Christ Church, Milton-next-Gravesend, came into being in the mid-nineteenth century when it was realised by the town worthies that the growth of Gravesend southwards meant that a new church should be built. Government funding was available to create this new parish, which was to be carved out of the ancient one of St Peter and Paul in Milton. The site chosen lay beside the higher part of the town (Windmill Hill) and a vicar appointed. He was Felix Augustus Marsh, 20-year-old curate at the parish church of St George: although he was second choice (the original having withdrawn) he could never have believed that he would serve the church for 52 years, into the next century.
The original design (fig 1) for the building incorporated a spire; for reasons of cost this was never built, and a pent roof - the remains of which can be seen in figure 2 during its removal, which is described below. Compared with today, the church was relatively small, having only two windows in the nave.
Ten years after the church was dedicated an army barracks which was built adjacent to the church. As a result it was decided, in order to accommodate church parades, to extend the building; this was completed in 1870. Although not realised at the time, corners were cut during the construction, and in 1932 the roof began to collapse. By now the town was growing ever more southwards; money was forthcoming so that, by 1935, Christ Church had been demolished, enlarged and rebuilt on the site of Parrock Farm, about half a mile from its original site .
This stone-built church, built in the Gothic style, and its congregation, have welcomed eleven vicars during the 150 years of its existence. To celebrate the Millennium, the side chapel dedicated to St Faith (named after a chapel of ease which was amalgamated with Christ Church in 1935) was reordered with a new window and furniture.
Site of Christ Church before it was moved from Christ Church Crescent to Old Road East
The church history, One Hundred and Fifty Years of Service, 1856-2006) (ISBN 0-9552570-0-X) (Price £3.00 plus p&p) may be obtained by applying to the church. (01474 352643 or firstname.lastname@example.org)