Appeal launched to raise funds for repair of historic clock face on Minster church

St Mary’s-in-Thanet at Minster Photo Nik Mitchell

An appeal has been launched to raise £15,000 to repair the clock face on the church of St Mary’s-in-Thanet at Minster,

The church is believed to date from Saxon times and plays an important part in the life of Minster village and the surrounding area. It is a Grade 1 listed building and sits next to St. Mildred’s Priory which was established following the landing of St. Augustine at Ebbsfleet nearby in 670AD.

Photo Nik Mitchell

In the 1860s the church underwent a major renovation including the clock and its face. There is a date of 1870 on the current clock face. The clock mechanism was overhauled in the 1920s and Minster Parish Council recently agreed to take over the maintenance from Thanet council following withdrawal of support.  The ravages of time have had a serious effect on the clock face and it is now in dire need of restoration.

Photo Nik Mitchell

Without this restoration the village is likely to lose the clock forever.

The church clock face was present in 1790 as JMW Turner painted it when he was a 14-year-old prior to entering the Royal Academy of Art.

The restoration of the clock face is a very specialised expensive process and involves skilful work in its removal and replacement.

A small group of villagers – John Quittenden, Derek Crow-Brown, Alan Gimes and Sue Hergest – have come together in an effort to raise the £15000 so the clock face can be restored to its former glory at the heart of the village.

A JustGiving page has been created at:

Alternatively, donations can be made to following Post Office Account specifically for the purpose:

Account holder John Quittenden, Account no. 60821708, Sort Code 90-78-68

A Facebook page has also been created and will be part of the official launch of the project on July 10. This will explain the history of the clock, outline the progress of the appeal and then the process of restoration.

The appeal launch will be at 11am in the church grounds with hopefully some village entertainment and will tie in with Minster’s Open Gardens Event.

Photo Nik Mitchell

The team also hope to stage some fundraising events and create a pictorial display in the village of the progress towards the total.


  1. i think you will find the church of england has an awful lot more money – property and land than i have ,and yet still they rattle the box ?

  2. As much as I think the clock should be replaced £15,000 is a lot of money. There are local scaffolding firms that could donate the scaffolding for modest payment and excellent carpenters, engineers who could do the rest.

  3. One billion per annum income from an £8.7billion endowment. Shouldn’t the Church be maintaining this property?

  4. There are only a few skilled clockmakers left doing these refurbishments and they are pretty much the same so no need to be competitive. Parts usually have to be hand made as they are not sitting on a shelf anywhere. The cost of scaffolding has to be added to the works also.
    I believe that the the COE should be maintaining their churches for the people who use them but it is in fact the other way around. The few people who use the churches have to pay for maintenance expenses and clergy annuity. It is no wonder then that there are so many poor churches with holes in their roofs, windows falling out or community clocks left abandoned when the congregation is dwindling and councils withdraw support. Cliftonville West is a poor area with high a high percentage of social deprivation. Just look at it’s church, St Paul’s standing in the middle of the community. It’s community clock has not worked for over two years, they have water coming in and stained glass falling out but no income to pay for any of it as people sadly turn away from religion. St Paul’s does a lot for it’s community and has a foodbank open three mornings a week helping others.
    It is a shame that churches have to turn to fundraisers for support but without the full churches of the past this is the only way I am afraid. I think we are going to see more of it, or those churches sadly closing for good and developers moving in.

  5. The last year has taught us that people can worship and pray from anywhere if you believe in that sort of thing. God doesn’t seem to mind you not turning up to church. As someone else said, churches are expensive buildings to maintain with dwindling congregations.

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