For information on services during this interregnum please see the diary page or email


Penshurst Place


Penshurst Place is the ancestral home of the Sydney family who ownded the Penshurst estate. The present manor house was built in 1341. This medieval house is one of the most complete examples of 14th-century domestic architecture in England surviving in its original location.

The Church

Penhurst Church

St John the Baptist Church at Penshurst is a Anglican parish church in the Diocese of Rochester. We are presently in an Interregnum following the retirement as rector of the Revd. Tom Holme in November 2020.

As of 1 April 2021, we have now been given the go-ahead to recruit a new Rector of the enlarged Benefice of Penshurst, Fordcolmbe and the Chiddingstone Churches, who will live in the Penshurst Rectory.

St John the Baptist Church plays an active role in the community through regular church services and other events held in the church and through offering pastoral help to those in need.

A word from the acting chairman of our PCC, David Lough
The historic church of St. John the Baptist will soon have witnessed at least 900 years of Christian life in Penshurst. While we are in the middle of an Interregnum between rectors, may I welcome you on behalf of the PCC  express the hope that the information on this website will help encourage you to visit us in person, whether to join in a service, attend one of the events that we host, or just to appreciate looking around a fine building, full of history, and reflect quietly. You will be most warmly welcomed.


About Penshurst Church
A church has stood here since 1115, at the centre of a cluster of buildings, including the manor house, guild house and rectory, all still surviving.  Listed grade 1, the church helps tell a country’s story through the eyes of a single village – through its courtiers, soldiers, statesmen, politicians or priests whose lives appear on memorials or through its changing architecture, brasses, carvings, effigies and windows.

St John the Baptist Church, Penshurst

The Dole Table – one of only 3 left in the UK

Note that in the churchyard, in front of the porch, is a large stone table known as a dole table, which was used once a year to distribute money to the needy of the village. Also note, for more notorious reasons, the grave of Richard Sax under a yew tree near the bottom of some steps as you enter the churchyard under the arch. Mr Sax was a farmer who was brutally murdered in 1813 following an argument with a farm labourer who worked on the estate of Baden-Powell (the founder of the world scout movement).


Detailed information on the interior of the church is to be found in a booklet entitled ‘Penshurst Church and Village’, available for purchase when visiting the church.


We are fortunate to have some excellent photographers living within the parish and thank Martin Barraud for capturing Penshurst Church at its best.


  • The Bell Tower
  • The ornate Sidney Chapel ceiling
  • dole-table
  • penshurst-chuch
© Penshurt Church 2022. All rights reserved.