The annual open day was held on Saturday 14th September to coincide with the Friends of Kent Churches’ sponsored “Ride & Stride” which was raising money for the repair of churches.
The Ride & Stride was more significant than ever for our church as it followed close on the offer of a grant of £22,500 from the FKC to our Roof appeal. Maureen & Peter Morten both drove to areas with a selection of churches and then walked between them; they visited 27 churches. Mark Davis cycled to West Malling and visited 28 churches on the way there and back. On their return to Shorne they were all in remarkably good spirits considering the miserable rainy weather. They raised £90 from sponsorship by the congregation and will be receiving more from other sponsors. Half of this will go to the FKC and rhe remainder will be kept for Shorne.
We welcomed 11 visiting cyclists and walkers, among them a group from West Malling. This may not seem many but most churches found numbers down this year and NW Kent is not a popular area for the cyclists and riders who take part. Anyone else willing to increase their numbers next year?
As the church is locked when not in use this was an opportunity to open it to the public and it conveniently coincided with Heritage Open Days. Probably around thirty people from the village and beyond visited. Many of these joined one of Edmund Redfern’s conducted tours of the church. He is so knowledgeable about the church and its history that visitors always enjoy these tours.
A new feature this year was a knitting crafts stall. A group of ladies who enjoy knitting meet regularly in the village. Last year they made a big effort to knit items for a small craft fair. This year they repeated the exercise on a smaller scale for the Open Day and Lucy Bottomley (aided by Inigo) sold £120 worth of items for the Roof Appeal.
Of course no event like this would be complete without afternoon tea. Linda Moffat, helped by Enid Gould, Jean Pratt and Valerie Groombridge provided tea and home made scones and cakes which were free for participants in the Ride & Stride. In addition to the enjoyment this brought for visitors they raised £70 for the church.
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