I was planning to write some text here, as I have been taking funerals to the Church for many, many years. However, having today re visited the Churches own website, I have found I know very little about the place after all.
So if I may, the best place the discover all about St Francis Church is to visit http://www.stfrancisparish.org.uk/index.html
I do have the following pictures and have added some text to each to describe the scene. Regulars will not need this of course, but it may be helpful to others.
Above is the street view, and as you can see there have been some recent additions. The steps can be avoided for those less able. Bearers do struggle a little with very large floral tributes on the coffin when we come to enter the building through these doors. (All the florists will hate me now)
Once we are inside, there is a decent size “reception area” between the two sets of doors. The rain, wind and noise disappears quite quickly once everyone is inside
Seating here is plentiful, and even though the funeral mass is attended by many church members beside the family and friends, there has never been a problem seating you here. It is always warm and welcoming, and Canon John and his assistants are very accommodating.
The altar, which is just in front of where you will sit, is a very beautiful piece of carved stone. Canon John will sit just beside it during the service.
In this picture you can see that there is quite a lot of seating to the right of the main isle and the same arrangement exists on the left hand side too.
The coffin will be placed on trestles, just at the foot of the steps in this picture.
Parking is not the issue you may have thought. There is a very large car park across the road and to the right of the Maidstone East Station. There are toilets located in the Church reception area.
For those wishing to use satnav try ME14 1RH.
I must add my grateful thanks to David Elphee for the pictures, and to Canon John for granting his permission to take them, and display them here.