Grove Green Church - echoes of the past

Grove Green  Memories

Betty Darbyshir, who was Christened at the ‘Tin Church’ as the Mission Church at Grove Green was irreverently known.  One of Janice Champion’s cousins has written from Devon with copies of a very old catalogue with illustrations of designs for a church or chapel which could be delivered “by rail or wharf to be erected on the purchaser’s foundation”.  The Grove Green Mission was one such and is understood to have been bought by the Whatmans on land, which is now Old Grove Green, which they also provided.  That was in 1903.

These prefabricated buildings were originally designed to be shipped overseas to be used by missionaries in far flung corners of the empire.  But the idea caught on, for use in areas such as Weavering, which were some distance from their parish church.  What a blessing for them, faced otherwise with a very long walk to Boxley.  And yet Betty’s mum still told of times when she walked all the way to Boxley Church and Lyn Simpson also did when young.  The Mission Church was destroyed by fire around 1966 but the Church still has an interest in the land.

Robin Ambrose