St George, Ivychurch
Services are held every other Sunday and include Sung Evensong (fourth Sunday of the month) at 6.30 pm (Book of Common Prayer) and a Eucharist (second Sunday of the month) at 5 pm. The church congregation is small but very welcoming.
Visiting and Facilities
The church is open daily to visitors: usually from 09:00 through until the early evening in the summer, and dusk in the winter. St George’s has a small refreshment table where visitors can partake of tea, coffee and cold drinks. If you visit please sign our visitors' book!
There is free parking available directly outside the church to the right of The Bell Inn.
The church hosts two permanent history exhibitions. The Museum of Rural Life in the North Aisle provides a display of farming in the 20th century, while the Ivychurch Local History Display (to the right as you enter the church) provides a snapshot of the village in the 19th and 20th centuries and includes information on local families, a graveyard survey (2015), details of villagers killed in the World Wars, and copies of parish registers and census returns.
The following guidebooks can be purchased in the church:
- Colour church guide (£2)
- Architectural Guide to St. George's (£1.50). This contains a detailed plan of the church.
- John Piper postcards of St George’s
Children are welcomed at St Georges’ and there is a corner with books, toys and crayons to keep your children entertained during your visit.
History and Layout
Due to its size and space, St. George's is known as 'the Cathedral of Romney Marsh' and is mainly a 14th century building with a seven bay arcade. There are some remains/reminders of an earlier, Early English, church which are mainly found at the east end.
The building is mainly constructed of Kentish ragstone but some Caen stone from the earlier church can also be found as can many wave-rolled flints which are a reminder of the close proximity of the English Channel.
The nave is particularly impressive as it has been empty of seats since the early 1900s when the rotten box pews were removed. The large space created is put to good use for exhibitions, concerts, barn dances and the annual Harvest Supper.
The population of the parish has never been large and the church is a statement of importance and propaganda on behalf of the Archbishops of Canterbury on whose land it was built.
The blocked clerestory windows in the nave are identical to those in the south aisle of Canterbury Cathedral which indicate that masons from Canterbury were involved with its construction.
The parish is huge and spreads across the marsh down to the Kent ditch (the boundary between Kent and East Sussex) although its population was only 253 in the 2011 census and has remained between 200 and 300 since the mid-19th century. The shape of the parish is rather unusual as it follows the parcels of land to the south-west which were progressively 'inned' (drained) in the 12th century onwards.