Church History

Kingsnorth Church – St Michael and All Angels

There has been a Church in Kingsnorth from Saxon Times but the present building probably dates from the 11thC.  There are examples of 13thC and 14thC stained glass remaining in some of the windows. The chancel was rebuilt in the 18thC following a storm and the two side chapels were demolished at this time. Major restoration was carried out in the 19thC at which time the stained glass in the East Window was installed. At this time and again in the 1920s work was carried out to try and cure the problem of rising damp due to the high water table. In 2006 major restoration was once again required and in addition to repairs to the tower and external stonework it was decided that an extension would be built on the site of the old chantry chapel on the north side of the building and that the interior of the church would be re-ordered. This involved digging out the interior of the church and laying a new suspended floor to try and cure the problem of the rising damp (This has been largely successful). The old pews and choir stalls were replaced with modern stackable pews to enable a more flexible use of the space, new lighting and a new heating system was installed. This has resulted in a light airy user friendly building. At the back of the church a glass screen was erected forming a separate area.  This provides a space where parents can take their children if they become restless during the services. The ground floor of the extension consists of a large meeting room with kitchenette plus toilet. On the first floor there is a choir vestry and church office. There are currently plans to install a second toilet on this floor. On the second floor there is a further small meeting room and a store room.

Shadoxhurst Church – St Peter and St Paul

The Church of St Peter and St Paul dates from the 13th century and is the oldest remaining building in the village.  This small and simple church consists only of one aisle and a chancel. Until 1788 a wooden tower rose from the ground at the western end and contained three bells.

When the tower was demolished two of the bells were sold for £22.The one remaining bell now hangs in the bellcote. By 1868 the church was so dilapidated that an architect pronounced it dangerous and closed it forthwith. The cost of restoration was put at £600. Miraculously, for such a poor parish the money was raised and the church re-opened in 1869 amid great celebrations. In 1952 more work was needed to restore the roof and turret and in 1964 the church was closed again for a year due to a sudden outbreak of dry rot that necessitated the complete removal of all floorboards, the pulpit, lectern and pews. During the closure the congregation were welcomed to the Methodist Chapel for services and joint services of Remembrance and Christmas continue today.