The parish church of St Mary and St Eanswythe is situated in the heart of Folkestone. Christian worship has been offered in or near the church since the mid 7th Century when St Eanswythe founded her convent – the first religious house for women in England.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is 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, using modern language, and we very much hope you will stay and have a chat over coffee with us afterwards.
Regular service times are as follows:
Sunday Sung Eucharist (Common Worship) at 10.30 am.
Thursday Said Eucharist (Book of Common Prayer) at 10.30 am.
Meditation and Silent Prayer usually takes place in the church every other Monday morning between 9.30am and 11am. If you’d like to join us please come to the side door at the Bayle end of the church by 9.30am and ring the bell. This is part of the Companions of Eanswythe programme.
The Church is usually open for visiting on Wednesdays to Saturdays from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm. This is subject to availability of volunteer church welcomers. Currently, due to a shortage of volunteers we will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays until further notice.
The church may occasionally be closed for visiting because of weddings, or setting up for concerts or events. Please check with the Parish Office (contact details below) whether the church will be open if you want to visit on a specific day.
On weekday feast days an evening Eucharist will take place, and the Church will be open on other occasions. Please check the Weekly News for current opening times.
The office of Choral Evensong will be celebrated on some Sunday afternoons during the year: please check the weekly news for details.
The Parish Office, on 01303 252947 or firstname.lastname@example.org, can confirm church opening times. In general we aim to open the Parish Office on Tuesday and Thursday mornings: when this is not the case we will operate a “Virtual Office” – if you can please email, or if you leave a voicemail we will return your call as soon as we can. Please check the Weekly News page for any planned changes to the office opening times.
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. Once a month we have a Children’s Church, see the next question for details.
Are there any services/events especially for children?
Your children are very welcome to participate in St Mary and St Eanswythe Children’s Church once a month.
You can also email Clare Tomlinson at email@example.com
Can I watch or listen to services online?
Please visit our Facebook and YouTube channels (links at the bottom of this page) for updates. Sunday Eucharist services will usually be streamed live on our Facebook page.
Can my group visit the church?
Tours of the church for groups between 10 and 20 in number can be arranged by contacting the Parish Office.
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 or or email firstname.lastname@example.org 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).
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.
Can I hire the church for an event or concert?
Yes, the church is available to hire both during the daytime and evening. We also have our own grand piano which can be hired for concerts in the church. Please contact the Parish Office at 01303 252947 or email@example.com for more details. Please check the Weekly News page for times when you can telephone the office.
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, times to be announced. 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). Please see the Weekly News for details of forthcoming concerts.
Details of classical concerts in Folkestone, including Bayle Music and the Sacconi Festival which mainly take place in the Church, can be found at https://www.soundsfolkestone.co.uk.
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 work 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. You’re welcome to have a chat with the Director of Music, Malcolm Munro, after a service or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a safeguarding issue to do with the church, either with this parish or in general. Who should I talk to?
Diocesan contacts are listed here: https://www.canterburydiocese.org/safeguarding/
St Mary & St Eanswythe with St Saviour Profile 2019
Where is the parish?
The boundaries of the parish are shown below: