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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Kent

by Arthur Percival & Peter Kessler, 27 June 2010. Updated 1 January 2020

Swale Part 5: Churches of Faversham & Preston-next-Faversham

The United Church, Faversham, Kent

The United Church is situated on the eastern side of Preston Street, a few metres north of the junction with Station Road. John Wesley visited Faversham three times. His last visit was the most successful, and Preston Street Methodist Church was opened on the present site in 1808. The building was Georgian-style, but some members were lost after the creation of the Primitive Methodists in 1810. The first building was replaced by the present Gothic building in 1861.

The United Church, Faversham, Kent

The Primitive Methodists from Stone Street Chapel (below) rejoined the church in 1932. The Bible Christians, using the vacant Stone Street Chapel, also merged shortly before the Second World War. Then the United Reformed Church joined the Methodists in 1974, abandoning their own building on Newton Road and creating the United Church that survives to this day. The building's interior was modified in 1980, with a new floor at gallery level for worship with a hall under it.

St Catherine Preston-next-Faversham, Faversham, Kent

The church of St Catherine Preston-next-Faversham lies just a little way south of Faversham station and is dedicated to St Catherine of Alexandria, a virgin martyred by the Roman emperor in the early fourth century AD. The settlement of Preston was founded by Kentish Jutes - its name means priest's farmstead or manor - and until the Reformation the area was owned by the monks of Christ Church, Canterbury. The Domesday Book of 1086 refers to it as Prestetone.

St Catherine Preston-next-Faversham, Faversham, Kent

The twelfth century Norman church removed any traces of the previous building, and consisted of a nave and chancel, but no aisle, and probably a bell turret at the western end (on the left here). The church was extensively restored in the mid-1800s under the Reverend James Peto. The spire, north aisle, and porch were added in 1867, shortly after the 1858 arrival of the railway saw Preston's size start to increase rapidly so that it has since merged into Faversham.

Salvation Army Citadel, Faversham, Kent

The Salvation Army Citadel is still plainly visible on the northern side of Stone Street in the centre of Faversham, opposite the entrance to Union Street. It was opened by the SA around the beginning of the twentieth century, possibly about 1905. At least one member of its brass band was still playing in the Canterbury Salvation Army band in 2010, but by that time the former citadel in Faversham was being used as the home of the Allegro School of Dancing.

Stone Street Primitive Methodist Chapel, Faversham, Kent

Stone Street Primitive Methodist Chapel (shown here in 1985) lay on the north side of Stone Street, with the Cottage Hospital between it and Bank Street. Opened in 1898, it replaced Abbey Place Chapel. The Primitive Methodists merged in 1932 with Preston Street church, so the Bible Christians took it over until they also joined Preston Street before the war. After some years of secular use, it was demolished in 1986 and replaced by an extension to the hospital.

Two photos on this page by P L Kessler, two by Arthur Percival, and one kindly contributed by Al Disley via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group.



Images and text copyright © all contributors mentioned on this page. An original feature for the History Files.