St. Barnabas Church

Lewis GLYNN (see the entry on Broomhills) had erected a wooden building within the grounds of Broomhills and close to the main house. It was used originally as a playroom for his children.

The original was situated near the boundary with the Maypole Institute hut - now renamed the Maypole Social Club. When Joseph CAMERON took up residence (c 1923) at Broomhills he gave permission for this hall to be used as a Mission by local residents of the estate for worship. Access to this hall was by way of the alley that now runs beside the Maypole Social Club and the end house in Baldwyns Road.

Below - aerial photos taken in 1945 of Maypole Estate showing Broomhills and the original and later site of St Barnabas Church

St. Barnabas Church - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath St. Barnabas Church - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

St. Barnabas Church - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Above - the alter - courtesy of Steve Parker

By 1924 the hall was too small for local needs and Joseph CAMERON had it enlarged and refurbished as a Church. At the same time he also had built on a new hall which was for use as a Sunday School. Lewis Edmund GLYNN was still shown as living in Broomhills itself in 1927 (KELLY'S DIRECTORY). By this time he had been awarded the K. C. (A history of St Barnabas Church, however, shows that the CAMERONs owned Broomhills from at least 1923). Joseph CAMERON died in 1949. It was in this year and following his death that his son, John CAMERON, gifted the building of St BARNABAS Church to the Diocese of Rochester. He also donated £250 and gave a plot of land at the side of Old Bexley Lane in 'GLYNNS FIELD' near Broomhills Lodge where the church was to be sited. It was physically moved from the location in Broomhills to the Old Bexley Lane in 1952. It was rededicated on 11th October 1952 by the Bishop of Rochester, Dr. Christopher Chavasse.

Map below showing original location of St Barnabas Hall on OS map published 1950 where the letters 'Ch' are and the newer site along Old Bexley Lane - see map below the below
St. Barnabas Church - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

St. Barnabas Church - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Below - final location of the Church in Old Bexley Lane c1966 (Dartford Lane as described above) - prior to it's demise there in 1971. Photo courtesy of Tony Hollis.

St. Barnabas Church - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

CAMERON HALL 1923 - 1924 A Sunday Evensong was held every week at 6.30 p.m. from 7th January 1923 until 2nd August 1924 with attendance between 50 and 70 people. A congregation of 114 was counted at the anniversary service on 16th March 1924 with the Vicar of St. Marys, the Rev C. Moore M.A. preaching. (Collection £1.4s.1½d)

In 1925 the new Church of St Barnabas was re dedicated as a private chapel by Dr LOWTHER - CLARKE, a former Archbishop of Melbourne and father in law of the Rev. Charles MOORE on Palm Sunday 5th April 1925.

The white wooden church had a spire and a single bell that tolled when calling the faithful to prayer. I can only remember the Church as being where it was last sited, actually on the northern side of Old Bexley Lane and just west of the Broomhills Lodge site. The last Evensong at the old St BARNABAS Church was held on the 6th October 1968. The Church was last used for Church of England worship and closed on the 18th July 1971.

The congregation was rehoused in a new Church at Tile Kiln Lane. Sadly, the aisle and the belfry of the old St BARNABAS were burned down several years later - one hall being the only part still left intact. It is now used for closed worship by another faith. From a photograph I have, I believe that the original MAYPOLE used by the children of the estate - c.1910 to 1950 - was situated very close to the last site of the Church in GLYNNS Field. As a child in the late 50s I remember there were 'sports days' for the children of the estate around the perimeter of the Church and within its grounds. It is difficult for me now not to see the opaque figures of children dancing on this spot, whenever I traverse the field. To me, it is as if it still belongs to them and their time.

Below - the original St Banabas lamp now owned and used in working order by Richard WIGHT and image donated by him

St. Barnabas Church - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Memories from Steve PARKER re the church and it's original location and Mrs CAMERON

The church was @ the rear of Broomhills, churchgoers would enter the Cameron estate through a gate in the alley @ the back of Baldwyns Rd. & walk straight ahead for about 50 yds. The church hall was to the right running @ right angles from the church where we used to attend Sunday school. I don't remember much about Mr. Cameron except he was a little round man who wore wire framed specs, he had a short walk from the back of the house to the church where he played the organ. He must have been Dorothys grandfather? That can be confirmed by Dorothy, who by the way was in the choir & her mother was always @ church. My wife Valerie remembers a ladies church group being held in the hall once a month & Mrs. Cameron being a prime facilitator. After the church & hall were moved my daughter Ailene used to attend ballet classes at the hall, can't remember the teachers name but she lived in Baldwyns Park. Apart from organising a wedding reception for some friends of ours thats about all I remember.

Before we left for N.Z. 40yrs. ago Mrs. Cameron invited my wife & I & 3 children for afternoon tea, quite a delight, One room was a treasure trove of chiming clocks -- table , grandfather, cuckoo, the whole range. The kids were thrilled to bits when she set off the chimes of many, this was followed by the playing of a pianola? The Winter family I know little. Regards Steve

Below - the hall as it is today.

St. Barnabas Church - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath
St. Barnabas Church - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath
St. Barnabas Church - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

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