The work programme has finished and the church was reopened on Saturday August 16th with a wedding and the first Sunday service took place on the following day.

Many of you will have seen the result of the work done on the spire. The new shingles are of Oak and although very obvious just now, will weather down and, hopefully, last for many years. The interior can be seen on August 17th. The new tiling in the chancel area is a particular feature.The interior of the church has been repainted and it looks very good.

With a building that is over 700 years old there is always going to be ongoing maintenance and restoration work, and sometimes the unexpected happens, such as subsidence.  When such a building is of high architectural importance, as the Grade 1 listed Church of St. Mary's is, any restoration work that is required has to be done to the highest standard and with great care that nothing blemishes the original.

Normal sources of funding are quite inadequate for the larger scale restoration work needed.  This is why the 'Friends' work is so important.  In recent years, the Friends have helped finance various projects and work completed in the last ten years has included:

  • Renovation of the shingles on the Tower and Spire
  • Repointing of the exterior of the Church
  • Complete restoration of the South Porch
  • Renewing the Clock face
  • Re-gilding the Weather Cock
  • Complete re-tiling of Narthex roof
  • Protective guards to Stained Glass windows
  • Repairs to subsidence at the East end of the Church 
  • Dealing with dry-rot under nave and chancel floor
  • Damp-proofing choir vestry wall

The serious subsidence in the floor of the Chancel and the re-shingling of the Spire is going to cost in the region of £180,000. The Heritage Lottery Fund, administered by English Heritage have awarded St Mary's a grant of £69,000. The Friends have committed a further £50,000 toward the cost of the work. This still leaves a substantial amount of money to be raised and the Friends will be working hard to do their bit to help.

How can you help?

You can help to ensure that this magnificent building, an important part of High Halden's village heritage, continues to serve our community for generations to come by contributing towards the funding of these projects in various ways, for example by:

Becoming a friend, attending events, giving by Deed of Covenent, making a donation, making a legacy.