Tracey recently visited the Paddlesworth St Benedict’s Church in Snodland and was fascinated by its history as well as its future. Crispin Truman, from the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), as well as volunteers who help keep the Church, joined her for the visit.
The Church itself is 900 years old and was for centuries a passing point for pilgrims travelling from Snodland to Burham. The Church had become abandoned in 1678 for 250 years, but by the early twentieth century, it was once again used. Now, with organisations such as the Churches Conservation Trust, this Church can now ensure to be visited and its’ rich history preserved.
One new and innovative way to explore Paddlesworth Church is through the CCT’s Champing scheme. Champing breaks offers the chance for people to stay in one of the participating Churches for the evening. The group staying have the key to the Church door and are able to discover the Church and all of its history in their own time. Churches, such as Paddlesworth, are set in idyllic scenes and can prove to be the ultimate escape to explore the culture, heritage and craftsmanship of the Church and its surroundings.
The Churches Conservation Trust continues to work with Churches, such as Paddlesworth, to ensure that the rich history that Churches have are retained and seen by all.
“The Churches Conservation Trust does fantastic work protecting many of our important historic churches and making them accessible to the public.
The Trust’s “champing” scheme has proved a hugely popular and inventive way to encourage people to explore church buildings. As Minister for both Heritage and Tourism, this scheme is truly an encouraging way to ensure the rich history in Churches are not lost.”