St johns church

Millions of pounds are being invested in Chatham to regenerate the town centre through a number of projects. One of these projects is St John's Church on Railway Street.

Thanks to funding secured through the Future High Streets Fund and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we’re working in partnership with the Church of England Diocese of Rochester to refurbish the church.

The grade II listed church will be restored as a place of worship but will also include facilities for the community including:

  • spaces for events and classes
  • flexible meeting spaces for businesses
  • a cafe.

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The grade II listed church will be restored, and The Diocese of Rochester are delivering the works in partnership with us.

The new church will provide facilities for the local community to use:

  • for events and classes
  • as flexible meeting spaces for businesses
  • as a cafe area as well as continuing as a place of worship.

The Diocese has undertaken a procurement exercise to appoint a contractor to carry out the exciting restoration work on this iconic grade II listed building, with the award issued to Coniston in February 2024.

Construction work is due to start in April 2024. The church is due to reopen in Autumn 2025.

St johns chatham

Open day

An open day was held on Saturday 1 April 2023 to provide comments on the initial ideas for the activity plan and programme schedule.

The 3 hour event was attended by around 100 residents.

St johns church open day

As part of the event, visitors were told about the details of the planned regeneration works and given an overview of the activities that could be included once the building work has been completed.

They were then asked to put stickers on the activities that they particularly liked.

St johns church open day 2

Results from the open day

The proposals in the activity plan were well received.

There was pride and delight in the building being used again and becoming a centre of the community for the future.

The areas that people were really interested in were:

  • the church being used as a community hub
  • the heritage: ensuring we recognise the untold stories, such as Sarah Forbes Bonetta’s connection with Chatham. We'll work with Medway Archives to reveal the stories in the church
  • café proposal: several people spoken to were interested in working for the church either in the café or as a Community Partnership Officer.