After the Wars

In 1959 it formed a joint pastorate (two churches sharing one minister) with the church at Ash and then in 1971 the two churches joined with the Wingham, Preston, & Deal Congregational Churches to form the Deal & District Group recognising that they shared a common task in this part of East Kent and that as a Group they could make better use of their resources.

In fact when the church faced a crisis in the mid-seventies The Group was able to provide help that enabled it not only to survive but also to look forward with some confidence to the future. A severe and costly outbreak of dry rot necessitated the demolition of the church hall at the rear and the conversion of the church into a dual-purpose building. The pews had to give way to chairs and the space under the gallery was converted into a vestry, a kitchen and two utility rooms. There are continuing problems with what is now a Grade 2 Listed Building and there are limits to the church’s activities but nevertheless it accommodates the Sunday Service, Monday Bible Study & prayer, Thursday Coffee Mornings & Afternoon Fellowship, the Friday Parent and Toddler Group, and other events that are held from time to time. What might have marked the end of the road became a stepping-stone.

In 1972, a year after the formation of the Group, the Congregational Church in England and Wales and the Presbyterian Church of England joined to form the United Reformed Church. Thus the Dissenters Meeting House became the Independent Chapel, then the Congregational Church and now it stands in the centre of the town as Sandwich United Reformed Church seeking to serve with other Christians the one Lord who is ‘the same yesterday, today and for ever’.

Site built by Chris Wooldridge - ICT Faculty - Sandwich Technology School