St John’s Heritage Association, Kingsdown

Members’ Newsletter December 2023


Dear Members (and potential new members)


The SJHA was formed in 2013 to raise funds for the restoration and conservation of the church of St John the Evangelist, Kingsdown, and its environs. Our income is generated by annual subscriptions, donations, and fund-raising events.


The AGM was held on Wednesday 22nd March 2023 in the church. After years of debating the refurbishment of the west end of the church, Gordon Love agreed to chair a sub-committee to consider affordable options which would include improved storage and kitchen facilities.      

Your committee members are Liz Deschamps, Elaine Love (secretary), Gordon Love, Elaine Mordaunt, Huw Morgan-Thomas and Ian Stephen (chair). Jean Winn, Parochial Church Council (PCC) treasurer is ex officio treasurer of the Association. Thanks to Huw for joining the committee; if any members wish to follow suit please get in touch!    


Events in 2021 netted £2572 from the Garage Safari (£312), Cream Tea (£345), two Old Bones Trombone Choir concerts (£1430) and the Christmas turkey raffle (£485).

Events in 2022 raised £2778 from the Rock Choir concert (£480), the Garage Safari (£715), the Cream Tea (£393), the Old Bones Trombone choir concert (£681) and the Christmas turkey raffle (£509).

Events in 2023

Garage Safari (Sunday 14th May) We were very grateful to all members and others who donated items for sale, and for those who manned a table during the event, especially to Liz Bembridge, Ruth Kent, Roma Blissenden and Lesley and David Dobby who supplemented the efforts of committee members.  A special thank you to Liz & Phil Deschamps and Gordon Love who helped setting up early in the morning and then took surplus and unsold stock to charity shops on the Monday following. Overall, the event made £680 which included a generous donation from the Safari profits, organised by Rex Martin, to the St John’s church Fabric Fund. 

Two nearly new art books remain unsold:

‘Fra Angelico’ compiled by Laurence Kanter & Pia Palladino (over £100 on Amazon) and

‘The Gates of Paradise’ Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Renaissance masterpiece

If you wish to make an offer, which could be less than half price, please contact Ian Stephen ( 


Kingsdown Cream Tea (Sunday 23rd July) attracted another record attendance including tourists staying in the Chalet Park as German families again took advantage of our hospitality as did friends from Walmer. Liz Deschamps organised this event with consummate skill and was ably supported by members who provided cakes, those who served, moved tables outside or washed up at the end. The raffle, expertly run by Elane Mordaunt, was very well supported, indeed it took half an hour to draw the winning tickets!  It was a very enjoyable afternoon which raised a remarkable £553.    


‘Old Bones Trombone choir’ concert (Friday 22nd September) in the church raised £642 despite one other Benefice event occurring on the same night! The programme was varied and again Carol Harvey produced two exquisite soprano solos including Handel’s ‘Light the Bright Seraphin’.   



Christmas Raffle: Once again Nick Britton (The Ox Tale) offered a Turkey as first prize; a bottle of Whisky (second prize) and a Christmas cake (third prize) clearly increased the attraction because the overall takings were a staggering £785 (2022 figure was £507) Multiple thanks are due not only to Nick & Del, Lesley and Rebecca (Village shop) for selling raffle tickets, but also to Gordon and Elaine Love, who sourced the whisky and made the cake, and to the village residents who invested.

Prize winners were Mrs Hughes (turkey), Steve Coomber (whisky) and Ian Stephen (Christmas cake) 

Overall, the four events in 2023 added £2360 to the kitty, leaving the SJHA with a healthy £15k plus to fund quinquennial fabric repairs and plans for the refurbishment of the west end of the church to include a kitchen.


Membership: Currently we have 95 members, but we would like many more. Thirty-four supporters are lifetime members, the remainder opt to pay annually by BSO. The fabric of the church at St John’s is constantly in need for maintenance and repair and we need your support.

Individual membership is now £12 a year, for a couple £20. Lifetime membership remains at £100 for an individual and £200 for a couple. Donations are welcome. Membership forms can be obtained from Gordon Love or Ian Stephen and will be available at all events.


Contact Ian Stephen on 01304 380550 or if you are keen to join us. The SJHA newsletter and membership details are also available on the Cornilo Churches website  A big ‘thank you’ for your continuing support of your village church. 



IDS December 2023