Details of services are set out below, showing whether
the service is in Shipbourne Church or in Plaxtol church.
1st Sunday of month
2nd Sunday of month
3rd Sunday of month
4th Sunday of month
(when there is one)
Evening office This takes place every weekday (except Friday)
at 4.30pm. This is a short service and lasts about 20 minutes.
Christenings, weddings and funerals
Please contact the Rector, Rev Andrew Procter if you would like to discuss
a christening, a wedding or a funeral at Shipbourne Church. He would
appreciate being told if any parishioner is admitted to hospital, if any
housebound person wishes to receive Holy Communion at home, or if there is
anyone who would welcome a visit. Normally he takes Friday as a day off
except if there is an emergency.
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, Community@4 (see below).
Playchurch at Shipbourne Church is aimed at pre-school and primary school
children and their parents. It is an opportunity for everyone with young
ones to meet and worship at St Giles in a relaxed atmosphere. Playchurch
takes place at 9.30am, normally on the second Saturday of each month. It
lasts about 3/4 hour with Bible stories 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 refreshments for both children and
Playchurch will take place on Saturday 8
October, 12 November and 10 December, starting at 9.30am.
got young children, it would be great to see you there. For more details,
call the Rector Andrew Procter on 01732 811081 or Mary Perry on 01732
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 new Community @4 service (see below). For more information
on Rock Solid, please contact Peter Brewin, 01732 810361 or at
Community@4 This is our new modern service and will be
held on the third Sunday of each month.
Suitable for all ages
Worship songs with a band
Discussions for different age groups
and play time for children
and share refreshments after the service
This is a joint
benefice service and will be held in Plaxtol Church from 4 to 5pm on
Sunday 16 October, 20 November and 18 December.
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 Rector,
Rev Andrew Procter, writes "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 Community@4 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 Community@4.
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
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. Mrs Lindsay Miles
is the editor of the Newsletter; any items of news or adverts should be
sent to her at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Her telephone number is 01732 810439.
Advertisements for the Newsletter should be sent to Tish Gourmelon (phone
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 the plans for this year's Harvest Supper.
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 the 2016
Healing Prayer Group The group meets
on the third Friday of each month to pray for the sick. Anyone is welcome
to attend. Requests for prayer can be put on the prayer board in church.
For more details, including time and venue, please contact Jeannie King on
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. If you can help in any of these ways, or you would just
like more information, please contact Carole Howlett at
email@example.com or on 01732 811430 or Helen Leach at
firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01732 811144.
News of events in the parish
St Giles' Summer Fete 2016
The St Giles' fete took place this year on Bank Holiday Monday, 29 August
2016 on the Green, Shipbourne, by kind permission of the Fairlawne Estate.
After two years when we had torrential rain, it was a delight to have a
day of warm sunshine. The fete was opened by Mr James Swartz. Large
numbers of people enjoyed the various stalls set out on the Green, and
were entertained by a wide range of music performed with verve by the
Tonbridge and Sevenoaks Training Band. There were numerous entries for the
popular dog show. Children in the fancy dress competition responded to
this year's theme of "Roald Dahl" by creating some wonderful costumes.
Lunch was available from a barbecue and tea and cakes were on offer in the
Village Hall. Warm thanks are due to Lindsay Miles and Viv Packer who
organised the Fete and to all the numerous people who were involved in
running the stalls, setting up, clearing away or who contributed prizes or
Christmas craft fair This will be held in the Village
Hall on Saturday 19 November 2016
Supper and Farewell to Andrew and Elizabeth The Harvest Supper
will take place on Friday 7 October 2016 at 7.15 for 8.00pm. Fairlawne has
very kindly offered the use of the magnificent Home Farm Barn to celebrate
the Harvest Festival with our neighbours in Plaxtol. This year we will be
saying farewell to Andrew and Elizabeth and this will be the ideal
opportunity to thank them and bid a fond farewell. Tickets are on sale
from the Farmers' Market, from Plaxtol Post Office and after the Sunday
service at St Giles. Prices are £10.00 for adults and £5.00 for children
(12 and under) to include food and entertainments. We need volunteers
to make shepherds' pies, vegetarian dishes, salads and apple crumbles. We
should welcome help setting up the tables on Friday lunchtime and to clear
up after the event. You can sign up on the volunteers' list at the back of
St Giles' Church. There will be a raffle on the evening with funds
going to the church. If you would like to donate any prizes please contact
the organisers, Kate Symonds on 810 147 (e-mail email@example.com) or
Julia Sheraton on 811477 (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) Remember to wrap up
warmly - there is no heating in the Barn. We use straw bales as seats so
you may want to bring a cushion. You will need cash for the cash bar or
the raffle. We look forward to seeing you!
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
Where are we? The parish
church of St Giles' Church, Shipbourne is situated on the west side of
Shipbourne Common. Its address is:
St Giles Church Stumble Hill
Shipbourne Tonbridge Kent TN11 9PF
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.
applied to English Heritage for Lottery funding in 2011 and again in 2012
but were not successful.
will seek further grants and donations from grant making trusts and
will continue our successful programme of fund raising events. We have
held concerts by a professional choir from St Petersburg (April 2012) and
a flower festival during the Diamond Jubilee (June 2012), sponsored hymn
singing (August 2013) and the Roux dinner (October 2013). 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:
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 and Boomerang groups for
observing wildlife and wild flowers.
areas around the paths will be cut and strimmed regularly.
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. A churchyard working party last
met on Saturday 10 September 2016. Warmest thanks to all who attended and
to Jeff and Jeannie King for providing coffee and biscuits as welcome
The next working party will meet in the Spring of
2017. The date will be announced nearer the time. Please come and help us.
Bring your own tools, such as loppers, strimmers, shears, spades etc and
suitable protective gear. Your assistance will help us to keep the
churchyard under control, so that everyone can enjoy it.
God's Acre and the
Kent Wild Life Trust at St Giles Shipbourne Mary Perry writes - "We aim
to encourage wild life into our churchyard. To do this we have designated
three small areas defined by hazel hoops where we have, with the children
who come to our youth groups, planted a selection of wild spring flowers.
We will allow the grass to grow and cut it after any wild flowers have had
the opportunity to set seed. To ensure that there is a variety of summer
flowers as well, we are sowing seeds and will plant them out as plug
plants. We are recording the species of flowers, fungi, trees, lichen,
mosses, grasses, mammals and insects at various times of the year. It is
our hope that once this scheme has established, we will be able to enter
the Kent Wild Life Trust Award scheme."
How we are organised
Shipbourne Rector Andrew Procter is the Rector of Shipbourne
with Plaxtol. He was installed as Rector at a service of induction on 20th
Andrew has been a parish clergyman all his working
life. He originates from Yorkshire and served a curacy and a first living
in the Pennines before another living in inner Bradford . For fourteen
years before coming to Shipbourne he was Vicar of Hextable and Swanley
Village . His wife Elizabeth retired recently from her post as a Medical
Consultant in Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Gillingham . They have
four children. Andrew has announced that he will retire in the Autumn.
The last service which he will hold as Rector of the parish will be on
Sunday 9th October 2016.
Andrew can be contacted at: The Rectory, The Street,
Plaxtol, Kent TN15 0QG Telephone 01732 811081 e-mail
Governance The Rector is the Chairman
of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) which is responsible for the running
of the Church. 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
Church APCM The Annual Parochial Church Meeting took
place in Shipbourne Village Hall on Monday 25 April 2016. There were
reports on the activities of the Church over the past year and the
financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2015 were presented
for approval. The annual report provides further information on the
activities of the church during 2015. A copy of the annual report and the
financial statements for 2015 is attached.
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 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's rota is displayed at the back of the church.
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@example.com, 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
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
firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01732 833751.
Giles Trust supports the St Giles Church restoration appeal
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.
JUBILEE MEMORIES OF ROYAL CONNECTIONS WITH FAIRLAWNE AND SHIPBOURNE
By Sir Edward Cazalet View PDF
St Giles Shipbourne
Restoration and Development Appeal
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
north west porch: the iron gates at the entrance to the porch need to
be treated and re-painted.
metalwork: some re-decoration is needed
stonework and glass repairs
blocks on the floor of the nave: the loose blocks need to be cleaned
and re-fixed securely
Lightning protection system: improvements are planned
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.
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.
churchyard: some of the graves need attention, including the railings
around the table tomb in front of the north transept
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
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:
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
The Shipbourne Cookery Book - on sale for £10
The Shipbourne shopping bag - the green solution to
cutting down on plastic bags
Shipbourne tea towels
The new Shipbourne Christmas card. Small cards cost
£3.50 for 10 and large cards cost £4.50 for 10. There is a 10% reduction
for purchases of 50 or more. They are on sale at the Farmers' Market.