St Martin's, Brasted

News


  • October 2019 - History of The Stocket Chapel
    (previously published in The Sevenoaks Chronicle)


    The names of 44 men who fell in the 1914-18 war are inscribed on the oak panels around the wall of the Stocket Chapel in St Martin’s Church, Brasted. Six names, however, are missing -- an anomaly partly explained because a previous rector was not keen to include non-conformists and Catholics on the panels.

    This has now been rectified in an ambitious project for this historic chapel. To commemorate the centenary of the end of the 1914-18 war, the panels have been restored with a deep clean and re-oiling, and the missing names added.

    I am indebted to Roger Rogowski for this information. He tells me that the original configuration of the panels provided an ample number of blank panels to enable the missing names to be inserted. “Research has even enabled the restorer to complete information missing from the panel relating to Thomas Dunn, which was not available in 1919.”

    The chapel has an interesting history. It was built by Simon de Stoket, the owner of Brasted Place in 1320, as a private chapel for his family, and it remained the property of successive owners over the years.

    When Mr and Mrs Leslie Urquhart bought Brasted Place in 1912 they put the chapel up for auction. It failed to attract any bids and remained in limbo until 1919 when it was bought by an anonymous benefactor (later identified as Mr Dunlop of Cacketts, Brasted Chart) for £500. He wished it to be dedicated as a memorial to the fallen servicemen from the village.

    The lower walls of the chapel were clad with oak panelling on which the names of 31 of Brasted’s war dead were inscribed. The old pews were replaced by seats and various local residents provided new decorations. The rector at the time, the Rev Edward Bryan, donated an American organ, which he played for weekday services, although the organ has long since disappeared. The chapel was dedicated by the Bishop of Rochester on July 24 1919.

    The church suffered major damage in July 1944, when a V1 flying bomb landed in the glebe field to the east of the church. The explosion shattered all the windows including the altar window in the chapel, which was installed in memory of Lieutenant Comer Wall, killed in 1917. He had been engaged to Dorothy Bryan, the rector’s daughter.

    An exact copy was made and installed in memory of the Rev Bryan. Mrs Urquhart, then a widow, donated a new north window in memory of her husband John Leslie Urquhart and her son Ronald Urquhart, who was killed in 1942.

    At the end of the Second World War, a further 13 names were added to the panels on the East wall of the chapel to commemorate those who had died in that conflict.

    In 1989 the chapel survived the arson attack which devastated the rest of the church, so the historic tombs and ceiling remain intact.

    Mr Rogowski said: “It had been apparent for some years that, while 50 names of those killed in both world wars were read out each year on Remembrance Sunday, there were only 44 names in the chapel and 38 names on the High Street memorial. This may be at least partly explained because the Rev Bryan was not keen to include non-conformists and Catholics on the panels.”

    I am grateful to Roger for these details. Among the names of those who died are Arnold and Alwen Ball, my wife’s grandfather and great uncle. They were both officers in the Sussex Regiment and died in 1918 and 1916 respectively.


                   fdf   
    Royston Edwards, Sevenoaks sign writer, completes the finishes touches of the revitalised Stocket Chapel in St Martin’s Church.

    Royston has been a sign writer since he left art school and, at one time was one of four such artists working in Sevenoaks, usually on the tricky business of providing names for shop fronts. Today he is on his own and business, he tells me, has never been so good. He lives in Chipstead.

                                                                                                        Bob Ogley


  • May 2019 - The Stocket Chapel

    The restoration work in the Stocket Chapel has now been completed. All of the wall paneling has been subject to a deep clean and re-oiling and the ‘missing’ names and details of those who died in both world wars have been added.

    The minutes of a PCC in May 1919 recorded a unanimous resolution that ‘the names to be placed on the paneling should be inclusive of all those who, having some real connection with our village, had fallen in the war’ and, nearly one hundred years later, with the aid of additional information, we are commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War by meeting that resolution.

    The centenary of the re-dedication of the chapel, which took place on 24th July 1919, will be marked during the morning service on the nearest Sunday, 21st July.

    Roger Rogowski


  • April 2019 - Ringing for Notre-Dame

    There is a long-standing ringers' tradition, which we follow in Brasted, that there is no ringing in Holy Week, between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.

    However this year there was a request we couldn't ignore. It was from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Prime Minister, asking that bells should be rung on Maundy Thursday in solidarity after the disastrous fire in Paris.

    So from 7.30pm eight Brasted ringers assembled to ring our bells for a while, half-muffled. All feeling that we were doing something just a bit special.

    Catherine Lewis


  • December 2017 - St Martin’s Gets the Christmas Feeling

     The first ever Christmas Tree festival at St Martin’s
     Church, organised by the brand new Heritage Trust,
     was a big success, with contributions from church
     members, local families and businesses. In fact, the
     line up of trees was so well received by the
     congregation and those visiting the church that the
     Rev Linda Green took the decision to extend the
     duration of the festival from the initial one week
     envisaged after they were unveiled following the
     lighting up of the Christmas Tree on the village
     Green. They eventually stayed in situ throughout the
     entire festive period.

    In this initial year trees were supplied by the St Martin’s Choir,
    the Bell Ringers, the Congregation, the children of the church and
    Sundridge and Brasted School, the Heritage Trust, The Stanhope Arms,
    Park Farm,Brasted Parish Council and residents of Brasted Place.

    A series of open afternoons were held in the week after the trees were set
    up, so that children could visit the church after being collected from school,
    and many enjoyed the festive feel of the floodlit church. The trees were
    then left in place throughout the season of Christmas services, and only
    came down early in the New Year.

    It was always intended that this first festival would be a relatively low key
    event to set the ball rolling, and the plan is to double the number of trees
    in the church next Christmas. Local companies and residents will be invited
    to take part, and more information about how to become involved will be
    provided during the year at future Heritage Trust events. It’s hoped that
    over time it will become a popular and established part of the church
    calendar, and a chance for those living in the village to come to their
    church to appreciate the unique and peaceful atmosphere of this beautiful
    and historic building at a particularly special time.

    Many thanks to all those who gave time and effort to contribute trees, and
    it really was a wonderful event, enjoyed by everyone who came along. The
    church has rarely looked so festive and there are plenty more Heritage
    Society events in the pipeline over the coming months to look forward to,
    with more details to follow shortly. 

    Terry Hope

  • Saturday 2 December 2017 - Organ Recital

    fdf          fdf        fdf  

    What a great treat was in store for anyone who was in Brasted church
    for an evening concert on December 2nd! To celebrate the 25th
    anniversary of the installation of the Walker organ, St Martin’s was
    honoured to have James McVinnie play a diverse and fascinating
    programme for us. Following the devastating fire in 1989 the church
    was rebuilt and the new organ installed in 1992, quickly becoming
    well-known to some of the UK’s prominent organ recitalists.

    James McVinnie is an internationally recognised organ recitalist of
    immense talent who travels extensively and collaborates with leading
    composers and producers. Do look at his website to read about his most
    impressive career.

    Fortunately for Brasted he was born in Kent and educated at Sevenoaks
    School so was here in his home area with the obvious attraction of a
    superb instrument in St Martin's.

    James, who has a charming and unassuming manner, introduced the music
    with explanations of each work, which he hoped would be a fitting
    start to Advent. It was a hugely varied programme including of
    course some Bach and Handel from the 18th century, but also with works
    by De Grigny and Gibbons from the 17th century and the beautiful
    Rhosymedre by Vaughan Williams from the 20th.

    He began with seven very contemporary preludes by Nico Muhly which
    were not to everyone’s taste but were exciting and startling
    nevertheless. Something very different!

    He ended with ‘Mad Rush’ by Philip Glass, an extraordinary and
    breathless piece which conjures up all the hectic pace of modern life,
    particularly as we all rush around in the approach to Christmas.

    In all these pieces, he astounded us with his skill, his technical
    ability on a complex instrument and above all his interpretation of
    such varied music. It was fascinating to be able to watch him play as
    well as to listen to this extremely impressive young man.

    It was truly an evening to remember for a long time and we felt very
    fortunate to be there.  Annie Brook


  • Trinity Sunday 2017 - St Martin's Stars

    fdf 
    The children celebrated by making beautiful flames representing the Holy Spirit












  • Mothering Sunday 2017 and St Martin's Stars

    fdf  Mothering Sunday was celebrated by all
      on the 26th March but especially the St
      Martin’s Stars when they learned about
      the story of Baby Moses being saved by
      a princess (the Pharaoh’s daughter), his
      big sister, Miriam, and his very own
      mother! The children joined in on the
      special Mothering Sunday service in the
      main church, and then gathered in the
      St Martin’s Room to hear the story from
      the Old Testament reading for the week
      while making a craft to help them
      remember that just like Baby Moses,
      God watches over them. They rejoined
      the whole congregation for special
      prayers and the Blessing of the Flowers.
      The highlight of the day was the Stars
      distributing the posies of fresh spring
      flowers to all the women in the church.
      Kelly Bennett


  • Tuesday 16 August: Singing for Fun
    This event saw a gathering of some twenty-three people in the church enjoying a lively and varied 'singalong' led by our organist Gloria Toplis. Popular numbers from the shows and from the Beatles, many old familiar songs that took us back to our guiding and scouting days seated round the camp fire and even some that took us back to our primary school days. Something for everyone and certainly enjoyed by everyone. We shared a cup of tea at half time and then continued to 'tiptoe through the tulips' and 'gather lilacs' for a bit longer. It is planned to make this a regular happening so If you enjoy singing, a bit of company and meeting new people, please look out for details in the pew news and here on the website. This is singing purely for pleasure - no previous experience or musical know-how is needed and EVERYONE is welcome. Bring your friends and spread the word. Maureen Stillwell


  • Churchyard Tidy-Up 3 October 2015
    Many thanks to those who gave up their Saturday morning to take part in the Autumn taming of the churchyard. Good work was done and all help was appreciated.


  • Ride and Stride 12 September 2015
    Richard Lance, Judith Seaward, Helen Scarse and Muriel Edgar walked the churches of Sevenoaks for the Friends of Kent Churches and together raised a total of £315 for the charity. A big thank you to all those who sponsored them or manned our church on the day.


  • New Director of Music / Organist
    The Rector says " I am pleased to announce that we have appointed a new Director of Music / Organist. Her name is Gloria Toplis. We have not arranged a starting date yet, but we will as soon as all the paper work is done."  5 July 2015


  • Messy Church June 2015
    Our fifth Messy Church took place at St Martin’s on Sunday 28th June. Sixteen children and their families came and joined in the fun and activities about the story of the Creation. They worked together making pictures of the sun, moon and stars, of life in the sea and on the land and finally made colourful bugs with pipe cleaner legs. The end result made a beautiful scene of the Creation story to be displayed for all to enjoy in the weeks ahead. Handprints and footprints in paint were enjoyed by all. Many tried out the gloopy slime, a liquid until you squeezed it in your hand where it became a solid! Later there was an interesting Nature Trail around the churchyard which proved very popular. The afternoon concluded with story and singing and a delicious tea was enjoyed by all. The next Messy Church will be on 13th September 3pm – 5pm and will have a Harvest theme. Hope to see you there. All children and their families are very welcome so do come and join us if you can. Details 01959 565829

  • Computers for Diocesan Links

    Stephen Barbor (Evangelist at St Stephen's Tonbridge) is appealing for used computers, and computer hardware, which can be useful resources for our link dioceses. He writes:

    I am delighted to report that the majority of computers recovered to date have either been distributed to our church links in Africa (Tanzania – Mpwapwa and Kondoa, Kenya, Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa) or have been provided to Computers4Africa.

    Following my recent visit to our partnership Diocese of Mpwapwa in Tanzania, I can confirm that the need is still great within the church, their schools, colleges and medical centres. I am specifically looking for Apple laptops capable of running OS X, or Windows laptops that had XP / Vista / Windows 7(or 8) loaded. Monitors, cables and carry cases are needed too. I chair the Rochester Diocese Mpwapwa Partnership Group and would love to take delivery of your unloved or redundant laptops, even damaged ones as memory simms, hard-disks, power packs and carry bags can often be used to enhance other machines. Please feel confident that the disks are securely data-wiped before a clean operating system is re-instated, so there is no risk of personnel data being released.

    I would also appreciate any installation disks you might still have, since this really helps when it comes to reloading the Windows operating system on older computers. Whether your computer has been used for home, business or education, the internal disks can be securely wiped before a valid operating system is reloaded. Laptops are routinely carried out to our Partnership Projects by visiting teams for on going use by the host diocese, whilst desktops are typically made available for schools through Computers4Africa in Aylesford — http://www.computers4africa.org.uk.

    Thank you. Stephen Barbor (Diocesan Evangelist, St Stephen's in Tonbridge): sm.barbor@gmail.com.


  • Welcome to Brasted
    WelcomeThanks to Jenny Hocknell, this helpful booklet has been updated and reprinted. It is specially designed to help newcomers to Brasted to settle in, and there are some copies on the table in the tower. If you have new neighbours do please take a copy for them and let Linda or Judith know who they are.





  • St Martin's open day
    A very successful open day was held at St Martin's on Monday 6 May 2013, when between 60 and 100 people visited the church, listened to the choir and the organ, visited the tower and had bellringing demonstrations, and consumed vast quantities of tea, coffee and cakes. Some photos of the day will appear on this website soon.

  • Martinmas Supper
    This was held on 10 November in the Village Hall. A good time was had by all, with excellent food provided by able cooks and a rather difficult but enlightening quiz drawn up by David Rumsey. We offer our grateful thanks to Jennie Ellis and her team for organising the food and to David for his enviable knowledge and time spent on organising the quiz.

  • The bells were ringing . . .
    We were hoping to ring a full peal on the bells of St Martin's on 23 April 2013 to celebrate St George's day. Regretfully, it was not to be and the ringing came to a sticky end after less than an hour. We did however ring a very good quarter peal (that's 1260 changes, or about 45 minutes) of a method called Stedman Triples.