Man in 70s arrested after report of ‘man with gun’ at Margate church

Holy Trinity Church/Trinity Resource Centre

A man in his 70s has been arrested after reports of a person with a gun at a Margate church site.

Members of the Rock Choir had just finished at St Mary’s Holy Trinity (Trinity Resource Centre) and most had left for an end of term lunch apart from three people who stayed to clean up.

It was then a man thought to be armed was spotted outside the Trinity cafe area but quick-thinking wardens moved people to the church and locked the doors.

Rock Choir member Angela Stevens said: “Most of us had left for the end of year lunch, apart from the three who were clearing up. Suddenly a gunman tried to get into the church  via the café.

“Luckily the wardens saw him approaching and locked all the doors. People in the café were moved slowly into the church and they locked the door. The police were called, but the gunman drove off. They did get his number plate, video and photos though.

“Most of us were lucky and had moved to a restaurant for a farewell lunch. The Rock Choir prefects that were still there just got told to stay put and got locked in until the incident was over.

“(One of them) was fine when she came in, but it started to hit her after the meal what could have happened. She got a bit shaky.

“She rang her husband from inside the church to let him know they were safe, then came on to lunch where he rang her and asked where she was. He’d driven over to the church to “rescue her and take her home”, but she stayed with us and enjoyed her lunch and a sing-song afterwards in Taddy’s Barn.”

Another member said the man appeared to be cleaning the gun. Police arrived after about 45 minutes but the man had driven off prior to that. The member added: “I hope he gets the help he may need. The staff were brilliant.”

A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police was called to a report of a man seen with a possible weapon in the St Mary’s Avenue area shortly after 11.30am on Thursday 6 July.

“Officers attended and, following the search of a nearby property, two air rifles and two BB-style guns were seized.

“A man in his 70s has been arrested in relation to the incident and remains in custody while enquiries continue.”


  1. And at the same time an unrelated incident was kicking off at St Paul’s church garden where a man was arrested.

  2. There were other groups in the building including nursery school children and cardiac rehab patients. The Centre staff dealt with the situation swiftly and calmly to ensure everyone’s safety. Considering the number of vulnerable people using the Centre it was very worrying that the police took over half an hour to attend as they had to travel from Maidstone. It would have been reassuring to have local police present before the Maidstone team arrived. Thank you to the Centre staff for all they did.

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