St John the Baptist Church, Penshurst



St John the Baptist Church has stood in the corner of Penshurst Place’s parkland since at least 1170. In 2021 we started a new chapter in this church’s life, at the heart of a new grouping (or ‘benefice’) of churches officially called the Benefice of Penshurst, Fordcombe and the Chiddingstone Churches or the High Weald Churches for short.

Our Rector, Revd Lisa Cornell, looks after the Benefice with the help of a team of volunteers. Lisa lives in Penshurst Rectory, beside the church, at the heart of the village.

Read about our plans for the benefice here.


We have re-started monthly ‘Drop Off Coffee’ sessions on the first Tuesday of every month from 9am-10am in the Rectory.


Morning Walkies, every 3rd Tuesday, leaving from Leicester Square, will resume again in October. We generally meet somewhere between the Rectory Gate and Leicester Square around 9am setting off at 9.15am. Walking some or all of the Penshurst Loop finishing at the Porcupine Pantry, this is an opportunity for informal fellowship and a chance for humans and canines to meet new friends and improve their fitness.




We take our responsibilities to keep young children and vulnerable adults safe whenever they are in the church or with church staff. The Church of England’s Parish Safeguarding Handbook: Promoting a Safer Church can be found here  The Joint Council of Penshurst and the Chiddingstone Churches has formally adopted the House of Bishops’ ‘Promoting a Safer Church safeguarding policy statement’ (click here to see the formal statement). The Joint Council Safeguarding Policy can be viewed by clicking here.


Our Safeguarding Officer is Dennis Ward and you can contact him here
Our Parish Safeguarding Officer’s are Linda Naidu and you contact her here and Sarah Wickens who you can contact here.
Please click here to view more of our safeguarding information and policy’s.

If you have any concerns about a safeguarding issue, please contact either Dennis Ward above or our Parish Safeguarding Officer on 01892 870011 to talk confidentially.

You may also contact our  Revd Lisa Cornell, the Rector, on 01892 487519.


Click here to check out the diocesan team!



Coronavirus struck a serious hole in our finances because we lost about one third of the church’s income whilst it lasted – from lost collections, cancelled fundraising events, postponed weddings and lost visits from tourists.

We have launched an appeal to help rebuild our finances and encourage regular giving to the church – you can see the appeal brochure here.

If you can help us build up the church’s reserves again, we would really appreciate an online donation. You can make a donation by:

  • phoning 0333 123 1243 (press option 1 and be ready to quote the church’s ID: 108617101
  • parish giving by clicking here


Thank you

© Penshurt Church 2023. All rights reserved.