The Friends of St Mary’s links together, in one active and united body, those who wish to support and maintain the historic building of St Mary's Kemsing.
Our Church Heritage
In Kemsing, nestling below the North Downs, on the Pilgrim’s Way, there has been a place of worship on this site for over 1,000 years. St Mary the Virgin, a Grade 2* listed building, features in Simon Jenkins’ book "England’s Thousand Best Churches", The well known church designer, Sir Ninian Comper, restored and reordered the chancel during Edwardian times.
What the Friends Do
The friends assist in the preservation of the building by giving of their money to cover annual expenditure for repairs, restoration, preservation and insurance as indicated in the regular (5 yearly) report by the church architect and carried out under the auspices of the Parochial Church Council together with the Incumbent and the Churchwardens. Fuller details of our objectives will be received upon membership. Members will also receive a progress report during the year, details of the AGM and information about any fund raising events and schemes.
In recent years the congregation and village community have raised funds to improve the lighting, re-shingle the tower, repair the roof of the north aisle and replace the south door with a new glass door.
What the Friends have done
The First Project was the cleaning and conservation of the Madonna Roundel dating from 1220. The Roundel is situated in the south wall of the church. The full cost of £3,844.60 was completed in February 2011.
During 2012 the Parochial Church Council agreed that the Second Project should be the repainting of the interior church walls. Quotations received indicated that we needed to raise £10,000 to be able to do this work. By the summer of 2015 the Friends had raised suffienct funds for the work work to begin and on October 2nd the scaffolding went up and on Monday 5th October the work began.
What You Can Do
If you have an interest in our church heritage and wish to join the Friends or make a donation towards future projects please download our enrolment form which now includes the option to Gift Aid your donation.
Should you be interested in hearing more about the 'Friends' and their work all are welcome to attend the next AGM at the church on the 4th February 2017 at 2.30pm. Not only will we discuss the business of the up-keep of our beautiful church, but there will also be a talk on the history of church bellringing and a demonstration of bell changing as well as the opportunity to try it out for yourselves.