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Gallery: Churches of Kent
by Peter Kessler, 11 October 2009. Updated 18
The Beacon Church lies opposite Bognor Drive
on Sea Street, leading out of the town centre in the direction of
Whitstable. The church was 'planted' in 1995 by the New Life Christian
Community Church (Whitstable) to serve the people of Herne Bay and is
highly distinctive, thanks to its steep front-gable which is attached
to a far more simple low-roofed brick building at the back. A dressing
of knapped flint, typical of Canterbury's older churches, finishes off
Herne Bay Evangelical Free Church is also
known as 'The Sunnyhill Church' and is located at 64 Sunnyhill Road,
near Grand Drive. Services are held by an 'elder' rather than a priest,
in a building which was probably constructed in the 1980s and attached
to an earlier building, itself probably built in the fifties. The church
was formerly linked to Herne Bay Court, an evangelical Christian holiday
and conference centre which existed on Canterbury Road until it closed
early in 2008.
St Andrew's Church is on Hampton Pier Avenue,
close to the junction with Sea Street, and is the sister church of
Christ Church. It was opened to serve the area of Hampton, at the
western end of Herne Bay, a sometimes extremely steep section of land
which climbs up to the bay, and Stud Hill, which borders it to the west.
The Hampton area is filled with post-war detached houses, many of which are
bungalows, while Stud Hill contains older, wooden-framed bungalows.
St Peter's at Greenhill is on Herne Drive
in Greenhill, part of a relatively new estate of houses put up on Herne
Bay's southern boundaries from the 1970s onwards. The church is a hall,
complete with stage, which can be used for meetings during the week. On
Sundays, the front end is opened up, and it becomes a church. To one side
there is a Garden of Remembrance where ashes can be interred. The church
is 'twinned' with St Martin's in Herne.
St Martin of Tours Church is in
the village of Herne, which is the 'mother town' of Herne Bay. There
was, without doubt, a much older church on the site than the one
that now stands here, and some of its Norman stones, moulded and
carved, may be seen in the walls of the porch and west front of the
present nave. Deeds of gift of the thirteenth century relate to
that church and the churchyard. The new church was constructed in
the early part of the fourteenth century.
The new church was extremely large for the small
village which housed it. However, it is highly possible that a
chapel stood in the village and may have been associated with nearby
St Mary's Reculver prior to the construction of the existing
structure. The tower seems to have been added in about 1350, and has
distinctive alternate bands of flint and Kentish ragstone at its
base. The church has a beautiful interior, which has been preserved
rather than modernised.
Three photos on this page by P L Kessler, and
three kindly contributed by M Kessler.