St Augustines Gillingham
St Augustine's Gillingham
at the Heart of the Parish
History - The 1920s

Throughout our history, gifts and memorials have made an important contribution to our church building. The Chancel itself is in fact a memorial.

Rood Beam

The Oak Rood Beam (above) at the entrance to the Chancel was erected on 27th February, 1926, in memory of all those of our parish who lost their lives in the First World War. Their names and mention of the Chancel Memorial are recorded on the stone pillar behind the lectern. The figure of Christ on the Cross is flanked by the Virgin Mary and St John.

At first the East wall did not have a stained glass window, and a picture was specially painted to hang there. The large picture is now on the North wall.

During the "twenties" the parish made a wonderful effort to pay off a debt which arose on the first building of the church in 1916. Prices evidently rose quite a bit during the first two years of the war, and an extra 1,000 had been added to the first estimate to cover increased cost of wages and materials. The P.C.C. really rose to the occasion. A field was hired along the Rainham Road next to the Drill Hall and a FAIR was held for a WEEK! The Navy helped a lot by loaning marquees and tents and rigging them, and the week's work brought in 400 ... a lot of money in the 1920's. Before long the rest of the 1,000 was raised and the debt was cleared. The first war alas, brought many losses, our church being no exception and several key items of furniture bear testimony to that fact. For example the main lectern was given in memory one of soldiers who lost their lives and if you look at the steps up to the pulpit you will find the following inscription:

"In grateful memory of the service and sacrifice in the great war of the men who attended St Augustine's recreation room for H.M. Forces 1915-1919. This pulpit is erected by those who ministered to them."

The 1930s