St. Bartholomew’s Church History
St Bartholomew’s Church, Herne Bay, an imposing edifice, stands at the junction of Dence Park and King Edward Avenue, and at the top of Mickleburgh Hill. A church has stood on this site since 1908, first a wooden building, then, in stages, the building you see today, completed and consecrated in 1932. St Bartholomew’s is a parish church, built to serve the Spiritual needs of the people of its parish, whose borders are Canterbury Road, Queen's Avenue, the railway bridge and the sea. Regular worship is offered here; baptisms, weddings and funerals are held throughout the year; and a full programme of Easter and Christmas services and events is mounted every year. In addition, the Church serves as a fine venue for concerts and dramatic presentations.
St Bartholomew’s is a living Church, whose members seek to hear and live out the Gospel, and to serve the Kingdom of God in this area. We welcome you to the Church in His name, and invite you to learn something of our history and architecture. We sincerely hope that you will visit us soon.
St Bartholomew’s photographed from the West, the view from Dence Park
THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH AND PARISH
In 1905 the Reverend Giles Daubeney came to Herne Bay as Vicar of the ancient Parish Church of St Martin, Herne. At that time the parish of Herne extended from Herne itself down to the sea, and Giles Daubeney soon became concerned at the distance some of his parishioners were forced to travel (usually on foot) to attend St Martin’s. Daubeney was a formidable character, as may be seen in his ‘Reminiscences’ (also available in this Church); when he said he would do a thing he did it, and a year after his arrival he launched an appeal for funds to build a daughter church on this site, the land having been bought by St Martin’s. The Archbishop of Canterbury sent the first £20 for the appeal, and Daubeney wrote letters such as the one from which this extract is taken, requesting help from the well-
“Dear Madam, Can you very kindly help me to provide a Church for my people who live on the East Cliff, Herne Bay and in the rapidly growing district of Beltinge? The need is most pressing as nearly 4,000 people are living about two miles from their Parish Church! We are raising £5,000 for a church holding 500 and I hope to build a portion at least next Spring...”
The wooden St Bartholomew’s built in 1908
By 1913 enough money had been raised to start work on the permanent building. It was designed by W D Caroe, then architect to Canterbury Cathedral. The foundation stone was laid on All Saints’ Day, November 1st, 1913, by Randall Davidson, Archbishop of Canterbury, using a silver trowel still in the possession of the Church, having been returned by his widow after his death. A congregation was well established in the wooden church, but any hopes that that building would soon be replaced by the brick one were dashed by the declaration of war in 1914. The porch, the memorial to Lilian Daubeney, the Vicar’s wife, was dedicated on December 15th, 1914, by the Bishop of Dover, and the building stopped there. It was not until 1922 that the Archdeacon of Maidstone came to dedicate the Memorial Chapel in memory of Henry Hogarth Bell and Giles Robert Daubeney, the Vicar’s step-
Archbishop Davidson lays the foundation stone in front of the wooden church, All Saints Day, November 1st, 1913.
An aerial view showing most of the brick building completed and a small part of the wooden one still remaining.
(Note the old water tower opposite!)
St Bartholomew’s remained a daughter church to St Martin’s, Herne until 1936. In that year the documents confirming the separation of the Parish of St Bartholomew, Herne Bay from that of St Martin, Herne were signed by Edward VIII, during his brief reign. Fifty years later St Bartholomew’s became a joint benefice with the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Reculver. The two churches share their clergy and co-
Giles Daubeney served as Vicar of Herne from 1905 to 1946. From 1919 he placed St Bartholomew’s in the care of a curate as priest-
THE ARCHITECTURE AND FURNISHINGS OF THE CHURCH
W D Caroe (1857-
“The revival of interest in architecture of the Edwardian period and of the 1920s and 1930s has provoked a re-
The visitor must judge for him or herself. The Church was never as Caroe originally designed it; the tower was to have been taller, and a Lady Chapel planned for the South East was never built; bricked-
Entering the Church through the South Porch door the visitor is confronted by a strange wooden carving, this depicts St Bartholomew holding his own skin -
As the visitor passes through, he or she will see to their right the wooden framed chapel, known as the Memorial or All Souls’ Chapel which was designed by Caroe and erected by the family of Captain Henry Hogarth Bell (stepson of the Reverend Giles Daubeney) as a memorial to him and Lieutenant Giles Robert Daubeney, the Vicar’s own son, both killed in action in the Great War. The panelling of this chapel was placed in memory of Ralph Thomas Daubeney of the RAP Reserve, who died in South Africa in 1926. The names of all these were carved and painted in gold against the panelling, and the chapel contains family heraldry. It is used today as a place of prayer.
The Memorial or All Souls Chapel.
The inscription reads:
To the glory of God and in ever loving memory of two sons Henry Hogarth Bell Capt 4th Batt Northumberland Fusiliers killed in action at High Wood Sept 15 1916 and Giles Robert Daubeney Lieutenant 1st Batt Royal West Kent Regiment killed in action at St Julien April 23rd 1915. This chapel is dedicated by Giles & Katharine Daubeney
This screen is erected in loving memory of Flying Officer Ralph Thomas Daubeney Royal Air Force Reserve who fought in the Great War as 2nd Lieutenant 1st Batt Royal West Kent Regiment and Royal Flying Corps. He died in South Africa Jan 15 1926 aged 28 years.
Moving on, the visitor sees to the left the Baptistry. The font of a church is traditionally placed just inside the door, because baptism is the sacrament of initiation into the Christian Church. Beside the font is the Easter or Paschal Candle, a new one is lit every Easter Eve as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Every baptised child or person is given their own small Easter Candle because in the first years of the Christian Church baptisms took place on Easter Eve -
The two stained glass windows in the West Wall depict the four evangelists, and were given by Mr A H Cook in memory of his wife and in thanksgiving for his fifteen years as Churchwarden.
The tower of the Church contains one office bell and was dedicated in memory of Lilian Daubeney, the Vicar’s first wife. The nave is high and spacious, the contrast of cream walls and red brick and tile work promotes spaciousness and warmth. The steamed beech pews are lighter than the original chairs.
The Chancel was the last portion of the Church to be completed. One step takes us to a marble floor, and we face an East Window given, again, by Mr Cook in memory of his wife in 1946. The theme of the window is the Te Deum, featuring Christ in Glory surrounded by Isaiah the prophet, St Bartholomew, St Alban (the first English martyr) and St Augustine of Canterbury. The Lamb and the sealed book of the Revelation of St John also appear. The window, like the East windows, was designed by J H Hogan. The Te Deum is particularly significant for St Bartholomew’s because the English version of it was first sung at St Martin’s, Herne. The Chancel contains several beautiful Christian symbols carved in relief: over the vestry door is the Chi-
The Eagle, Symbol of St John.
The Chancel has a high altar with six fine brass candlesticks. For most services we now use a fine oak veneered free-
special Holy Days.
The organ in the Chancel is a fine instrument, purchased in 1968 from Hollingbourne Church in Kent. It was in a poor state at that time and its fine condition now is due to the then organist Mr Graham Clifford, and his helpers, who restored it. Organ builders J W Walker, Norman and Beard, J C Bishop and H Willis were all involved in its early history.
It has more than thirty speaking stops spread over three manuals and pedals.
Finally, the visitor arrives at the space that acts as a Lady Chapel, and which was once a Children’s Corner in the Church. On the altar stand a cross and candlesticks given in memory of twelve year old Christopher Chase, killed in October 1942 when an enemy aeroplane strafed the bus on which he was travelling from Canterbury. The Chapel contains two statues of the Madonna and Child, and is a regular meeting place for a prayer group. The beautiful nativity window in this Chapel was placed in memory of John Caton Jones, by his family. John Caton Jones served as Vicar from 1940 to 1950. To mark his tenth anniversary the parish gave him a new bicycle. He cycled home with it from Canterbury and, the following day, died of an unsuspected heart condition.
Church buildings are full of human history, and St Bartholomew’s is no exception; its structure and furnishings testify to human joy and sorrow, faith and vision, offered to the Glory of God. We trust that you will find a visit uplifting, and we ask that you offer a prayer for the people, the clergy, and the mission and ministry of this Church, and we ask His Blessing upon you, and all whom you love.
The Lady Chapel.
The Nativity Window in Memory of John Caton Jones.
God our Father, we thank you for this House of Prayer, in which you bless your family on its pilgrimage. So quicken our consciences by your holiness, nourish our minds by your beauty, and open our hearts to your love that, in the surrender of our wills to you purpose, the world may be renewed in Christ Jesus our Lord. AMEN.
Original Text: Noelle Hall
Minor revisions: 2003; 2005; 2016;
Contact Us | Last Updated 29 January 2016 | ©2006 United Benefice of St Mary the Virgin, Reculver & St Bartholomew, Herne Bay with Holy Cross Hoath.
United Benefice of St. Mary the Virgin, Reculver &
St. Bartholomew, Herne Bay with Holy Cross, Hoath