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Gallery: Churches of Kent
by Arthur Percival & Peter Kessler, 22
November 2009. Updated 1 January 2020
St Saviour's Church is on the west corner
of Whitstable Road and Cyprus Road. It was named after King Stephen's
St Saviour's Abbey, which was founded in 1147 in Faversham. Also
known as the 'tin church', it was build in 1885 or soon afterwards
as a daughter to the parish church of St Mary of Charity, to serve
the new parishioners in an expanding town. The corrugated iron sheets
cover a softwood frame, making these 'flat pack' buildings very quick
and cheap to erect.
The corrugated sheets used in these churches are
thicker than those which were used in other buildings, giving this
generation of tin churches a much longer life span - ideal for their
main intended purpose of being shipped out to the colonies. This
church is also a rare survivor of its kind in Britain, although many
survive elsewhere in the former empire, especially in New Zealand.
To ensure its preservation it has been listed, and some repairs were
carried out in 1991.
Cyprus Road Gospel Hall is a bit of a
minor surprise, as it sits on the western side of Cyprus Road very
close to the rear of St Saviour (see above), and is entirely unseen
from the main, Whitstable Road. The date of the hall's construction
is unknown, but it may have been immediately pre-Second World War.
More recently (2009) the roof supports had to be renewed. Gospel
Halls tend to be Brethren places of worship, although this cannot
be confirmed here.
Faversham Baptist Church is on the west
side of St Mary's Road. Its congregation formed in 1868 and held
its first meetings at the Gatefield Lane Chapel (below) just around
the corner (the Faversham Club since about 1887). The foundation
stone for the new chapel was laid on 31 July 1872, and it opened
for worship in February 1873. No one seems to know who the architect
was. The bricks were local stock, made by hand in immense quantities,
mostly for London.
Faversham Congregational Church stood on
the south-eastern corner of Newton Road and East Street. The
Congregationalists moved here from the Partridge Lane Chapel in 1878.
They merged with the Presbyterians in 1972 to become Faversham
United Reformed Church, but declining numbers saw them merge
with the Methodists at Preston Street. The building (shown here in
1965) was demolished in 1974 and replaced by a block of sheltered
Gatefield Lane Chapel is on the northern
side of the lane, off Preston Street. It was opened in 1833 by
Calvinistic Baptists and then used by Wesleyan Methodists. Faversham
Baptist Church was formed here in 1868 and moved to its own building
in 1873. Then the chapel was taken by the Plymouth Brethren
before being converted into the Faversham Club about 1887. The
building may have been gutted by the architect, Adkins, although
the facade may be original.
Three photos on this page by P L Kessler, and
three by Arthur Percival.