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Gallery: Churches of Kent
by Peter Kessler, 18 December 2011
Canterbury Part 30: Churches of Herne,
Broomfield & Beltinge
The Catholic Church of St John Fisher & St
Thomas More, Herne, lies on the eastern side of Canterbury Road,
inside the triangle formed by that, Albion Lane, and Park Place, and
almost abutting the latter. The site is effectively the last plot on
the southern edge of the village of Herne. The church was constructed
by the Wesleyans, who opened what was possibly named Herne Wesleyan
Chapel in 1887. This probably closed after the war and was later
taken by the Catholics.
Herne Bay Cemetery Chapel of Rest lies
close to the entrance of this site on the eastern side of the
Canterbury Road, immediately south of the Thanet Way and on the
northern outskirts of the village of Herne. The earliest burials
date to 1871, and in 1880 the graveyard at nearby St Martin of Tours
Church was closed. The chapel of rest was opened in 1881. Edmund
James Reid (1849-1917), head of the CID, investigator of the
Whitechapel murders in 1888, is buried in plot J62.
Broomfield United Reformed Church lies at
the south-west corner of Margate Road and The Meadows in Broomfield,
which abuts Herne to the east. The church was formed in the 1860s and
met in private dwellings. The first church building opened in 1869, as
Broomfield Congregational Mission Chapel in nearby Bogshole Lane
(now a private dwelling). The current church was built on land bought
in 1927, and it opened in 1931. By 2011 it was called Broomfield Church.
Beltinge Baptist Church is at 44 Reculver
Road in Beltinge, a district that today is an eastern extension of
Herne Bay, at the top of Mickleborough Hill. The area lies within the
parish of St Bartholomew's (below), and the Baptist church is one of
only two nonconformist places of worship. Mostly developed in the 1930s
and 1960s, on either side of the war, Beltinge is a mixture of seaside
bungalows and small semi-detached houses and quiet roads, Reculver Road
being a main road.
The Parish Church of St Bartholomew, Beltinge,
stands at the junction of Dence Park and King Edward Avenue. In 1905 the
parish of St Martin's, Herne, extended from Herne itself down to the sea,
and the new vicar soon became concerned at the distance some of his
parishioners were being forced to travel (usually on foot). In 1906 he
launched an appeal for funds to build a daughter church at Beltinge. In
1908 a wooden church costing £452 was erected on the site.
By 1913 enough money had been raised to start work
on the permanent building. The work was halted by the First World War
and restarted in 1922, taking a decade to complete. The wooden church
was taken down in stages as the building of the brick church advanced.
The tower was smaller than planned, and the bricked-up arches here show
where the Lady Chapel would have been. The church was consecrated on
Saturday 30 July 1932, gaining a parish in 1936.