About Us....

The three parishes which comprise the United Benefice incorporate an area of continuous housing between the Railway Line and/or the Thanet Way, and the sea, as well as the village of Hoath and its surrounding area. The Benefice stretches from the eastern side of Canterbury Road in the town of Herne Bay, through Beltinge, Bishopstone and Hillborough, to the tiny settlement of Reculver and then beyond into the marshes that are now all that is left of the Wantsum Channel which used to separate the Isle of Thanet from the mainland.

The total population is somewhere in the region of 14,000 comprised of young families, middle aged and retired people, living in a variety of accommodation; converted flats in Edwardian houses, new developments, bungalows by the sea, detached housing in some of the smartest roads in Herne Bay, as well as sheltered housing, nursing and rest homes, children‘s homes, and a convalescent home.

In Beltinge there is a good selection of shops as well as a village hall and a pub; at Hillborough a large Church of England (controlled) Primary School, and a small industrial estate; in Reculver, some caravan parks, a further pub, and the beautiful Reculver Towers, which are all that remain of the original St Mary‘s Church, and are now managed by English Heritage.


The coastline is extremely beautiful, and one of the last stretches of coast between the Thames and Sandwich which is undefended. Wildlife abounds with a variety of sea birds, Sand Martins, partridges, wild flowers, and magnificent views towards the Isle of Sheppey in the west, the famous wartime Maunsell Forts and the new Wind Farm in the north, and the Isle of Thanet in the east. The shore comprises shingle, with sand and rock pools at low tide - perfect for small children.

The countryside inland around Hoath is rolling English countryside, farmed carefully, as well as a stretch of ancient woodland at East Blean Woods. There is a small airfield at Maypole, a further couple of pubs, a small garden centre, and another Primary School in the village itself.

Entertainment and Leisure facilities in our parishes are centred in the Memorial Hall in the centre of the village of Beltinge, the King‘s Hall on the Downs overlooking the sea, and Hoath Village Hall. Brownies, Tea Dancing, Active Retireds, Gardeners, Bowls, Playgroups - a full range of activities. Nearby in the centre of Herne Bay you will find a large selection of shops, a delightful small cinema with two screens, a swimming pool and fitness centre, and next to the remains of a once fine pier is a small harbour with boat trips to the Forts, or to see the seals. There are lovely promenade gardens and a Bandstand with café & bar where various events are often held. On the edge of town you will find a hotel, restaurants and a large DIY store.

The area is conveniently sited for easy access to London and the Medway Towns, via the Thanet Way and M2, to Canterbury and all its amenities, the Isle of Thanet which is currently being developed and improved, and offers good shopping at Westwood Cross, as well as scenic resorts, and to France via either the Cross Channel ferries or EuroTunnel.


Contact Us | Last Updated 21 April 2012 | ©2012 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

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