Events planned to mark 150th anniversary of St Paul’s Church in Cliftonville

St Paul's Church was constructed 1872-73 (image St Paul's Church facebook page)

A series of events are planned to mark the 150th anniversary of St Paul’s Church in Cliftonville this year.

Events will include an art installation, a walk around the parish boundary leaving a trail of painted stones, a special service and a look at the lives of those on the war memorial for Remembrance Day.

St Paul’s Church was constructed 1872-73. During the 19th Century Margate was a destination favoured by middle-class Londoners, particularly after the establishment of a regular steamer service from London in 1815 and to a lesser extent after the opening of Margate Sands railway station in 1846.

Cliftonville developed from the 1860s to provide additional respectable accommodation and its own attractions such as the Clifton Baths dating from 1831.

Therefore, by the 1870s a new church was felt to be necessary to serve the growing suburb. The memorial stone of St Paul’s Church was laid on 16 September 1872 and it was dedicated on 13 November 1873 by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

St Paul’s was an offshoot of Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Square (later demolished following bomb damage in World War Two) and was built, with a capacity for 800 worshipers, on land provided by a Mr TD Reeve and a Mr J Andrews.

The architect was RK Blessley of Eastbourne and it was built by Messrs Cooke and Green of London at a cost of £8,500, including boundary walls and vicarage. The tower was built later, possibly at the same time as the west window which has a dedication plate with a date of 1885.

The tower was certainly built by 1897 when a church bell and clocks were provided by subscription. The tower was extensively repaired in 1971.

The church and boundary walls were designated at Grade II in 2010.

As part of the 150th anniversary of the church, there will be a prayer walk around the borders of the parish, leaving painted along the way.

This will be open to anyone to join in all or part of the walk. Help would also be appreciated who to produce the painted stones

The church needs donations of acrylic paints, small brushes, and varnish to seal them. The craft group will be starting up from the beginning of March and will be working on this and an art piece for the installation.

If anyone would like to get involved come along on Thursdays (from March 2) from 1.30pm to join in.

The walk is planned for Sunday, May 14, the services will be combined in to one, followed by a Bring and Share lunch and then walking in the afternoon.

Other events include:

  • Easter beach service and baptism renewals Sunday 9th April with Holy Week services in the preceding week.
  • Prayer walk 14th May
  • Last service of vicar Patrick Ellisdon and wife Debbie on May 22
  • Main service of celebration with the Bishop Sunday, June 25
  • Remembrance Day special service Sunday, November 12

Church secretary Claire Clarke said: “It’s our 150th anniversary this year and we have a whole series of events we want to put on to celebrate. We want to do an art installation so we are looking for artists, businesses and schools to make a £10 donation to display a piece connected to the area/parish/church – for example if a business opened in the period of the last 150 years they could base it on that, if their connection to the area, anything suitable for display in a church and online.

“We are also doing wedding vow renewals, a Christmas tree festival, and a special Remembrance Day looking at lives of those on our war memorial.

“There will be barbecues and the walk around the boundary of the parish leaving painted stones in May.

“We really want to make this special.”

Find St Paul’s Church on facebook here


  1. Oh for goodness sake!Is there no end to the boring predictable comments ofthis miserable person who goes by the completely inapposite name of “real world”?

    By the way, I am and always have been an atheist. So what?

  2. It’s rather a shame that the vicarage was sold off , rather spoils what could have been a very impressive overall site.

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