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North Kent

April 15, 2013

A short break in Minnis Bay enabled me to fit in another couple of churches. First up, in one of my favourite places-

St. Alphege, Whitstable

This lovely little church sits in the middle of the High Street. It is in a great position to welcome visitors – even on a cold April day there were plenty of people around. It is open every morning for a coffee shop. A simple sign outside says, ‘Coffee Shop Open.’ Inside, I found that this was in full swing and obviously is well used. A table was set up with cards and various other gifts for sale. I was welcomed by a friendly lady.There was a ‘Welcome Leaflet’ available which is very well done. I particularly like the picture of the congregation gathered outside the church. It is a good reminder that here is a living friendly church. This is also downloadable from the website. There is a visitors book but only 10 people had signed this since October.

St Alphege, Whitstable

St Alphege, Whitstable

There is a sign into the church itself (there is a glazed screen to provide a narthex for the coffee shop) which simply says, ‘Church open for prayer.’. It is a peaceful, holy and well loved building with much of interest. There is a prayer book for visitors to enter prayer requests into – this was well used which is so good to see. Also a votive stand. There is a statue of St. Alphege stood in the sanctuary.DSCF8298

There wasn’t anything available on the Christian faith nor on St. Alphege – a story worth telling. Neither was there a church history.

However, this all looks set to change. The church website http://www.stalphege.org.uk gives some details, and a video clip, of an exciting project to tell his story in etched glass. A great idea.

All in all, I rate St. Alphege’s as good for the purposes of this study. It wouldn’t take much more to make it very good. Well worth a visit.

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Christchurch, Herne Bay

A church just off Herne Bay’s High Street. It features a prominent welcome sign. This isn’t born out when I approached it. Firmly locked with no indication of how I might gain entry. Although there is a parish office so that might be possible. On looking through the glazed doors I could see a sign which says ‘Christ Church is Open’ so it must be sometimes. There was nothing to say when this might be. The website – http://www.parishofhernebay.org.uk gives no visitor information either. Could do much better!

Christ Church, Heren Bay

Christ Church, Heren Bay

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One Comment
  1. Thanks for the feedback, Nigel. Glad you found us welcoming! There is a church history on one of the noticeboards in the Narthex, but if you didn’t find it we obviously need to draw more attention to it! Maybe your travels will bring you back to Whitstable after the summer when we are praying that the millennium screen will be in situ. You would be most welcome. Safe travels. Rev Rachel

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