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 Holy Communion led by a Self-Supporting Minister, Rev'd. Stephen Dougal. 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 or second 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.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS!
Easter Day Service 4th April
Our outdoor service was meaningful and moving as we celebrated Christ’s Resurrection in our beautiful surroundings on a fairly mild and sunny morning sandwiched between cold days. We were joined by members of Lyminge church which increased our congregation to 38.
Many thanks to those who prepared and took part in the service, particularly to Sharon who led the service and to Simon, Mike C and Anita who provided the music. It was good to be able to catch up with each other after so many months. We also had the opportunity to buy from Anne’s stall of homemade preserves and chutneys.
Memorial Service for the Duke of Edinburgh: Thursday 15th April
Many local churches held memorial services to commemorate the Duke’s life of service and support for his queen and country. Thanks to Stephen for such a thoughtful and moving service which was entirely appropriate for the occasion.
Church Services for May (All at 9.30am)
Sunday 2nd May Holy Communion
Sunday 9th May Matins
Sunday 16th May Fellowship Service
Sunday 23rd May Fellowship Service
Sunday 30th May Benefice Service at Acrise
Where possible services will be held outside. Please note that services may vary depending on the availability of clergy/lay readers so it is best to check the weekly prayer hub for up to date details.
Easter Activity Packs
Many thanks to Joan and John for creating these packs which were distributed in time for Palm Sunday. They proved to be very popular and we received thanks from many families. We will be keeping in touch by providing the next pack for Pentecost towards the end of May. When it is safe and possible to do so we will plan our next Family Service.
Thanks to Richard for completing the weeding and then sowing of grass seed around the stump of the cedar tree. Now we need some rain and warmth to make the grass grow.
Many thanks for those of you who made contributions of food and toiletries. Ten bags were delivered to our local collection point on 13th April and were gratefully received. We are now collecting for a delivery near the beginning of May so if you can leave any items in the church porch that would be a great help. Most urgently needed items are: long life milk, long life juice, instant mash, tinned meat, washing up liquid, toilet rolls.
Acrise Church Flower Festival
The Acrise Church Flower Festival has been going a long time. Last year I wrote about the Victorian Frolic held at Wick Farm in 1964 to raise money for a new organ which in some senses was a forerunner of the Flower Festival. It demonstrated what Acrise residents could achieve through working together for a common purpose. This aspect of the community working together became an important ingredient of the success of the Flower Festival.
In the early 1970s an annual Church Fete became established at The Old Rectory at the Acrise Green end of the village about half a mile from the church. By the mid – 1970s it was decided to decorate the church with flowers and have it open on the same day as the fete. One-year Nancy Congdon, who lived in Shuttlesfield, used her pony and trap to ferry visitors between the two venues. By 1979 the event was entirely at the church and by the early 1980s it was decided to make it a two-day festival. As the visitor numbers increased the War Department was approached and allowed us to use the neighbouring field for parking. From then on the event continued to expand with the support of the church and local community working together to put on this popular traditional event. Disregarding the Victorian Frolic we could say that the Flower Festival has been happening each year for almost the past 50 years. In the early years Sue’s parents, Betty and Eric, with the help of the PCC and local families did much to establish the event. When Eric died in 1997 Sue and I gradually took over the coordination of the festival which has continued to develop and flourish. We have been involved with the event since the early 70s as have a few other members of the PCC and local families.
Unfortunately, it was cancelled last year because of the Covid pandemic. This year we hope to hold an event of some sort if it is safe to do so and will let you know in the next Acrise Church News.
Easter Day outside at St. Martin's