What is the Darent Valley Benefice?

The Darent Valley Benefice is made up of three parishes: St Margaret's Darenth, St Mary's Horton Kirby and St John's Sutton-at-Hone. Historically these individual churches have served the people of their own parishes and provided a place of worship in each community over many centuries.

However churches, as with so much else, often find that they are stronger together. An arrangement known as a "multi-parish benefice" allows parishes to work together under a single vicar, enabling those churches to pool resources and so work more effectively.

In our case what this means in practice is that we have three church buildings but are one church community. On a Sunday morning we worship in a different church week by week (which is why it's always worth checking the service rota before turning up). This allows us to keep open and active the three extraordinary church buildings in our care, while working together as a single church family to seek God and serve the parishes.

Below is a map of the benefice, showing the parish boundaries (working clock-wise from the top) of Darenth, Horton Kirby and Sutton-at-Hone. To find out your own parish of residence, go to www.achurchnearyou.com.