Folkestone, Christchurch

Photo: Dickon Love, 4 Aug 2018

  • Church demolished leaving the tower, formerly single bell
  • Church demolished leaving the tower, formerly single bell, 6-1-16, scrapped
  • Grid Ref: TR223357
  • Denomination: Church of England
  • Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
  • Archdeaconry (Anglican): Ashford
  • Building Listed Grade: II Click for Heritage details.

  • Details of the Bells

    Prior to 1971

    Bell Weight
    (most recent) *
    Date Founder Retuned Fate
    Single bell 6-1-16 1898 Gillett & Johnston Never Scrapped in 1971

    * Source of weight figures: JT scrapping weight

    1850 Church built, although the tower was added later. The architect was Sydney Smith. It was consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury on 27 July. [1]
    1887 Stahlschmidt noted one modern bell. [4]
    1942 Church destroyed on 17 May in a bombing raid leaving only the bell tower and the ringing bell. The garden became a garden of remembrance.
    1971 The bell in the tower was sold to William Potts & Sons Ltd (through Ron Dove) who scrapped it in the tower and sold the metal to John Taylor & Co in Loughborough. The Taylor records note that 6-1-16 of metal was received and that the bell was by Gillett & Johnston, although (currently) no record of Gilletts sending a bell to Christchurch can be found. [5] [6]

    [1] The consecration of Church Church, Sandgate-road, took place on Saturday last. There ceremony was performed by his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, who also preached the sermon on the occasion.' (' Kentish Gazette - Tues 30 July 1850)
    [2] ENLARGEMENT OF CHRIST CHURCH, FOLKESTONE - The memorial stone of the enlargement of Christ Church was laid on Wednesday by Sir Charles Maclean, Bart., chairman of the committee. ... The extension of the church consists of two and half bays, added to the west end of the building, the removal of the organ from the west gallery to a new chamber constructed for it at the north side of the chancel, and the new west gallery, running the whole width of the church, and affording accommodation for 400 additional sittings. The south porch is to be removed to the north of the church; an enlarged porch is to be erected at the south door, and a tower at the west end is also to be erected, the total cost of the work being estimated at £2,000, exclusive of tower and spire.' ('Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Sat 09 Oct 1869)
    [3] RE=OPENING OF CHRIST CHURCH - This church was re-opened on Sunday last after having been some time closed for the purpose of enlargement. ... A tower has been commenced, but as yet there are not sufficient means to complete it.' (' Dover Express - Fri 13 May 1870)
    [4] Folkestone, Church Church. 1 modern bell.' ('"The Church Bells of Kent, J C L Stahlschmidt 1887)
    [5] The ruins, excepting the tower, were demolished after WW2. The congregation decamped to Holy Trinity down the road. The clock is maintained by the Council, but I am afraid that the Bell has gone. It was a Taylor (I think [later corrected to Gillett: "I think it was Dove who told me that it was by Taylors, and he certainly wasn't keen on my looking at the remains"] 1898. Potts used to do the clock and on one visit (in the 1960s) Ron Dove purchased the Bell, broke it up in the tower (I saw the bits in his car) and sold them on to JT&Co. I think it was about 6-cwt.' ('David Cawley memories)
    [6] By allowance for broken metal of G&J bell ex Christ Church Tower, Folkestone. (Weight 6-1-16, Founder: Gillett & Johnson, Date: 15 Sept 1971).' ('John Taylor credit entry (Job Book 31/597))

    The church before it was bombed.
    Photo: Folkestone and District Local History Society

    The interior of the church.
    Photo: Folkestone and District Local History Society

    The church before the tower was completed.
    Photo: David Cawley collection

    A drawing from c. 1930.

    Page updated: 30 May 2020