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About us

The Friends of St Mary’s Church, Lenham was established in 2013 by a small group of local residents wanting to help preserve the fabric of St Mary’s, the beautiful church that lies in the heart of the village. We are now a registered charity
(No. 1160993), and our Trustees meet (usually at the Lenham Social Club) about five or six times a year. Click here to view our Constitution.

The Friends of St Mary's Lenham Committee Members

The Friends’ committee members:

Front row, left to right.
Gill Simes, Gillian Watson, Gwyneth Thurgood and Frank Bradshaw;

standing, left to right.
John Arthur Boyd (Membership Secretary), Jim Myers, Tom Lee (Treasurer), Andrew Barr (Chairman), Annette Tomarken and Lyn Fuller (Secretary)

Thanks to their efforts (in particular those of our Membership Secretary, John Arthur Boyd), we now have over one hundred members and would love to welcome more. Link to the Membership Form Click here to learn how you can help.

Picture of the annual Friends of St Marys Barn Dance

Every year, we try to offer a range of events that will appeal to different groups in the community.

Our sell-out September Barn Dance is now in its fourth year. Held in the historic tithe barn and featuring an excellent band and a fabulous raffle, it has become something of a village fixture.

Concerts have been popular fund-raising events for the Friends. The Snowdown Colliery men’s choir has sung for us, as has the Military Wives’ Choir, and two excellent concerts by the Fine Arts Brass group, performed in the church itself, were generously sponsored by one of our members. An unusual presentation called the “Mongolian Moose Chase”, presented by Merrilyn Boorman at the Lenham Community Centre, proved a big draw.

To recognise our members’ loyal support, we held a Garden Party at Court Lodge in summer 2017, thanks to our kind members John-Arthur Boyd and Valerie Woollven. Fine weather, delicious food, and willing helpers made this a great success.

In summer, 2017 we hosted a reception in the church, at which we launched a new church history (funded by a generous grant from the Hatch Charity). We have already raised several hundred pounds from the sales of this guide.

The book, The Story of St Mary's Church, Lenham by The Friends of St Marys. Buy it for £10.00

St Mary’s Church, Lenham, has been at the centre of the village for over a thousand years and The Story of St Mary’s Church, Lenham provides both a guide and history for this historic church. Beautifully illustrated, it conducts the reader through St Edmund’s Chapel with its 1910 organ and rood screen doors, the chancel with the mysterious priest in the wall tomb and splendid stone altar, the piscina and sedile, the magnificent carved pulpit, the lancet windows, ancient choir stalls, the west door pillars with their masons’ marks, and the tower which houses a ring of eight bells. Other sections are devoted to the old families of Lenham remembered in the many monuments and to the interesting former clergy of Lenham, three of whom were in Jane Austen’s circle.

The Story of St Mary’s Church, Lenham costs £10. It can be purchased by e-mailing Annette Tomarken at or purchased in Lenham village at the following outlets:

Chequer’s Fish Restaurant, Lenham Community Centre, Lenham Library, Len Valley News, and Pippa’s Tea Rooms.

Gwyneth Thurgood serving snacks at The Friends of St Marys Lenham book launch Gez Clark and Andrew Barr at the Friends of St Marys Lenham book launch
Gwyneth Thurgood at the tea party for the book launch Gez Clark and Andrew Barr at the book launch


Contact email addresses:


Contact Address:

Mr Andrew Barr (Chair)
The Oasthouse
East Lenham Farm,
Ashford Road,
ME17 2DP

Click on the map to expand:

Small map of Lenham, click for a full screen map

Vicar: Rev. Dr. John Huggins. Click here for the Len Valley Benefice website