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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Many thanks to those of you who made donations, which were delivered to the local collection point last week. The most urgently needed items now are:
Please continue to support the foodbank as the demand is increasing with the cost of living crisis, and at the same time foodbank charities are receiving fewer donations.
Service of Dedication for the Flight Sergeant Drew Memorial Orchard, Acrise
This took place on Friday 29thJuly in the walled garden which used to be part of Acrise Place and is located behind the MOD Acrise Estate, the base for Landmarc which manages the land of the MOD Cinque Ports region.
On July 29th 1944 Flight Sergeant Drew’s Tempest aircraft crashed into the garden of Orchard Lea cottage and he sadly lost his life. The dedication of the orchard, which has recently been planted with Kentish apple and cobnut trees, was in memory not just of Flight Sergeant Drew but of other pilots and personnel killed in combatting the V1 and V2 flying bombs. In fact, flight Sergeant Drew had destroyed two of these bombs on that day.
The service was attended by personnel from the Army and the RAF, Landmarc staff, descendants of Flight Sergeant Drew, and local people, mainly from St Martin’s Church.
Major Rick Bevan explained why the dedication was taking place. He is very supportive of the activities of St Martin’s Church, and we hope to develop links with the MOD concerning the use of Memorial Orchard, which is really a hidden treasure of Acrise.
Many thanks to Rev Deb who led the service which was a very moving and meaningful occasion. There was a delicious spread of food available afterwards, as well as the opportunity to make useful contacts with the military staff there.
Ride and Stride for Kent Churches
This will take place on Saturday 10th September between 10.00am and 6.00pm. Some of us will be taking part and will be asking for sponsorship nearer the time. We hope to have someone at the church to record visitors and give refreshments. Any volunteers welcome. Just tell Sue. Anyone who wants a sponsor form can get one from Sue.
The money raised will be divided equally between the Friends of Kent Churches and St Martin’s.
Local Organiser: Sue Prebble