The Church Hall

The next requirement was for a permanent hall. The Kippington Parish Room had in 1944 been destroyed by bomb blast and had not been rebuilt. Instead, in 1950, two army huts were acquired and erected at the west end of the church, to serve as a temporary hall (the prohibition against a parish hall made by the proprietors of the Hospital in 1903 having long been a dead letter). F.R. Pite’s designs for the new permanent hall are dated November 1959. Stanley Berwick acted as contractor once again and the building was dedicated by the Bishop of Rochester on 11 July 1961. The new hall was a simple but substantial brick structure, entered through a porch at its south end and having a stage at the north end, with kitchen and lavatories beyond. To the east the hall was physically attached to the new west end of the church, but there was no intercommunication between them. Seating was for 150, enough for the congregation’s own needs and for letting to other suitable users, but not in any way setting up as a new public hall for the town. As Mr Stanway wrote in the parish magazine, 11 July 1961, the visit of the bishop, constituted ‘a Red Letter Day in the life of St Luke’s … because it will mark the culmination of the great task to which we set our hands of fully equipping the church for its work by the provision of a parsonage, completing the church and building a hall.’ One more important task, however, remained to be confronted, the modernization of the organ, but this was to be the challenge which Mr Stanway’s successor, Canon John Hargreaves, took up.