St Barnabas Church, Dover, circa 1925
St Barnabas interior of church. 1940, showing bomb damage, after which it was never used again.
St Barnabas church was built in the year 1901 to meet the spiritual needs of the parish of Buckland in Dover. It was proposed initiaially to build only the nave and north aisle, and would provide seats for about 500. It was built by R.W. Paramore of Dover, on part of Barton Meadow, and cost £6,130 to build. The building fund was aided by what was called the "Marriott bequest". The church had a corrugated iron annexe, which it had been intended to make permanent when funds permitted. A turret and vestry were added as part of the original scheme for a permanent building and dedicated in November 1930.
An extract from "Dover in the Front Line, ... The Story of Hell Fire Corner," published in serialised form in the Dover Express newspaper, weekly, or fortnightly, over several months from 3 June 1949 to the concluding part on 20 January 1950. This is the part referring to the virtual destruction of St Barnabas Church, published on Friday July 15, 1949.
It was suggested that the rain of shells on the town from the enemy's newly installed cross-Channel gun batteries, was sparked by a BBC broadcast boasting to the world how a Royal Navy convoy of 18 ships escaped an enemy attack, aimed at closing the Strait of Dover to British shipping, as it approached Folkestone coming up Channel. That shelling, commented the Dover Express, continued until the convoy passed the South Foreland.
(Bob Hollingsbee’s comment: Had it been an ancient church, more thought might have been given to rebuilding St Barnabas after the war, but modern needs, or decline in congregations, meant that several churches were made redundant not long after the war .... including St Barnabas, New St James Church, in Maison Dieu Road and, much later, St Bartholomew's Church, in Templar Street and, even later, Christ Church, in Folkestone Road.)