The church was built in 1863 and opened for worship in March of 1864

The photo above thanks to Tricia Baxter 2011


The photo above thanks to Tricia Baxter 2011


TENDERS - May 1863...For a Baptist Chapel at Canterbury, Searle, Son & Yelf, architects:





GASKIN & GODDEN.....£1731

WILSON (accepted)......£1650

The Builder vol. 21


There was a Baptist Chapel on King Street in 1858 - Rev. Charles Kirtland


"Canterbury - On June 16th the foundation-stone of the new Baptist chapel in this city was laid by Sir S. M. Peto, Bart., M.P. in the presence of a large concourse of persons. The contributions in connection with the laying of the foundation amounted to about £90. The following ministers took part in the services: Revs. B. C. Etheridge, Ramsgate; C. W. Skemp, Eythorne; Cresswell and Ward, Canterbury; and A. Ibberson, Dover. In the evening, the Rev. W. Brock, of London, preached in the Music Hall. A great effort is being made to open the chapel free of debt. Above £450 remains to be obtained, and it is hoped that Christians in all parts of the land will repsond, so that the denomination may have a chapel worthy of the ancient city."The Baptist Magazine 1863




Canterbury - Opening of the New Baptist Chapel and Schools. - This elegant classic edifice was opened for public worship on Thursday, March 17. The preachers on the occasion were the Hon. and Rev. B. W. Noel, M.A. and the Rev. J. A Spurgeon. The building was erected by Mr. H. Wilson, of Canterbury, from plans, &c. furnished by Messrs. Searle, Son and Yelf, of Bloomsbury Place, and has won the admiration of all who have seen it. In addition to the chapel which is nearly sixty feet by forty - there is a noble school and lecture hall, vestries, class-rooms, and every other convenience for public worship and the instruction of children. The fineness of the day brought crowds of people to the service from nearly all parts of East Kent. In the morning the place was filled in every part, and in the evening many were unable to gain admission. Dinner, tea, and supper were provided at moderate charges; to dinner there were about 150; tea, 400; and supper, 300. A large portion of the provisions was given by the members of the church and congregation, and the arrangements were under the direction of a ladies' committee. A large number of ministers came to manifest their sympathy with the Rev. C. Kirtland and his friends. On Sunday last the Rev. C. Kirtland commenced his ministry in the new place to large congregations. The collections at the opening services, including £12 as the profit of the dinner, &c., amounted to £162, 13s. 10d. The General Baptist repository, and Missionary Observer (afterw.)


The Baptist chapel is made of red brick, and stone dressing was used.

January Happenings

"About this time the Rev. W. Townsend, who had been the popular pastor of the Baptist Church, Canterbury, for the previous twelve years, accepted the pastorate of the Baptist Church at East Hill, Wandsworth, in succession to the Rev. J. W. Ewing, M.A." The Kentish Gazette & Canterbury Press, Saturday, December 26, 1896


A stone in the Hall building - "This stone was laid on behalf of the church by the Pastor Rev. John Lewis, Councillor F. WEST, J.P. Treasurer, Alderman F.J. GODDEN, J.P. Secretary


A corner stone in the Hall building - "This stone was laid by Mrs. W. LEFEVRE: In Memory of the late William LEFEVRE: A former Deacon of the Church

A stone in the Hall Building - "This Stone was laid on behalf of the Sunday School & Band of Hope by Fortescue West J.P. Superintendent June 25th 1914

The wedding of Mr. Ernest Malcolm Plommer, of Chestnut House, Boughton, Blean, with Miss Fanny Cox, cousin of Mr. Joshua Cox, J.P. of Harbledown House, Canterbury, with whom she has resided for some years, was solemnised in a quiet fashion on Thursday last, at the Baptist Chapel, St. George's Street (*), by the Rev. W. Townsend, who was sometime pastor of this church, assisted by the Rev. H. K. Kempton, the present pastor. The bride, who was dressed in her going away costume, consisting of a green cloth cloak trimmed with smoked fox fur, with a dress of the same material trimmed with sequins, together with a black felt hat, was given away by Mr. Cox, and the bridegroom ws supported by his brother. The bride wore a gold brooch, the gift of the bridegroom. After the ceremony the newly-married couple went direct to the railway station, and left Canterbury by the 12.12 train for Hastings, where the honeymoon will be spent. The presents, which were of a useful and costly nature were as follows:.... Employes Supper. On Saturday evening Mr. Joshua Cox gave a supper to his employes to celebrate the happy event. Under his able chairmanship an excellent repast was partaken of, after which Mr. and Mrs. Harvey arrived with their banjo and mandoline and executed some pleasing items. Songs were also sung by several of the men and a thoroughly enjoyable evening was spent.

*should read St. George's Place

A corner stone in the Hall building - "This stone was laid by Mrs. Joshua COX of Harbledown House Canterbury"

"May 22. The chapel, lately occupied at Canterbury by the Wesleyan Methodists, was opened as a Baptist place of worship. Preachers, Rev. Messrs. Griffin of London, Giles of Chatham, and Uppardine of Hammersmith." The Investigator (Quarterly Magazine) 1823

1851 - Mr. C. Kirtland of Sabden, has accepted a cordial and unanimous invitation from the baptist church, Canterbury, to become its pastor.

The 1851 census for religious worship, gives statistics for the Baptist chapel attendence as follows:

Morning - 409

Afternoon - 195

Evening - 339

1882 - Rev. John Aldis, Jun. - Hours of Service 10:30 am. 6:30 pm; mon. 8:30 pm wed 7:15 pm

late 1880's - 1896 Pastor, Rev. William Townsend

1903 - Rev. R. Henry Knowles Kempton

1917 - Services; Sun. 10:30 and 6:30; Bible Class meet at 2:45 & 3; Prayer Meeting, 8; Sunday School, 9:15 and 2:30. Mon., Prayer Meeting, 8:30; Wed., Bible Reading, 7:15; Christian Endeavour, 8:30; Sat., Prayer Meeting, 8. Rev. J. Lewis, 3 De Castro terrace, Wincheap St.


© T. Machado 2007