St. John's pastoral district covers the easternmost part of Whitstable - from Bennells Avenue to Swalecliffe Bends. The village of Swalecliffe is on the seaward side of the railway line and Chestfield is in the southern part of the district, reaching into the ancient Forest of Blean, as far the Dogs' Trust Rehoming Centre. Swalecliffe has a popular holiday park and the attractive Long Rock coastline - part of the Thanet coast Site of Special Scientific Interest. Chestfield is a mainly residential area with a golf course and thatched barn pub.
St John's Parish Church community is warm and welcoming and works closely with local groups such as the 6th Whitstable Scout Group and the Swalecliffe Free (Baptist) Church. Our Children & Families Minister maintains good links with the local school and nurseries.
OUR CHURCH BUILDING
St. John's is a small, attractive, Victorian parish church surrounded by mature trees and within sight of the sea. The Victorian building is on the footprint of a Norman building, which it was designed to resemble. Traces of an earlier Saxon building were found during the rebuilding work in 1876. The exterior is of local grey ragstone, with a patterned russet and grey tiled roof and a slender, tile-hung bell tower at its west end. Inside its walls are of homely red brick, with warm wooden pews, and a large ornate pulpit and font. The original oil lamps remain, adapted for electricity, and supplemented by flood-lights set in the fine wooden-beamed ceiling. The plain glass windows gives the interior a light and friendly feel.
ST JOHN'S CENTRE
We have an excellent Church Centre, situated on St John's Road. It is used by community groups and families as well as for our own activities. The purchase of the centre was made possible by the bequests of former members of St. John's, especially Miss Averil Efford.
To find out more about St John's church life, visit our website at www.swalecliffestjohns.co.uk