History of the Church in Canvey Island
In 1881 Canvey Island became a parish in its own right. Before then Canvey had been divided up, largely for purposes of grazing sheep and making cheese, between nine manors on the mainland: North Benfleet, Pitsea, Vange, Prittlewell, South Benfleet, Southchurch, Hadleigh, Bowers Gifford and Laindon. So we see in the Baptism registers of the 19th century that when a child was baptised, the parents’ address was given as the bit of Canvey Island on which they were living:
All that changed in 1881 when Canvey Island became a separate civil and ecclesiastical parish. The Revd Henry Hayes, who for nine years had been Canvey’s Curate-in-Charge, appointed by St Mary’s South Benfleet, was inducted as the first Vicar of Canvey. At last, and for the first time ever, the vicar lived in his parish among the people for whom he professed to have the Cure of Souls. From 1881 to the present day Curates, Vicars and Rectors have been appointed particularly and solely to the parish of Canvey Island. And in each generation they and the congregations gathered in St Katherine’s, St Anne’s, St Nicholas’ and St Katherine’s in The School, have sought to preach and live the Gospel of Christ among the whole population in fresh and appropriate ways.
Do enjoy this history page which reveals the history of buildings and of some of the people on whose shoulders we now stand.
St Katherine’s Church in the School