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Calendar of Services


Sunday 24th : Palm Sunday

11.00am: Matins, Withyham

Thursday 28th : Maundy Thursday

7.00pm: Passover Meal, The Rectory

Friday 29th : Good Friday

2.00pm: Service of Reflection, Withyham

Sunday 31st : Easter Day

8.00am: Holy Communion, Withyham

9.45am: Zoom

11.00am: Easter Communion, Withyham

Withyham Church closed for repairs - all services at BLACKHAM

Sunday 7th April: 1st after Easter
9.45am: Zoom
11.00am: Holy Communion, Blackham

Sunday 14th: 2nd after Easter 

11.00am: Matins, Blackham


Sunday 21st: 3rd after Easter

9.45am: Zoom

11.00am: Matins, Blackham


Sunday 28th: 4th after Easter

11.00am: Matins, Blackham


Return to Withyham Church, subject to completion of work


Sunday 5th May: 5th after Easter

9.45am: Zoom

11.00am: Rogation Sunday Service

6.30pm: Evensong


Blackham Church, TN3 9UD is situated opposite the Village Hall, approached by two roads, both c. half a mile off the A264. 


Anyone needing to gain access to Withyham Church during the building work should contact James Campbell or one of the Churchwardens.

Church Events: Text

Withyham Church – to close for essential repairs during April

Regular Sunday morning services will continue at Blackham Church at 11.00am during the period whilst Withyham Church is closed - Tuesday 2nd April, until Saturday 4th May 2024. 

There will be updates in the Parish Magazine, as well as on the Church website.


In the mid-Victorian times a false ceiling was removed and the wooden ceiling tiles we see today (blue with a gold star) were put in their place. They are on the ceiling of both the Nave (body of the Church) and Chancel (Choir).


About six years ago one of the wooden tiles fell off; in the Autumn last year another loose one was re-fixed; other tiles are noticeably loose. Given that all the nails holding tiles must be roughly 170 years old, it is apparent that they all need re-fixing before we have an accident. 


Knowing that there are bats in the building - which are of course protected - before proceeding with the work, we consulted the Bat Conservation Trust.  Their representative’s advice was that we could safely do the work. The tiles with the old nails will not be removed, but additional screws will be fixed to each tile.  This will cause the minimum of disturbance to any bats that might be roosting nearby.  We then obtained formal approval from Natural England to go ahead.


The work will take was approximately one month: the erection of scaffolding (one week) and the work (two weeks) and dismantling the scaffolding (one week).  The proposal is for the work to begin immediately after Easter on Tuesday 2nd April.  We hope to be back in the Church for services on Sunday 5th May.


There are no weddings booked for Withyham in April.  Unfortunately, it will not be possible to hold any funeral services in Church whilst the building is closed.  Restricted access will be possible only to the Vestry and Sackville Chapel.


We are sorry for any inconvenience that this will cause.  Please do discuss any matters that arise with one of us:

Jill Pardey


01892 661882

James Campbell


01892 770069

Gilly Halcrow


01892 770607

Withyham Church - A Home for Bats

In his 1902 history of the area, the Rev. Charles Sutton wrote of the alterations made to the Church in 1840 and 50s during the time that Reginald Sackville was the Rector.  He wrote, ‘The low ceiling over the whole of the nave and chancel was taken away, and the timber roof repaired.’  Although there is no mention is made specifically of the timber blue ceiling tiles with the gold star), they were almost certainly put in place at this time.  As all the nails holding tiles must be roughly 170 years old, they all now need re-fixing particularly as one fell down a few years ago and others are loose. 

A trusted local builder was preparing to do the job in January this year when we thought about Bats knowing that we have them in the building. Initially we approached a company to investigate but were shocked at the cost.  We then approached the Bat Conservation Trust; their service is free of charge. 

From the start we received very professional advice. Within a couple of weeks, a volunteer visited the Church with further helpful and friendly advice.  She suggested that if we were willing to delay the work until April, being a time when the bats come out of hibernation and before the new bats born, then she’d recommend that we could go ahead.  Some weeks later we received a letter from Natural England confirming this. 

During this process we have learnt more about our bats and feel honoured and protective of them, knowing that they find our roof tiles a safe hibernating place, although they make a mess especially in the Vestry.  We now feel that our bats are more part of our community! 

We have made a donation to the Bat Conservation Trust.  Although this is a very expensive job, they have saved us a lot of money initially and has given us a professional service.  Thank you!

Gillian Halcrow (Churchwarden)

James Campbell (Rector)

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