Sittingbourne, St Mary

Photo: Tom Ashley (Archbishop's Council), May 2016

  • Single bell
  • Grid Ref: TQ902633
  • Former single bell from St James', Croydon, transferred to become the 4th of six at Holy Trinity, Orange, NSW.
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Maidstone

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
҂ Single bell Very small Unknown Never

҂  - Hung for swing chiming

Between c.1980 and 2003

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Single bell4-2-728½"D1907Gillett & JohnstonNeverFormerly St James Croydon; now 4/6 Orange NSW


1902 The new church was consecrated by the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd W Walsh). It was provided with a small bell hung on a bracket on the outside west wall, probably dated 1901. The diocesan architect was R Philip Day. The church was initially a chapel of ease to Holy Trinity, Milton Regis. [1]
1925 The new parish of St Mary's was taken out of the parish of Milton Regis in 1925 when the Rev H J King was appointed as the first vicar.
1980 St James' church on St James Road, Croydon Common, was closed. It used to have a Gillett & Johnston bell dated 1907. This bell was acquired by St Mary's Sittingbourne - possibly at this time - and was hung in a wooden cage on the top of the church hall. [2]
2003 The church approached the Keltek Trust to dispose of the Gillett & Johnston bell, being described as "unused". It was removed by Matthew Higby & stored at Whitechapel. It was earmarked to be the 4th of a proposed ring of 6 at Holy Trinity, Orange NSW. Shortly after the church started a project to replace the bell that was left with a new bell for which purpose a second hand bell was acquired from a turret near Deal (further details not known). The whereabouts of this bell is now unknown. [3]
[1] Newspaper article covering the 50th anniversary of the consecration describes the church and its opening. ( East Kent Gazette - Friday 18 January 1952)
[2] I remember [the Gillett & Johnston bell] being rung but it was only used a few times as it was set up very badly. The clapper would hit the bell and stay there making a loud clonk sound and not allowing the bell to ring! (Memories from Chris Trafford , 2021)
[3] St Mary's also started a project to replace the original bell with a different one. It arrived and was stored in the vestry and I managed to talk someone into letting me have a look! (This must be over 20 years ago now!) It was a small bell believed to have come from a turret down near Deal. It sat in the vestry for several months and then the project was abandoned and the bell from Deal disappeared. I've no idea where it went. (Memories from Chris Trafford, 2021)

Pictures of the bell

The bell on the west wall.
Photo: Chris Trafford, 2021

The bell on the west wall.
Photo: Chris Trafford, 2021

The bell on the west wall.
Photo: Chris Trafford, 2021

The bell on the west wall.
Photo: Chris Trafford, 2021

The bell on the west wall.
Photo: Chris Trafford, 2021

The old bell

The Gillett & Johnston bell, refurbished after leaving Sittingbourne, destined for Orange, NSW.
Photo: Matthew Higby

Elsewhere in the Parish

Sittingbourne, Borden Grammar School
Single bell

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 5 September 2021