Welcome to All Saints Church Biddenden, Diocese of Canterbury
Note: for information on baptisms, weddings, funerals or burials please see Special Services.
All Saints Biddenden is well worth a stop for people visiting nearby Sissinghurst Castle Garden. There is evidence that there was a church in Biddenden at the time of the Norman conquest in 1066, but it was not the one we see now. Today’s church is believed to have been built largely in the mid to late 1200s of local sandstone, with some later use of Kentish ragstone, flint and “Bethersden marble”.
But construction work did not stop in the 1200s. All Saints was enlarged and re-ordered according to the village’s increasing prosperity, transient political ideologies or simply the changing needs and pressures of modern life.
The building you admire today is essentially by, for and about the people who shaped it. Throughout its 700-year history you will encounter religious upheaval and extravagant philantropy, martyrdom and legendary personalities. Their lives have woven a thread of continuity through this place of worship that has stood at the community’s heart for hundreds of years.
Find out out more in the history booklet, available in the church.
In addition to service times, the church is open to all comers each Thursday morning all year round 10am to 11:15am. Tea and coffee are served to visitors and Biddenden residents alike and all are welcome.
In addition, a big effort is made to keep All Saints open to visitors during the summer months. This relies on the commitment of a team of volunteers who sit in the church and supervise. Please note that during the winter months, and at any time in the summer when a volunteer is unable to attend, the church has to remain closed.
Opening times Summer 2018
MONDAY: 10.00-midday, 2.00 – 4.00
TUESDAY: 10.00-midday, 2.00 – 4.00
WEDNESDAY: 10.00-10.30am (mid-week Eucharist) 10.30-12.30
THURSDAY: 10.00 – 12.00 (with tea/ coffee and chat 10 – 11.15) and 2.00 – 4.00
FRIDAY: 10.00-midday, 2.00 – 4.00
SATURDAY: 10.00-midday, 2.00 – 4.00
If you live in or near Biddenden, and think you can volunteer to keep our church open please contact Joanna Winston on 01580 240446. We’d love to extend the hours the church is open.
We have a range of imaginative gifts, including probably the most unusual tea towel in Kent.
Booklets are on sale in the church to help guide you round the building and its famous collection of brasses, and to take home as souvenirs.
While you’re looking round, let your children tackle our church quiz while you’re looking round the church. Click on the drawing to download and print the quiz ahead of your visit.
Biddenden in Pictures
A pictorial history of Biddenden in photographs is published by Biddenden Local History Society and can be bought online from YouByYou Books. The book includes previously unpublished old photographs of people, places and events in the village, with views including the High Street and All Saints Church.
On 8th November 2014, Kent Field Club visited All Saints’ Churchyard Biddenden to survey the lichens on the church building, the memorials and the trees. Previous surveys had been carried out in the mid 1980s and in 1990. Their results are presented below as documents to download. They include a full list of the lichens and also of grassland fungi identified on that day, with some spectacular photos of the lichens (not all taken at Biddenden). Ishpi Blatchley of Kent Field Club said: “With a total of 115 lichens it is an excellent churchyard for lichens – it is just a shame that two rare species found in 1990 could not be refound. You can get more information about churchyard lichens from the British Lichen Society’s website.”
Lichen survey document with photos (pdf, 874 KB)
View Larger Map Coordinates: 51.115139, 0.641278