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Janus Project

What is the Janus Project?

The Janus Project is a wide-ranging support and enhancement scheme designed to take St Mary’s Great Chart into the future. Janus, the root of the word January, was the two-faced Roman god who looked both forwards and backwards. It is a symbol for the Janus Project which aims to celebrate the past of this lovely historical building while securing its future for the village and the community.

St Mary’s Great Chart has for generations been a focus for local community and family celebrations, as well as being regularly used for Sunday worship. We believe St Mary’s has the potential to broaden its appeal and serve the community in a wider variety of ways. These might include concerts, exhibitions, after-school activities and private hire.

All this will require improved access and a reordering of the interior, as well as repairs to the existing fabric. This will happen in phases, with the first already completed: repairs to the roof and the installation of the toilet.


The next phase

The next phase, called Prepare the Way, is to replace the path leading up to the church to make it more accessible for everyone.  It will also include refurbishing the porch and upgrading the entrance to provide level access and installing an additional internal glass door.  We are delighted to say that we have now received all the permissions we need to proceed with this work. Some of the cost of replacing the path relates to the need to preserve the medieval remains underneath the existing path. 

If you would like to have a look at the architect's plans, you can click here

Future phases will include re-ordering the interior to make it more suitable for community events and activities. This will include opening out the main space, installing a kitchen and maybe also building an extension to house extra rooms and toilets. We hope to refurbish the attractive “Pest House” outbuilding to house a resource centre for local WWI correspondence and archives.


The need is urgent!

St Mary’s has been at the heart of the local community since the 14th century but if it is to be preserved for future generations, it is vital to make it suitable for a wider range of community purposes. Unless this work is carried out, the invaluable architecture of St Mary’s will eventually fall into decay. If this happens, its cultural heritage and hundreds of years of history belonging to the local community will be lost. Preserving the past of this lovely old church is inseparable from preparing for its future.

If you care about preserving Great Chart’s lovely old church building, or if you are keen to see it used more for the needs of the community, please make a donation.

We expect the costs for the path and porch phase to be in the region of £147,000.  Local fundraising has already raised £98,000 of this money but you can see we need a lot more.

You can help in this project by:

  • making a one-off donation by online transfer, and/or

  • setting up a monthly standing order for £10, £20 or £50 for six to twelve months.

  • if you are a UK tax payer, completing a Gift Aid declaration to add 25% to your donation(s) - at no cost to you!

You can give £250 or more to become a Patron of the project and be named, if you wish it, on our Patrons Board.

You can donate directly to “Prepare the Way” in several ways. For a one-off donation, please donate online to:


Account name: Ashford Town PCC
Reference: Janus Project
Account number: 30686611
Sort code: 20-02-62


Or write a cheque to Ashford Town PCC referencing “Janus Project” with the donation form (download below) and send to:

Mrs Shirley Leslie, Parish Treasurer
Parish Office, Ashford Parish Church Hall
Church Yard
Kent TN23 1QG

You can download a donation form here

You can download a standing order form here

If you are a UK tax-payer and would like to gift-aid your donation, please download and fill in the following form and send to Mrs Shirley Leslie as above.

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