Frequently Asked Questions
On what days and times can we find the Church open?
The Church is always open on a Sunday morning. Our main service starts at 10.30 am and lasts about an hour. The service is usually a sung Eucharist and we very much hope you will stay and have coffee with us afterwards.
The Church is open on the first Saturday of the month from 10.00 am – noon when refreshments are available. The Parish office on 01303 252947 (open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10.00 am – 12.30 pm) can confirm whether or not the Church is open on a particular Saturday morning.
During the week the Church is open for visiting, and private prayer in St Eanswythe’s Chapel, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm, and Fridays from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm. On Thursdays there is a said service of Holy Communion which lasts about 30 minutes at 10.30 am (suspended for the interregnum). During Lent this moves to 11.30 am to allow a Lent Lunch to follow on at 12 noon.
On feast days an evening Eucharist will take place and the Church will be open on other occasions. Please check the Weekly News or Events for current opening times.
The office of Choral Evensong will be celebrated on some Sunday afternoons during the year, please check the latest news for details.
Can my group visit the church?
Tours of the church for groups between 10 and 20 in number can be arranged by contacting Ian Gordon on 07877 407702 or by emailing him at [email protected] Specially arranged tours need not be during normal opening times.
Can we get married in St Mary and St Eanswythe?
The Church of England website at www.churchofengland.org confirms that today more than a quarter of all marriages in England between a man and a woman take place in the traditional setting of a Church of England church. It also confirms that you are welcome to marry in church whatever your beliefs, whether or not you are baptised and whether or not you go to church.
The rules on which church you may or may not get married in have changed over the past few years and the fact that neither of you live in the parish or have other existing connections need not prevent you from marrying in our beautiful and ancient church. A connection can be created, for example, by worshipping with us for 6 months. The best approach will be to contact the Church Office on 01303 252947 to discuss your particular circumstances. In the meantime, you will find helpful information about church weddings together with more detail at www.yourchurchwedding.org
What about arranging for a Christening?
Everyone is welcome to have their children christened or baptised (the words have the same meaning) in their parish church and here at St Mary and St Eanswythe we look forward to talking to you about this. You will find helpful information on the Church of England website at www.churchofengland.org
Adults who would like to be baptised are also warmly welcomed (there is no age limit).
Please telephone the Church Office on 01303 252947 to discuss baptism.
Who should I talk to about being confirmed?
St Mary and St Eanswythe is a church with a tradition that focuses on Eucharistic worship (services that are centred on the receiving of bread and wine). If you would like to know more about this, talk to those around you as well as to the clergy. Each year some of the year 6 children from St Eanswythe C of E Primary School come forward for confirmation (a service in which the Bishop confirms the strengthening and deepening of faith through the renewed gift of the Holy Spirit). Adults come forward for confirmation too and are warmly welcomed.
Will it be okay to bring children to services?
Yes please! For moments when the goings-on seem too much, there is a children’s corner with books, puzzles and pages to colour which is well used and you are likely to find other children there on most occasions.
Are there any services/events especially for children?
At Christmas and Easter we host Messy Church type workshops (at Easter there is an egg hunt too) and at other times we hold Messy Church sessions. Dates and times are shown under news and events.
What other services or events take place in the Church?
St Mary and St Eanswythe have strong links with St Eanswythe’s C of E Primary School and welcome KS1 and KS2 (and for special services the whole School join us) for a morning Eucharist on alternate Wednesdays at 8.50 am. On occasion, other Church schools join us e.g. at the Mayor’s Christmas Carol Service, for end of year leaving celebrations, at Easter or on Ascension Day.
Concerts take place frequently at the Parish Church (the building has excellent acoustics and is well tucked away from the traffic). The Bayle Music website at http://www.dandi.me.uk/music/ lists the programme of concerts offered over the year and also gives details of the popular annual Sacconi Chamber Music Festival, as well as details of who to contact for tickets and other information.
Hew Locke’s superb exhibition of ‘flying boats’ For those in Peril on the Sea graced the nave for an extended summer season during the 2011 Triennial, and in 2014 Dinah Roe-Kendall’s was mounted throughout the Church during the month of August as a forerunner to the Triennial 2014. Other artistic ventures are planned for the near future.
I enjoy singing/used to sing in a choir/would like to have a go – may I join the Church choir or even just try it for a while?
We would be pleased to meet you. Please contact the organist and choirmaster Toby Huitson in person after a service, or by e-mail: [email protected].
I have a safeguarding issue to do with the church, either with this parish or in general. Who should I talk to?
The diocesan contacts are listed here: https://www.canterburydiocese.org/safeguarding/
The parish’s safeguarding officer is Kim Adlington, St Peter’s Vicarage, North Street, Folkestone. 01303 254472.