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St John The Baptist Church, Penshurst

Penshurst Church was the first church to host the There But Not There installation which saw 51 Fallen named on the Great War Roll of Honour represented by life size Perspex figures sitting in the pews amongst the congregation over the Remembrance period of November 2016

St John the Baptist Church at Penshurst is an Anglican parish church in the Diocese of Rochester. Presided over by the Reverend Tom Holme, (who also covers the two other churches in Penshurst), St John’s plays an active role in the community through regular church services and events.

A church has stood on the site since 1115, at the centre of a cluster of buildings, including manor house, guild house and rectory, all still surviving. Listed grade 1, the church helps tell a country’s story through the eyes of single village – through its courtiers, soldiers, statesmen, politicians or priests whose lives appear on memorials or through its changing architecture, brasses, carvings, effigies and windows.

In the churchyard in front of the porch is a large stone table which was used once a year to distribute money to the needy of the village. Also, on more notorious note, the grave of Richard Sax under a yew tree near the bottom of some steps as you enter the churchyard under the arch. Mr Sax was a farmer who was brutally murdered in 1813 following an argument with a farm labourer who worked on the estate of Baden-Powell (the founder of the world scout movement).

Detailed information on the interior of the church is to be found in a booklet entitled ‘Penshurst Church and Village’, available for purchase when visiting the church.

There But Not There