Welcome to St. Peter's Church, Newenden
St Peter's church is open every day from morning until early evening, a place of rest and quietness.
|Associate Team Priest||The Rev'd Chris Hodgkins||RevChrisHodgkins@outlook.com|
|The Vicarage, Maytham Road|
|Rolvenden, Kent TN17 4ND|
|Tel no 01580 389587|
|Mobile 07843 220684|
|Tel no 01797 252563|
|Sacristan||Sarah Cole||Tel no 01797 253235|
Services and Events
The Eucharist is celebrated every Sunday except on the third Sunday when there is a service
of the Word.
Services are usually at 9:15.
|1 July||9.15am||Celtic Eucharist for St Peter's Day, our Patronal Festival|
|8 July||9.15am||Sung Eucharist|
|15 July||9.15am||Morning praise|
|22 July||9.15am||Sung Eucharist|
|29 July||9.15am||Songs of Praise|
About the church
St. Peter's Church in Newenden was probably built around 1300, or perhaps a little earlier. There may have been an older church building here before that time, indeed it is likely there was, as Newenden was a moderately important trading and market venue, but we know nothing for certain about any previous church.
Even at a cursory glance, it is evident that the church building as it looks now has been much changed over the centuries. The chancel and small turret on the south-west corner are recent additions. The nave of the church is clearly shorter than it once was. If you look to the north, you will see that the eastern-most arch is broken and ends in the wall to the chancel, without the expected pillar support. When the modern chancel was built, the foot of the missing pillar was found and this has been preserved in a niche on the outside of the church.
Looking now at the aisles, you can tell that these were once wider -- much wider in the case of the south aisle, where you can just about see the left third or so of a transversal arch at the eastern end.
After the Black Death and other troubles of the 14th century, the church was probably too big for the population. So, at some point perhaps in the 15th century, the decision was taken to make the aisles narrower so the whole building could be covered by a single roof. The king post construction of the present roof dates from that time.
In the 1690's, lightning struck the original tower, which fell down, bringing with it the chancel. In 1701, the east wall of the church was re-constructed where the opening to the modern chancel is today; and a new, square tower was built on the north-west corner of the church.
By the mid-19th century, the 1701 tower was suffering badly from subsidence, and had to be pulled down. The little turret now in place was built in 1858.
The present chancel was built in 1930-31 as a memorial to members of the Selmes family and other loved villagers, with contributions from many parishioners of the time.
Without doubt, the oldest visible man-made object, as well as the most photographed in the village is the font. It is made from a hard oolitic limestone (stone formed from small concentric, globular grains), which is believed to have been quarried near Sangatte on the French north coast (just where the Channel Tunnel terminates today). The consensus seems to be that it stems from the beginning of the 12th century, but the reality is that nobody really knows.