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St Mary's Church

Situated in the beautiful Kent countryside, we are a rural benefice made of of three parishes, St Margaret's Bethersden, St Mary's High Halden and All Saints Woodchurch.  United in God, we are part of the Diocese of Canterbury in the Church of England. Each church within our benefice is unique, historic and in itself could be a place of pilgrimage

and an exciting exploration about history and spirituality of England, but, above all, our lovely churches are places of worship.

 

This Grade 1 listed church was built before 1286, but this is the first date we have for a recorded name of a priest who was Richard de Halyngleghe. Although the church has been extended over the years, its most remarkable feature is the timbered tower which was probably constructed in the late 13th Century.   It consists of an octagonal ground floor and a square upper story above which rises an 80 foot octagonal shingle-clad spire.   The whole structure is braced and strengthened by a system of massive oak pillars, beams and trusses, giving a truly impressive demonstration of the skills of medival craftsmen.  The beautiful 14th Century South porch has an entrance which is a natural arch made of two halves of a colossal oak trunk and inside the church there is a lovely 13th Century font.

 

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Growing Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns