COMPASS MAG MAR APRIL 2023 (1)
The Parochial Church Council of The Parish of Upper Deal and Great Mongeham has four churches all with their own distinctive characteristics. Alphabetically they are St Leonards, St Martin’s, St Nicholas’, and St Richard’s.
There can be no more remarkable church in Kent than this. St Leonard’s incorporates work of every century but you do need to search out its architectural gems so closely are the different periods overlaid. Its chief period are Norman and early and late Georgian, although there is something for everyone here.
The Church has 15 Hatchments and was once a very wealthy place it was the original Parish Church of Deal (Addelam)’
In front of you is an empty space that should be the nave, leading into a very small medieval chancel. To the south is an aisle and chapel but to the north is a veritable auditorium facing south and surrounded on three sides by huge balconies improbably lit by circular windows! You really do have to see it.
Occupying the nave is a most elaborate nineteenth century font but it isn’t until you are in and look back that you realise that this area too has an enormous gallery now holding one of the grandest organs in Kent, rising like a slightly bedraggled wedding cake.
Apart from the hatchments the church contains many fine monuments mostly to Naval men and two Royal Arms. It is not a church to rush as something new is to be found at every turn. To those interested in structures, how it all fits together is a mystery in itself with the lovely Norman arcade having been stretched out to support two elliptical arches. Somehow it works and draws us in.
The church was restored by William Butterfield and much of the interior is his – the pulpit, north and south chancel walls, choir stalls, altar rails and tiles. As an ensemble it is one of the finest in Kent and at the present time (Autumn 2008) is threatened with drastic reordering. Butterfield`s chancel screen has already disappeared, together with its highly-praised wrought iron gates.
In the north chapel is a standard early 17th century prie-Dieu monument. However, on the outer wall of the tower is a memorial to Robert Maynard the man who captured Blackbeard the pirate in Carolina.
Standing back at an unusual angle from the main road, this church has been unlucky over the years. Of thirteenth century origins it had a north aisle which at some stage was demolished in favour of the single roof structure to be found today. This creates an unusually wide interior.
The chancel has recently (2009) been reordered and simplified with a free standing altar and rose pink carpet – quite a fetching scene – and luckily the nineteenth century reredos has been kept. The War Memorial on the SE corner of the nave is quite a fine construction of rubbed brickwork – almost Lutyensesque in its form.
The church was damaged in the War but the stained glass windows in the chancel recording the event (by a Sussex firm) must surely over emphasise the damage as the roof is completely Victorian. All in all this is a delightful little church.
St Richard of Chichester 1197 – 1253; Feast day is April 3rd
The Church will accommodate upwards of 300 people and has a car park. There is a kitchen and scullery and at the west end there is a stage with dressing rooms, there is easy access for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
The sanctuary can be completely closed off by a rolling screen to give flexibility in terms of space. The church is a warm and welcoming place for worship, study and prayer groups, children and youth groups and other events such as community lunches and a community café.
St Richard’s Prayer
Thanks be to thee, O Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits thou hast won for us,
for all the pains and insults thou hast borne for us.
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
may I know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly,
and follow thee more nearly, day by day. Amen.
Fellowship & Events
What We Do
Chill Out Zone for young people, St Richard’s: 2nd and 4th Sundays 3-5pm
Coffee/Cafe Morning, St Richard’s: Mondays 9.30 -12noon
Coffee Morning,St Leonard’s Centre: Tuesdays 9.30am – 11.30am
Friendship Lunch,St Richard’s: Monthly, first Thursday 12 noon
Froglets, St Richard’s: Term time, weekly, Fridays, 10-12noon
Knit Knacks, St Leonard’s Centre: Monthly, first Tuesday 2-4pm
Memory Support Café: Monthly, last Tuesday, 4-6pm, St Richard’s
Messy Church: Monthly, second Saturday, 4-6pm, St Richard’s
Men’s Breakfast: Monthly, Sir Norman Wisdom, 1st Saturday, 8.30am
Mother’s Union Holy Communion: Weekly, Thursday, 10am
Prayer Group, St Martins: Monthly, second Saturday, 10.00am
Support Hub for Ukraine, St Richard’s: Mondays 9.30 -12noon
Youth Choir, St Leonard’s: Alternate Thursdays, 4.30-5.30pm
Hand Bells Ringers, St Leonard’s: Tuesdays 7-8pm
“Mothers’ Union are the heart and love of the Church”
The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
What is Mother’s Union?
Mothers’ Union is a Christian organisation that has been supporting families worldwide for over 140 years. Started by our founder Mary Sumner in 1876 in her local parish, we have grown into an international charity with over 4 million members in 84 countries.
As a Christian membership charity, we demonstrate our faith in action. This happens as we work towards stopping poverty, stopping inequality and stopping injustice. Our members work at grassroots level around the world. They bring hope and practical support to millions of people every year through parenting, literacy and community development programmes.
At the heart of what we do is prayer and our members come together every day at midday to focus prayers for their communities, fellow members and for those in need. We believe that the power of prayer is transformational and supports our work around the world.
Despite our name we are an inclusive organisation and we are very proud to have a growing number of men who have joined us.
Here in our Parish we have an active MU Branch with 23 Members and we would welcome anyone who would like to join us. We have a Corporate Communion service in St Leonard’s Lady Chapel at 10.00 on the 1stThursday of the month and a Meeting in the Social Centre lounge at 14.30 (2.30 pm) on the 2nd Tues, we usually have a Speaker or some activity , a Raffle and Tea, Coffee and Biscuits all for £1.00! The annual subscription is £29.00.
If you’d like any more information on becoming a Member please speak to Linda Jackson , Irene Mantle or Wendy Jackson-Hill
Will Be adding Sending in info for Youth and Children.
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