What is The Five Church Walk? It is a fundraising circular country walk (some of which is only open for this event) featuring woodland, orchards, open fields, farm tracks & some country roads. Home prepared refreshments are on sale for church funds at each of the five churches & all have toilet facilities.
When & where is it held? On the early May Bank Holiday Monday each year on a circuit of five historic churches between five & ten miles west of Canterbury.
How is the fundraising recorded? Completed entry forms with donations in cash or cheques (made out to The Five Church Walk) are allocated a unique number, marked as paid & details entered on a pre-numbered sheet as a permanent accounting record. Walkers receive a numbered card to check in at subsequent churches, to retain as their record of times taken.
Will it be overcrowded with walkers? Even with hundreds registering, the 16 mile route never seems crowded. This is a rare chance to spend a spring day in beautiful countryside far from noise & bustle.
Can I choose where my donation goes? You can donate to (or be sponsored for) any of the named churches or charities by ticking one or more boxes. As a guide, we suggest a minimum of £5 for each ticked box (with no maximum!).
Can I Gift Aid this? Yes, signing that you are a UK tax payer adds 25% to it.
How much of this goes on Administration? £1 of a £5 donation to the two secular charities is taken to meet essential costs (e.g. insurance, printing & website), the balance of which is split between the five organizing churches.
Where can I get more details & application forms? Visit: <> to download & print them, or call at Chilham Church or Post Office or Challock Post Office (the other remoter churches are locked except for services or events).
When can I start? The official start time is 10.00 am. to finish by 6.00pm so the latest to leave a church should be around 4.00 pm to arrive before closure.
When can I get details of the final distribution of funds? Interim reports appear in church magazines & on our website, but because gift aid tax claims are handled by Diocesan House, Canterbury the final distribution is not made until four months later.
Will I need a map? Actually we’d prefer you didn’t use a map as parts of the route are over private land. Frequent large red arrows indicate left, right or straight ahead at any point where uncertainty could arise..
What about young children? The section either way between Chilham & Godmersham is the most suitable in terms of length & ease of walking. Older ones should be capable of at least some of the others.
How many miles is the walk? Total length is 16 miles, but stopping short at any church can reduce your walk by the following approximate distances:
Between Chilham & Godmersham (minor roads & estate land) 2 1/2 miles
Between Godmersham & Boughton Aluph (woods & farmland) 3 miles
Between Boughton Aluph & Challock (minor roads & farmland) 2 3/4 miles
Between Challock & Molash (lanes & Forestry Commission land) 3 3/4 miles
Between Molash & Chilham (arable land, farm tracks & orchards) 4 miles.
NB We regret that we unable to provide transport back to your starting point.
What if I get hungry during the walk? There’s no need to carry a packed lunch or drink as each church sells a wide range of filled rolls or sandwiches, homemade cakes & fruit. They know from years of experience what goes down best for hungry walkers, and all proceeds go to the funds of the church providing the refreshments.
How long should it take? To walk the entire route (which is clearly marked with large red arrows) will take five or six hours, but allow time to relax at each of the interesting churches. On arrival at each church you should first sign in, but you must reach your last no later than 6.00pm when the check-ins close.
Can I bring my dog? Yes, provided it is under verbal control at all times and in particular kept on a lead in fenced fields or when crossing busy roads.