St Peter’s and St Paul’s

... at the heart of our community

Our Buildings

The parish contains two church buildings, each with its own distinctive style and setting, as well as its own Voluntary Controlled school. 

ST PETER'S (Hextable)
St Peter’s Church was originally the mission church for Hextable, planted from St Paul’s. The building also formed the village schoolhouse. It is brick built with a slate roof. In 1980, due to the expansion of the congregation in Hextable, a new worship area was built on to the end of the old building, also of brick construction with a slate roof. This building is octagonal and inspired by the concept of a tent. The building was designed to be multi-functional and seating is provided by plastic stacking chairs. There is room for about 60 cars on the church site as well as on road parking, though this is discouraged because of safety factors. Further extensions of the 'new' lounge and office area were completed in 1988 and there have been other improvements and additions to the original building. However, the original building in particular is now in urgent need of upgrading and the PCC is at present nearly six years into plans for another major development on the site. This came about originally as a consequence of the urgent need for additional, quality accommodation for our older youth but quickly became the catalyst for a radical re-think of our whole site.

ST PAUL'S (Swanley Village)
The older of the two buildings and the "parent" from which St Peter's was later planted, this church was built in 1861 to the design of well known Victorian architect, Ewen Christian.  It is believed to be one of his most inspired creations, although much of the internal finishing is actually the result of work lovingly commissioned by its first vicar, MS Edgell, St Paulswho had better designed choir stalls,  reredos, and suchlike, installed. A brother-in-law, John Eastwood, improved the exterior by adding the tower, whilst another brother-in-law, William Eastwood is responsible for St Paul's richly decorated interior



Of particular note is the domed chancel roof, with its portrayal of Christ being worshipped in heaven, the mosaics between the chancel windows showing Christ being worshipped on earth and the arch, with its gilded symbols of the Christian faith, although there is also much else of beauty and interest to be seen. 

 

St Pauls Interior

Nestling amongst the trees at the foot of Gilden Wood, the setting for this church reflects a peaceful tranquillity that has made it a much loved treasure in Swanley Village.  A graveyard surrounds the church, behind it are parish allotments and to the front is a large Glebe (a rarity these days), which also accommodates our church school.  Despite its delightful "Olde England" appearance and setting, particularly favoured for local weddings, the church has kept pace with time, and in 2004 toilets, a washroom and a tea station were tastefully added.  At the same time the rear four pews were removed and the ensuing open area carpeted to enable a flexible use of the space beside the font