St Martin’s Church Acrise offers traditional Anglican worship with a broad mix ministry team.
St Martin’s is an ancient church building set within the boundary of Acrise Place. Dating back nearly a thousand years, St Martin’s continues to retain the simplicity and atmosphere of its original early Norman construction. Comprised of a nave and chancel, topped by massive wooden tie beams and king posts, it lies quietly hidden from the road and is approached through an avenue of trees.
Acrise owes its name to the abundance of oaks that grew on the high ground in the area namely ‘oak rise’ in medieval English. There are still many old oak trees to be found within the parish, which even today has only a small population of around two hundred people. Listed in the Domesday Book (1086) as being held by Ansketel of Rots from Bishop Odo of Bayeaux, it comprised one manor, woodland and a church.
St Martin’s was probably built by Ansketel shortly after the Domesday entry and replaced an earlier Saxon church. Whilst much of the work is now hidden by later 14th century alterations, parts of original windows and priest’s door remain testimony to the early Norman origin. (Adapted from the ‘Friends of St Martin’s)
St Martins is a beautiful place, a place of quiet and tranquillity in an ever changing world. It is a beautiful place to worship, be married, christened or confirmed. It is a place where the veil is thin between heaven and earth.
Please visit us to worship or just to be close to God in whatever way you find God. You will find a big welcome from our regulars.
• To spread the good news of the Gospel to all.
• To offer fellowship to an isolated rural community of all ages.
• To welcome all ages to come to know God.
• To offer a consecrated location for weddings, funerals and baptisms.
• To offer a place of worship to those who feel drawn to the Book of Common Prayer as their main worship style.
Being a hamlet Acrise has a very small community. However, the congregation of St Martin’s at Acrise is drawn from a very wide area, with people travelling from Hawkinge, Swingfield, Denton, Folkestone, Alkham, Capel-le-Ferne and many parts of the Elham valley to seek the style of worship and friendly welcoming congregation at this church.
Our mission is inclusively to spread the Good News far and wide, supporting all ages by offering a traditional service and fellowship.
Current Pattern of Services - See The WORD & Services section for current services
St Martin’s, Acrise holds Holy Communion, led by Priests, along with Matins services, led by Lay Readers, and also occasional Fellowship services and some ‘special services’ led by an Authorised Lay Minister (ALM) or Parochial Church Council (PCC) member.
All our Services, including special festivals, such as Christmas Day, Easter Sunday and Mothering Sunday are held at 09:30. With occasional “specials” in the afternoon; examples of these would be Taize services, Good Friday meditation and passion, Nine Lessons and Carols for both Advent and Christmas.
The first Sunday of the Month Holy Communion is led by the Benefice Priest in Charge, Rev'd. Jane Weeks. The second Sunday is Matins, the third Sunday is a Fellowship service, led by one of our Lay Readers or ALMs and the fourth Sunday is a Family Service, in a 'cafe' style and suitable for all ages, adults and children alike. If a priest is not available to lead Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the month, this will be replaced by a matins service led by a lay minister.
Services usually follow the Book of Common Prayer. However alternative ‘special services’ follow other forms of worship, including; Taize, Lessons and Carols, and Hymn Sandwiches.
All ages are welcome to our services with children mixing with retired people freely, although there are no specific facilities for children due unfortunately, to lack of space.
Weddings and Baptism (christenings) may be held in the church.
Social mission and outreach
St Martin’s, Acrise has a varied social life. Including the annual Flower Festival, annual ‘Beating the Bounds’ walk, a patronal breakfast, annual cycle ride, coffee evenings/mornings, Harvest Festival and refreshments after Holy Communion.
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Remembrance Sunday: 14th November
Thanks to Sharon for preparing and leading our Remembrance Day Service in which we commemorated those of our parish who lost their lives in two world wars as well as the millions of other casualties from those wars and the conflicts that have occurred since 1945.
In considering the tension in humanity between the occurrence of war and the strong desire for peace, Sharon’s sermon was based on St Martin of Tours (316 – 397), our Patron Saint, who is commemorated on 11th November each year. He came from a military family and served in the Roman cavalry which he left as soon as he could in order to become a ‘soldier of Christ’. He rejected the military and what it stood for and spread Christ’s message of love and peace. Eventually he became Bishop of Tours and one of the best known saints in Europe. He was the first Saint canonised who had not died a martyr.
Sharon’s plausible theory is that there are so many churches named after St Martin in SE England probably due to the influence of his teaching brought across the channel to the early English church.
In the Chancel we have Ted Harrison’s depiction of St Martin’s well known act of cutting his cloak in two with his sword and giving one half to a beggar.
Services for December (all at 9.30am)
Sunday 5th December Holy Communion
Sunday 12th December Matins
Sunday 19th December Family Christmas Carol Service
Saturday 25th December Holy Communion
Sunday 26th December No service
Christmas Fair: Saturday 4th December 10.00am until 2.00pm
Everything is organised for the Christmas Fair, but we would be grateful for the following:
Cakes, scones and sausage rolls for the refreshment team:
raffle or tombola prizes or any quality bric-a-brac.
Please ring 01303844640 if you want us to collect anything.
Monday 13th December. We start from the crossroads of Coach Road
and School Road at 7.00pm
Thursday 16th December. Meet in the church for a 7.00pm start.
Proceeds to go to charities: RNLI and one local charity (to be decided).
With prices rising for food, energy and fuel, many families will be struggling this winter. If you could help please leave your donations of food in the church or porch.
The most needed items are currently: Cup A Soup, Snacks, Tinned Custard, Tinned Rice Pudding, Tinned Meat.
They have plenty of Beans, Tinned Soup, Cereals and Pasta.
In Memory of Cecilia Robinson (1924 – 2021)
We are sad to announce the death of Cecilia on the 8th November.
Cecilia lived in Acrise with her niece and niece’s husband; she came to worship at St Martin’s for a number of years until she moved into a care home in Folkestone in 2016.
In her younger days she played cricket for Kent as well as for England Women. Her international career began in 1949 and continued until 1963. She played in 14 test matches, 11 of them against Australia and the other 3 against New Zealand. She captained the side for the match in Adelaide in 1958.
While Kent’s first recorded Women’s match was in 1935, the first one to be played at the St Lawrence Ground at Canterbury was on June 22nd 1963. The side included Cecilia, the first person born in Canterbury to play test cricket.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Cecilia and her family.
Harvest Holy Communion on 3rd October
We were pleased to welcome Stephen Dougal back to lead Communion in church for the first time for a while. We sang traditional harvest hymns and heard an excellent extempore sermon from Stephen. Food items for the Shepway Foodbank were given and blessed instead of fruit and vegetables. The harvest loaf was blessed and shared between us with other refreshments. The service was well attended and much appreciated; it was good to celebrate a traditional harvest as a church community again.
Harvest Family Service on 17thOctober
It was pleasing to welcome 23 adults and 13 children to the service was which our first face to face Family Service since the end of February 2020. We had to make some adjustments to ensure that we were as safe as possible from covid. The relevant songs were ‘Autumn Days’, ‘Thank you Lord’ and the lively’ Dingle Dangle Scarecrow’. The children enjoyed the activities of creating a harvest poster and making a pumpkin out of strips of coloured paper. Thanks to Oscar for reading the introductory responses and to Oliver and his Dad for presenting the gospel reading with Rev Deb. We are grateful to her for leading the service.
Everyone enjoyed the service with its happy atmosphere, and many remarked on how good it was to meet up again and were looking forward to the next service. Those children who were unable to attend were sent an activity pack.
Services for November
Sunday 7th November Holy Communion
Sunday 14th November Matins – Remembrance Sunday
Future services will be discussed at the PCC meeting on 2nd November so an update will be sent after the meeting.
In Memory of Paul Hutchings
Janet has asked us to plant some bulbs in the churchyard in memory of Paul who died last year. That has now been completed with bulbs around the large tree stump, around Paul’s memorial stone and in the corner of the graveyard to the left of the path. We hope to have a good display next spring to remind us of Paul.
Our October donation to the Foodbank was very generous, with ten bags taken on 5th October and five on the 19th. Many thanks to everyone who contributed. As the church is open daily, items can be placed in the containers at the back of the church or in the porch.
The most urgently needed items at present are: Cup A Soup, Snacks, Tinned Custard, Tinned Rice Pudding, Tinned Meat. They have plenty of: Beans, Soup Tins, Cereals and Pasta.