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St Andrew's Day

30 November 2023
An open invitation to the annual celebration of Saint Andrew's Day and Seafarers Service at St. Andrew's Waterside Mission Church, Gravesend.
St Andrew and Seafarers
The Service of Mattins BCP was attended by The Deputy Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Daniel King, Deputy Lieutenant Rosemary Dymond, The Reverend Alexandra Terrett of Gravesend Methodist Church,Church, Veterans, local Councillors , Freemen, Aldermen and Friends.

Saint Andrew 
Saint Andrew is the patron saint of fishermen. He is also the patron saint of Scotland and Russia.
Both Andrew and his brother Simon Peter were fishermen and became Christ’s first disciples. Christ promised to make them ‘fishers of men’ and persuaded Andrew and Simon Peter to leave their nets and follow him.  (National Gallery) 

St. Andrew's Waterside Mission Church, Gravesend
St. Andrew's Church was built to serve Gravesend’s waterside community. In the mid-19th century, the river Thames, just off Gravesend, was alive with shipping vessels waiting to load cargoes or passengers and emigrants heading for Australia, New Zealand and the Americas. Smaller boats supplied the everyday needs of the larger ships, and the crews of these boats lived with their families and livestock on board a collection of hulks and old barges moored just offshore.  

Rev Robinson wrote to a London church newspaper asking for donations to help build a mission hall, and the daughter of Rear Admiral Francis Beaufort KBE responded. Donations also came from townsfolk, including Charles Dickens. On St Peter's day, 1870, the foundation stone was laid and the church was finished and consecrated on St Andrew's Day in 1871. (  

The church has an original working organ built by J Halmshaw and Sons, Birmingham. There are some historically significant plaques, including to the crew of the doomed Sir John Franklin expedition, the last Marahaja of the Punjab, Duleep Singh and Sir Francis Beaufort.   The stunning stained glass windows were made and installed by Clayton and Bell.   

Besides Charles Dickens, other famous literary connections include John Keats leaving for Italy, Benjamin Franklin's diary and the opening of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

This event has ended
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