Whitstable, Kent

St. Alphege's Church, Whitstable, Kent

Until the 1840s Whitstable had no parish church, rather the tiny medieval church at Seasalter had to try to cope with the growing town’s populace. Eventually it was decided that enough was enough and St. Alphege’s Church was built on the High Street of Whitstable. It took twenty years to complete the church to a big enough capacity to cope with the parish.

The church is not particularly remarkable or spectacular, although at first glimpse the west front does present a sizeable façade.

St. Alphege is quite an unusual dedication, and apparently his body passed through Whitstable (or rather where Whitstable would later be built) on its way to Canterbury Cathedral after he was killed by Vikings in 1011 (although as he was killed in Greenwich it is a bit odd that the body should visit Whitstable on its way to Canterbury). St. Alphege is today an obscure saint, but it was to this saint that Thomas Becket was praying when he was murdered at the Cathedral – both men being Archbishop at the time of their deaths.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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