaul of the St Giles organ and the restoration of the mosaic floor.

Since it was founded, many people have contributed to the Trust, through personal donations or by making a specific legacy in favour of the Trust in their wills; some people have kindly donated to the Trust funds collected in memory of a loved one. All these contributions have been greatly appreciated.

If you would like further information on St Giles Trust, or would like to contribute to the charity, please contact Nick Ward, who is the Chairman of the Trustees, telephone 810525.

St. Giles Church, Shipbourne

Page last updated: 5/10/2017

Shipbourne War MemorialShipbourne War Memorial

St. Giles' ChurchyardSt. Giles' churchyard old memorial inscriptions

St. Giles' Church - Stained GlassSt. Giles' stained glass

Kent Farmers MarketFarmers' Market

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JUBILEE MEMORIES
OF ROYAL CONNECTIONS
WITH FAIRLAWNE AND SHIPBOURNE

By Sir Edward Cazalet

View PDF

 

St Giles Shipbourne Restoration and Development Appeal

The church launched an appeal in 2007 for funds for urgent repairs, and for improvements to its facilities.

WHAT HAVE WE ACHIEVED SO FAR?

St Giles Church has been standing for 125 years but the structure is showing its age. When the church was inspected by the architect in 2005, she found that the nave roof was worn out, the roof of the Tower was leaking, causing rot in the timbers supporting the roof, and some of the stonework was badly damaged after being exposed to the weather for more than a century. The pictures show the poor state of the roof and tower before work began. The advice was that we couldn't patch it up any longer: we needed a new roof on the tower and nave and extensive repairs to the timbers, stonework and leadwork.

The tower and the roof

Fund raising started straight away. The Church applied to English Heritage for a grant out of Lottery funds and we were delighted when they offered a substantial grant towards the cost of the repair work. The exploratory work carried out in 2007 revealed that the Tower roof was in a much worse state than had been thought.

The repair work began in July 2008. The old tiles were stripped off, new felt and battens were put in place and new tiles were laid on the roofs of the tower, the nave and the north-east porch. The leadwork was repaired or replaced where necessary to make St Giles watertight and ready for the next 125 years. In the tower the structural timbers have been repaired where they had been damaged by damp and a new dormer doorway has been built in oak to replace the old one. The gutters were sand blasted and repainted. A stonemason has restored or replaced individual stones on the outside of the tower and on the wall of the West gable end, since many of these had been eroded by the weather. He also carved a new gargoyle, so St Giles will once again have a gargoyle on each corner of the tower. Finally the cockerel on the weather vane has been restored and re-gilded.

Lady Vane Chapel

The Lady Vane Chapel in the South transept has been transformed. A new glazed oak screen, in memory of Edward and Jocelyn Earle, has been installed behind the choir stalls at the entrance to the chapel. The fine Rysbrack sculpture, carved as a memorial to Lord Barnard and his family who used to live at Fairlawne, has been cleaned and spotlights have been installed so that the memorial can be seen properly. The other memorial plaques have been cleaned. The whole area has been cleared and carpeted. The chapel provides a space for private prayer, for signing the registry at weddings or for meetings.

The Church floor
St Giles has a fine marble terrazzo floor, with complex designs mainly at the east end of the church around the altar. Terrazzo flooring is made up of small pieces of marble. This form of flooring was first developed in Venice in the fifteenth century as a way of using up small offcuts of marble. The technique has been greatly refined over the years. It provides a tough and attractive flooring. However over the years some cracks had appeared and the surface had become dull with accumulated dirt. In June the conservators who worked on the Lady Vane Chapel carried out discreet repairs to fill the cracks and where necessary replace missing pieces of marble in the aisle and chancel. The colours of the marble have re-emerged after cleaning. We hope to carry out further restoration work in the porch and inside the main door when funds allow.

The organ

St Giles has a fine organ which was built by Lewis and Co, a leading firm of organ builders in the nineteenth century. It has a beautiful tone, the mechanism is virtually unchanged since it was built and it has a fine case. The diocesan organ adviser wrote about our organ:

“In thirty years as an organist…I have never come across such a wonderful instrument. Any church possessing an organ built by T. C. Lewis has a real gem for an instrument. The organs by Lewis are characteristic by their wide range of colour, superb build quality, and if money allows (in Shipbourne’s case) a superb case as well. While the organ needs a full-scale restoration, it still has a fantastic sound – all in all a really satisfying organ. You are so lucky to preside over such an instrument.”

Like the church, the organ is more than 100 years old. Bishops the organ builders stripped down the organ and carried out a thorough restoration in their workshops during 2010. The work has been completed and the organ is now in full working order.

The churchyard 

In 2017 the three notable table tombs in the churchyard were carefully restored.

WHAT ARE WE RAISING MONEY FOR NOW?

We are working with our architect to develop plans for the next phase of the restoration work. She has advised that there is further restoration work which is now urgent.

Exterior stonework: there are areas in poor condition, particularly on parts of the tower, the stair turret and the eastern gables. The damaged stones need to be replaced or repaired by a stonemason. Some re-pointing is needed. Much of the work is at a high level and will require scaffolding, which will be expensive.

The north west porch: the iron gates at the entrance to the porch need to be treated and re-painted.

External metalwork: some re-decoration is needed

Windows: stonework and glass repairs

Wooden blocks on the floor of the nave: the loose blocks need to be cleaned and re-fixed securely

Lightning protection system: the system has recently been improved

Walls surrounding the churchyard: some repairs and re-pointing is required

Underpinning work: the cracks in the walls of the Lady Vane Chapel (the south transept) indicate that there has been some subsidence. These have been observed over the last ten years and advice has been provided by a structural engineer and the church's architect. Following advice by the Diocesan Advisory Council, the PCC decided not to underpin the walls, but a crack monitoring system was re-introduced in November 2015 on the advice of the church's architect and civil engineer.

The Chancel: the fine decoration on the East wall of the chancel has been badly damaged over the years by damp. It has been stabilised but restoration will require painstaking work by expert conservators.

Improved facilities

Plans are being developed to improve the church’s facilities, including better storage, simple kitchen facilities and a WC. We are thinking about the church’s needs in coming years and considering how best to improve the facilities in a way which is sympathetic to the character of our wonderful church.

The church's architect was asked to investigate possibilities and draw up plans. The first two projects were completed in March 2015. They were to:

  fit casters to the base of the six rear pews on the south side of the aisle, so that they can be rolled forward, when required, to create a larger space at the rear of the church for social gatherings; and

  install drawers or lockers at ground level below the seats in the font screen at the west end of the church, to provide additional storage space.

Plans have been drawn up to install a small servery at the rear of the church, to provide facilities for serving hot drinks, and to provide a WC in the churchyard. Further work is being carried out to establish whether these improvements can be achieved at an acceptable cost.

Fund raising continues

We have applied for funds to various grant making trusts and some have already made generous contributions. We are grateful to all those individuals who have generously supported the Appeal.

We are continuing with our programme of fund raising events and further events are being planned.

We are delighted that we have raised sufficient funds to undertake the first stages of the restoration work but we still need further funds to enable us to carry out the rest of the restoration programme. You can contribute by sending a cheque, payable to St Giles Church Shipbourne, to the Treasurer, Martyn Williams, The Round House, Riding Lane, Hildenborough, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9QL, specifying that you would like your contribution to be used for the restoration appeal.

Do support the parish's fund raising efforts. At the Farmers' Market you can buy:

  • The Shipbourne Cookery Book - on sale for £10

  • The Shipbourne shopping bag - the green solution to cutting down on plastic bags

  • Shipbourne tea towels

  • Shipbourne mugs

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St Giles Shipbourne Restoration Appeal

St Giles Shipbourne Restoration Appeal

St Giles Shipbourne Restoration Appeal

St Giles Shipbourne Restoration Appeal

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