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Twentieth Century


St. Alban's church
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The New Town area of Dartford was developed between 1870 and 1900 to house hundreds of people who came to Dartford to work in the factories and engineering works that sprung-up as part of Dartford's industrial revolution. This rapid population growth led to a demand for more places of worship. The Anglican Church responded to this need by creating a new parish for the eastern side of Dartford, and the erection of a new parish church, St. Alban's.

The new church started life as a humble Mission Room in 1880. Later, the proper church was built and was consecrated on 17 February 1902. St. Alban's became a separate ecclesiastical parish in March 1903. The parish hall was built some time before 1911 and the cost was raised by voluntary contributions aided by a Million Farthing Fund.

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Christ Church began life as a 200-seater iron chapel erected in 1872 on the south side of Dartford Road. The foundation stone for the new church was laid by the archbishop of Canterbury on Saturday 6 February 1909. The church was consecrated by the bishop of Rochester and became a separate parish in 1910. The church, designed in the Romanesque style by Caroe and built of red brick, provided seating for a congregation of more than 700.

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St. Edmund's Church, Temple Hill, opened in 1956 is the newest of the parish churches in Dartford. In 1951 a Sunday School was started on the Temple Hill Estate shortly after the houses had been built on Attlee Drive. By 1952, a small group of estate residents met in the community centre and decided to build what is now St. Edmund's Church. St. Edmund's was the first single purpose church to be built in the diocese of Rochester since the Second World War. The foundation stone was laid on 10 September 1955. The church was consecrated by the bishop of Rochester on the Feast of St. Edmund in 1956.

One of the most prominent features of the church is the high bell tower. The bell housed in it came from a bombed-out London church. St. Edmund's plays an active part in the community and spiritual life of the Temple Hill Estate.


Next topic: New Nonconformist churches in Dartford


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