Concert at St Michael’s Church Fri 18 May: University of Kent Chamber Choir

We’re very much looking forward to a visit from the University of Kent Chamber Choir and Sinfonia, who will be coming to St Michael’s Church on Friday 18 May for a concert at 7.30pm.

Conducted by Dan Harding and Matthew Cooke, the event brings a blend of sacred and secular music from across the centuries, featuring especially the Stabat Mater by Pergolesi, a popular work from the Baroque period for which the Choir will be joined by players from the String Sinfonia.

Here’s the Choir singing My Lord Has Come by Will Todd, one of the pieces which will be included in the concert:

The performance is free, and includes refreshments; there will be a retiring collection in aid of St Michael’s Church. Put the date in your diaries!

Image gallery: Village Fete 2018

Fair weather and glorious skies greeted the annual village fête yesterday afternoon, which saw a bustling community turning up to the playing fields for a traditional event, complete with maypole dancing from children at the primary school. Joe’s Bows were present with a fine display of birds of prey; Spikes Hedgehog Sanctuary raising funds to protect endangered hedgehogs; a Messy Church stall; live music from YMS Steel Pan band playing everything from Bob Marley to the ‘Cantina Band’ music from Star Wars; a beat-the-keeper competition featuring the Hernhill Herons; a tempting array of homemade cakes and marmalades; a well-stocked second-hand bookstall; a thriving tea service in the village hall, and many other stalls tempting visitors to part with cash to raise funds shared equally between the Village Hall and St Michael’s Church.

Huge thanks to all the participants and to the team who managed the event so succesfully; here’s hoping for equally fine weather next year!

Hernhill Christmas Craft Fair: Sat 12 November

Come and bag an early seasonal bargain at the Hernhill Christmas Craft Fair next week.

Between 10.30am – 4pm on Saturday 12 November, St Michael’s Church will be hosting the event, and there will also be refreshments and light lunches served, with all donations and profits in aid of the church.


There will be additional parking in the yard opposite the village green on the day; get ahead of the crowds and find an early Christmas gift! Find out more about the church and its location here.

Fête accompli

Congratulations to everyone involved in making today’s village fête a success. There was a convivial atmosphere around ten village playing fields, as visitors browsed the stalls, clambered around the fire engines, hurled the sevens vigorously through the inflatable assaults course or took turns at the archery stand, courtesy of Joe’s Bows, who also provided the birds of prey display. 

In the middle of the field, Morris dancers demonstrated that the historic tradition is alive and, er, kicking; children from the primary school did a maypole dancing display under the watchful eye of Mrs George; live music was provided by the YMS Steel Pan Band, and local MP Helen Whately brought her family along, to be lured in to the face-painting queue. 


 Thanks to all the team and all the volunteers who have worked to put the event together. 

Art Exhibition at St Michael’s next weekend

The new 2016 Hernhill Artists Calendar will be launched at the Art  Exhibition at St. Michael’s Church, Hernhill, next weekend.

The exhibition takes place on Saturday July 25th and Sunday July 26th from 10.00 am-6.00 pm each day, and admission is free!

The original paintings used for the Artists Calendar will be on view at the exhibition together with works from many local artists.

All donations will be gratefully received and put towards the upkeep of St.Michael’s Church. Any enquiries about the event to Brian Jelfs on 01227  752309.

A Village remembers

A crisp and clear November day saw many residents of the village gathering on the green this morning at ten minutes to eleven.

20131110-153336.jpgThe readings and words at the war memorial to mark today’s Remembrance Sunday took place in bright sunshine, with a faint breeze rustling the leaves; after the bugler had sounded the Last Post, birdsong rang out from a nearby tree, reminding us that in the middle of remembering the dead, the life for which they fought and died goes on. After the sounding of Revellie, as the next reading was about to begin, the church bell struck eleven, and over the Beatitudes from the gospel of Matthew, the bell tolled the hour over the heads of the assembled to ring out around the village green and echo over the fields beyond.

20131110-153606.jpgIn the laying of wreaths at the foot of the memorial, the reading of the names of the fallen and the sharing of words, the village had come together to remember its past and affirm its commitment to, and hope for, the future. Somewhere overhead, in the distance, the gentle drone of an aeroplane recalled lazy days of distant summer, and Sassoon’s wonderfully evocative lines from The Last Meeting came to mind;

‘I can remember summer in one thought
Of wind-swept green, and deeps of melting blue,
And scent of limes in bloom; and I can hear
Distinct the early mower in the grass,
Whetting his blade along some morn of June.’


We will remember them.

Do you have what it takes to organise Open Gardens ?

After thirteen years of organising the annual spectacular that is Hernhill Open Gardens, Alison West is finally stepping down.

After this year’s successful (and rain-free!) event in June, this is the last year in which Alison will have organised the event. On behalf of everyone in the village, and of all the visitors who have enjoyed the event over the past thirteen years, our warmest thanks to Alison for her dedication and commitment to co-ordinating one of the regular highlights in the village’s annual calendar.

If you would like to take over the horticultural mantle, please contact the Forum.

Being Fruitful: Cherry Day at Mount Ephraim Gardens

There’s a celebration of Kentish cherries and family fun next weekend, as Mount Ephraim Gardens hosts its annual Cherry Day event on Sunday 30 June, with the best of Kentish cherries on a real family-run farm.

Visitors can enjoy walking tours of the award-winning cherry orchards, showing how cherries are grown commercially on a working farm and a chance to sample them fresh off the trees!

Cherries will also be available for tastings and for sale, and there’s also a Best of Kent Farmers’ Market with a fine selection of Kentish foods including breads, cheeses, meat, fudge, chutneys and much more.

Younger guests can be entertained by The Flower Fairies with storytelling in the Willow Circle, face-painting and the opportunity to try out the new Animal and Nature trails. The Hernhill Crafts Centre will be demonstrating wool-spinning and guests can have a go on a pottery wheel to try their hand at making pottery.

20130622-114206.jpgOr you can take a stroll and enjoy ten acres of Edwardian gardens including the Japanese rock garden, water garden, lake and the grass maze ideal for picnics and with a play area for children. The gardens also host the Woodrose Tea Rooms serving delicious cream teas and cherry-based recipes, whilst overlooking the stunning topiary and herbaceous border area and enjoying music from local musicians.

Cherry Day is open from 11am until 5pm on Sunday 30th June. Prices are £6 for adults and £2.50 for children.

For more information, visit Mount Ephraim’s website here or call 01227 751496.

Hernhill Open Gardens

The annual Hernhill Open Gardens will take place on Sunday 23 June.

Click to view
Click to view

This year, eleven gardens are opening for your enjoyment, including a new garden and many that have not opened for a few years! So come and see the progress made.

Additionally, the new Hernhill Allotment developement are allowing visitors for the day.

Cream teas will be served at The Coach House, Kemsdale, all day and Kemsdale House will have strawberries and Pimms.  Programmes are available from any of the gardens on the day or from the Red Lion and Three Horseshoes in advance,

For further information, see the Dawes Community Association website or phone 07801 824867.