Hoo St Werburgh Parish Church

A full history of the church is available to buy for £8.50 in church or contact us for a copy.

Here are a few snippets to whet your appetite. Please come and visit us to learn more ....

The parish and ancient village of Hoo dates at least from the time of King Edward the Confessor and a church was mentioned in the Domesday Book.

St. Werburgh was the daughter of Wulfere, King of Mercia and grand-daughter of Ercombert, King of Kent whose wife Sexburga was Abbess of Minster in Sheppey. In the Sanctuary of the church is a small figure of the Saint with a goose at her feet. Her Festival Day is 3rd February, the reputed day of her death. 

Most records agree that the building of the present church was commenced in the 12th century. The old stone walls of the church are built of Kentish rag stone.

The entrance to the church is now from the north side. There was at one time another entrance from the south but that has been bricked up. The population of Hoo today live mainly to the north and east, but in times past the south porch may have been the main entrance and used in ancient days as a court for the visiting Bishop or Magistrate. The south porch is now a vestry but the old oak door into the church remains as does the old door in the north porch.

There is a considerable amount of ancient glass in the church, some of it coloured. Some small figures can be seen in the glass of the upper lights of the chancel and in the west wall of the south aisle. The design and colouring is very soft and quite different from the stained glass of the Victorian period. There are a number of memorial windows of the 19th Century. The East window is of three lights to the memory of Thomas Hermitage Day and it shows the presentation of the infant Christ at the Temple. The middle window in the south aisle is a memorial to William Nicholson who died in 1880. There is a superior stained glass window in the North Aisle to the memory of Thomas Aveling, who was proprietor of an engineering works in Rochester manufacturing the first steam rollers. In the North wall is another window to the memory of his widow, Sarah. This shows St. Cordelia, St. Werburgh and Queen Bertha of Kent. Alongside the organ in the south wall is a window depicting the Transfiguration with quite well-drawn figures of Christ in the centre with Elias and Moses on either side.

The church contains a very fine ring of bells, the oldest dated 1588. In 1995 the old six bells were augmented to eight and rehung in a new steel frame situated lower in the tower. The original oak frame is retained in the belfry.

Church photo     Church East end    altar