After gathering in homes, schools and even the local pub for over twenty years, the congregation of St Gabriel’s Church on Kings Hill hope their prayers will be answered as a planning application for a church building has been submitted to Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.
The plans to build a worship and community space have been submitted by the Diocese of Rochester - the Church of England in Medway, north and west Kent and the London Boroughs of Bromley and Bexley - which has worked closely with the local congregation to develop plans which respond to the needs of the local community.
If the plans are approved, it will be the first new Church of England church to be built in the Diocese of Rochester for almost 20 years.
Currently, the Church meets in The Discovery School on Sundays and uses venues across Kings Hill for activities including a Community Café and a food bank.
The Rev Mark Montgomery, Mission Leader of St Gabriel’s Kings Hill, said:
“We are excited to be launching our building project, applying for planning permission and sharing our vision with the wider community. Until now we have been a nomadic group, popping up in different locations to serve the local community and gather to worship God.
"We are thankful for the way this has enabled us to grow with the development of homes, schools, businesses, and local groups, but it’s time for us to put down our own roots. Kings Hill has a population of around 10,000 people, but currently we have to travel to another village or town for weddings, baptisms and funerals.”
The new single-storey structure will include a flexible space for worship and community events, along with a kitchen, toilets and a small office. The site at the centre of Kings Hill was designated for a place of faith-based worship in the Phase 3 plans for the development and secured by the Church of England to build a church.
The recent relocation and expansion of the tennis courts to the Kings Hill Sports Park allows the site to be used for its long-intended purpose. Although initial funding for the project is in place, the church will be undertaking fundraising activities to support the building project and the future plans for its use.
Detailed planning can be found on the Tonbridge and Malling Planning portal under reference TM/22/00408/FL.
For media requiring more information, please contact:
- Rev. Mark Montgomery, Mission Leader of St Gabriel’s Kings Hill on firstname.lastname@example.org or
- Jennifer Ross, Diocese of Rochester Communications Manager and Bishop’s Media Adviser, on email@example.com