History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Kent

by Peter Kessler, 21 November 2010



Medway Part 6: Churches of Strood

Rochester New Testament Church of God

Rochester New Testament Church of God stands behind a heavy tree-line on the western side of Vicarage Road, opposite the entrance to St Mary's Road. The Anglican church was constructed in 1868-1869 and dedicated to St Mary. St Mary's Church was opened by Bishop Claughton in 1869. It gained its own parish from part of those of St Nicholas Strood and All Saints Frindsbury in 1896, but in the later twentieth century its parish was merged with that of St Nicholas.

Rochester New Testament Church of God

St Mary's Church was declared redundant in 1991, towards the end of a long period of declining attendances which increased rapidly after war. Its parish was absorbed by St Nicholas. The building was sold soon afterwards to the New Testament Church of God, a Pentecostal denomination which by 2010 had 115 churches across the country. There was also a Strood Congregational Church on St Mary's Road from 1880, but by 2010 this had completely disappeared.

Strood Evangelical Church

Strood Evangelical Church is a surprise find on the southern side of Darnley Road, midway between the junctions with Cedar Road and Cuxton Road. The building which houses the church is part of a row of shops from the fifties, and seems to have been a shop itself until comparatively recently. A very rough-looking conversion has been carried out on the building. The church is mostly likely to be an offshoot of Waterford House Evangelical Free Church (see below).

St Justus Catholic Church Temple Farm

St Justus Catholic Church Temple Farm occupies the north-east corner of Clifton Close and Tamar Drive. Strood become a separate Catholic parish at the same time as the area was being greatly developed after the First World War. Several factories were established resulting in a rapid increase in the population. A large housing estate sprang up in the Temple Farm area, and English Martyrs Catholic Church saw that St Justus was built in 1950 to cater for the extra populace.

St Francis of Assisi

St Francis of Assisi appears to rise from the very ground on the southern side of Galahad Avenue, midway between Lancelot Avenue and Elaine Avenue. This is close to the highest point of Strood, overlooking the mouth of the Medway. The church was opened in 1941, for one of the new residential suburbs of Strood. By 2010 plans were being drawn up to reorder the building for community use, which included the installation of new heating to make it more 'user-friendly'.

Waterford House Evangelical Free Church

Waterford House Evangelical Free Church stands well back from the eastern side of Rede Court Road, just north of the junction with Linwood Avenue and on the very edge of Strood, overlooking open countryside. The date of construction of this Evangelical church is not known but the style of the construction of the building suggests that it was put up in the seventies. The style of worship used in the church is historically known as Reformed, as stated in official material.

In Depth
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