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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Kent

by Arthur Percival & Peter Kessler, 14 June 2009. Updated 1 January 2020

Swale Part 8: Churches of Faversham to Oare

Abbey Place Primitive Methodist Chapel, Faversham, Kent

Abbey Place Primitive Methodist Chapel lies on the northern side of the short Abbey Place, at the northern end of Faversham. This was the first of two Primitive Methodist chapels built in Faversham, opening about 1855, forty-five years after the founding of the movement. The building was replaced by the Stone Street chapel in 1898 (see links), but it survives today, albeit somewhat butchered. By 2005 (shown here) it seemed to be serving as some kind of warehouse.

St John the Evangelist, Brents & Davington, Faversham, Kent

St John the Evangelist, parish church for The Brents & Davington, is on Church Road, at the north-eastern edge of Faversham. It is reached via the swing bridge over Faversham Creek. The building was consecrated in 1881 for what was then a newly built-up area, funded by the widow of William Hall, the local gunpowder and explosives magnate. It was known familiarly as 'the Brickies' church, thanks to the large number of parishioners who worked on the nearby brickfields.

St John the Evangelist, Brents & Davington, Faversham, Kent

The church was declared redundant in 2000. The last service held was Evening Prayer on Sunday 26 November 2000, which was led by parish priest-in-charge the Reverend Ian Black. Then it was sold by the Diocese of Canterbury to someone who declared they would convert it into a community hall and function room, but who instead sold it on. In 2009 an application was submitted to turn it into a house with parking facilities, but by mid-2009 it remained abandoned.

St Mary Magdalene, Davington, Faversham, Kent

The Church of St Mary Magdalene, Davington, sits inside the Davington Hill and Priory Road corner. Davington Priory was founded here by Fulke de Newnham in 1153 as a Benedictine house of twenty-six nuns. A chapel was built at its north edge and the priory's existence served to curtail its architecture (the priory cloister's north alley prevented the chapel from gaining a south aisle). The priory expired just prior to the Reformation and most buildings were later torn down.

St Mary Magdalene, Davington, Faversham, Kent

The priory chapel alone survived and after the Dissolution its nave became the present parish church while the eastern arm was demolished. In 1845 Thomas Willement bought the priory and completely restored the church. Davington's medieval parish Church of St Lawrence is very poorly recorded. Between at least 1494-1532 it was separate from the priory but perhaps fell out of use after the Dissolution. Its parish and its name were later united with St Mary's.

Oare Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Oare, Kent

Oare Wesleyan Methodist Chapel stood at the north-east corner of The Street and Russell Place in Oare, a small village to the north-west of Faversham. Its Methodist chapel was founded by 1877, which is when trustees' minutes begin (as recorded by the National Archives). It is also shown on the OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914. The records end in 1964, after which the chapel was demolished and replaced by the short row of terraced houses behind the red van here.

Two photos on this page by P L Kessler, one by Arthur Percival, one kindly contributed by James Waghorn via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group, and one copyright © Peter Wood, and reused under a cc licence.

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