St. Margaret's Church, Wychling, Kent
St Margaret’s is a Norman church nestled among woodland and fields located on the dip slope of the North Downs - one of the most isolated churches in the Diocese of Canterbury. It has no electricity or water and is lit by historic gas lights.
A Saxon church is mentioned in Domesday and there are Roman tiles and brick plus tufa stone in the fabric of the chancel. There is a blocked up Norman doorway in the north wall and the church has a very rare and nationally important Saxon lead (likely to have been made from Roman lead) vessel used as a font since its discovery in the Victorian restoration. It is currently stored at Canterbury Cathedral, though literature and pictures relating to it are available to read. St Margaret’s is an Eco Church and is managed for wildlife and wildflowers as well as having a general ‘living lightly’ ethic. Service music is played on medieval and folk instruments and a 10th C Magnificat is used for Evensong.
The grounds and church are very peaceful with an atmosphere conducive to contemplation. St Margaret’s is one of those ‘thin’ places where in times of stillness God can be discerned both inside and outside the church. The contact with His created world all around gives a unique sense of belonging and harmony with everything that is of God. The ‘layers of prayer’ in this place make it very peaceful and contemplative. A place to just sit and be refreshed regardless of your faith journey. We have a healing prayer bowl and prayer requests are always welcome. In the access field we have a mown labyrinth which can be used together with the prayer resources found in the church.
The church is the gathering place for the Community of St Margaret COSM, which is a dispersed community of people who care for God’s creation and seek to live in sustainably in His created world.
Standard opening time: Generally open every day from Easter–October from 10 am–3 pm. Please check with the website for occasional closures and limited opening during winter. Special arrangements can be made with Hospitaller.
Evensong 1st Sunday of month 5.30 pm from May to October.
Wild Church – outdoor worship with campfire and Eco theme 2nd Saturday of the month 10 am–12 noon April–October. Other services and events updated on Website
Faversham Road, Wychling, Kent, ME9 0DJ, United Kingdom
Grid reference: TQ 91559 55771
By car: From A20 Lenham: Turn off at crossroads into Faversham Road, signposted to Doddington. Continue for 3.5 miles staying on this road. After woodland on the left and just before the 30mph sign the gate to the church is on the left.
From A2: Take the Faversham Road signposted to Newnham and Doddington. Continue on this road for 6 miles going through the villages of Newnham and Doddington and then continuing up the hill signposted Lenham out of Doddington; towards Wychling you will enter a 30mph zone, continue through this and just after the end of the zone is the church gate on the right.
There is no nearby public transport.
On foot:Refer to OS Map of the area Explorer Series No.149 Sittingbourne and Faversham
The church has a gravel car park and access to the church is over a grass field about 100 yards. This is firm during fine weather but please note that it can get wet and unsuitable for wheelchairs. The church is mainly all on one level with a small ramp just inside the door. In fine weather a car can be allowed right to the door if arranged in advance. We have a composting toilet for special events otherwise the nearest toilet would be at the Chequers Inn (customers only) in Doddington village 1.5miles away.
We run several quiet days for both individuals and groups and would be very pleased to tailor an event to your needs.
A hospitaller is available by prior arrangement and is also the Churchwarden - see contact details below. Alternative telephone number 07761 216132.
Our churchyard is managed for wildlife and wild flowers with a mown pathway and several benches to rest. The view from St Margaret’s is stunning on a fine day looking out to the Swale and the Isle of Sheppey to the north and out to the hills above Canterbury to the north east. The church is bordered by fields and woodland and is a great place to view the Buzzards and Skylarks.
Refreshments can be made available on site by arrangement as we have no electricity at the church. Special events are always catered for. Doddington Village has the Chequers Inn that serves food and lovely local beer, or in the other direction in Lenham there are several shops, pubs and tea rooms. There are several places to stay in Doddington - see their website: www.doddingtonkent.btck.co.uk/VisitorInformation
Tel: 01795 886165