Please click here for Application Form
The Church of St. Margaret’s is by far the oldest building in the beautiful village of High Halstow. On the highest point of the Hoo Peninsula, it is surrounded by a stunning and unique countryside right in the heart of Dickens country, with the River Thames on one side and the Medway on the other. Behind the church is Forge Lane, which is where the village forge was situated. This was possibly the inspiration for the forge where Pip lived and worked in Great Expectations, the Charles Dickens book.
For almost 1,000 years St Margaret’s has stood like a sentinel keeping watch over the Peninsula. From the top of the tower you would have been able to see the sweep of history from the invading Normans to Dutch raiders, from Wyatt’s rebellion to German bombers. The Friends of St Margaret’s was established in 2012 when it was realised that it was becoming difficult for the congregation to maintain the Church building. The cost of maintaining and running an ancient building are very high and, if the building is to stand in good order for future generations, it is vitally important that the community takes an active role in its preservation.
Are you able to help? Would you consider supporting the work so that you and future generations can appreciate this lovely old building?
Frequently Asked Questions
I like the idea of the building but I am not particularly religious, will my contribution just go to the upkeep of the building?
Funds that the Friends of St Margaret’s raises will be used for the maintenance of its fabric, the churchyard, interior decorations and furnishings. Your money will not be used for day to day running of the church organisation
I like the thought of helping but I can’t afford it at the moment. Can I still be involved?
Membership rates begin at £2.00 per month, but we understand that things can be hard for many people. You can still get involved with the events or by leaving a legacy for the Friends of St Margaret’s in your will.
The cost of maintain this beautiful old building in the way it deserves has got to the stage that it is beyond the ability of the small congregation to keep up. An example of this is the recent replacement of the lower level guttering. The cost of replacing the guttering and down pipes was just over £20,000. As a listed historical building we can only use specialist materials, which are considerably more expensive than normal domestic building materials. Recent lead thefts caused huge damage to the building over and above the cost of replacing the lead.
In September 2010 the church surveyors carried out a five yearly inspection of the church. Fifteen items required attention within two years. With another six items within five years. Due to lack of funds no work has been started on any.
A custom alarm and warning system would go a long way to ensure thefts were reduced but is presently beyond the resources of the congregation.
These are just a couple of examples of recent repair and maintenance issues that have had to be dealt with. In addition the church has no toilet or running water inside the building and the heating system is rapidly becoming antiquated. Your help and assistance could mean that the building is fit for use for future generations. The alternative would be that the building becomes unusable or has to be sold. Why not sign up today and become a member of the Friends of St Margaret’s.
There are no set membership fees. All we ask is that you give as much or as little as you can afford with a minimum contribution of £2.00 per month, which entitles you to a twice-yearly newsletter. To join, simply complete the combined application and Standing Order form and return it to the Treasurer. Corporate and Family membership is also available on request, as are memorial bequests.
If you are a taxpayer please help us increase the value of your gift by filling in this Gift Aid declaration. Thank You
Please click here for Application Form