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Although it has been difficult to pin down exact dates, it is clear that a Spiritualist Church – predating the Church of the Holy Spirit – has been present in Whitstable for at least 70 years.

Eileen DayEileen Day addressing a Special Healing Demonstration at the King’s Hall, Herne Bay, during the 60’s – Fred Mattman, then of Medway, and Sheila Winstanley, one of the Church’s longest serving Healers, are also on the platform. Other churches were invited under the auspices of the Harry Edwards Organisation.

The earliest reference to be unearthed so far is the reminiscences of several ‘senior’ ladies, with connections to the Church, of their visiting the Toc H Building, off Sea Street, during the War years of the 1940’s, ostensibly to meet ‘eligible’ servicemen and recalling the ‘Spiritualist Room(s)’ at that establishment. Other recollections of a less secular nature, confirm the hiring of room(s) at the Toc H until the first incarnation of the Church at its present site in Northwood Road, Tankerton. During this ‘cross-over’ period and largely because of space restrictions, ‘healing’ sessions were held separately at the Whitstable Castle.

Healing was (and still is) very popular and attracted large numbers being served by a strong cadre of (Healers). This healing was provided under the umbrella of the Invicta Healers Association, then the National Federation of Healers. Within the period covered by this history Kent Healers/Kent International Healing Association were also involved.

The first ‘recorded’ President of the Church was May Nelson during the 1950s. Followed into the ‘60s by Eileen Day and her husband Wilfred, Charles (Bill) Day, who became life presidents and were instrumental to the foundation of the Church as it is today; physically, in terms of its site and extension, as well as its Constitution and status as an independent Christian Spiritualist Church.

Eileen DayEileen & Bill Day outside their home.
Eileen DayEileen Day giving Healing approximately 30 years ago

Eileen and Bill stood down for a short period when George Jones stepped in as President, before taking over the helm once again (George passing to Spirit in Feb 1995). When Eileen passed over in June 1996 Bill carried on with the support of a strong Church Committee. Then on Bill’s passing in 2001 Joan Castle took over as President (the Days having given more than thirty years service) and was followed during this century (briefly) by Alf Reed, then Glynis Ward up until 2009 followed by Sheila Murray, until Nov 2013, when Steve Young became the latest President.

One of the issues encountered in putting this piece together has been the almost total lack of documentary evidence. However, what little that does exist, shows that the Church building began its life as a garage to the rear of the bungalow at 81, Northwood Road. This building was converted into a ‘music studio’ before being gifted (by deed) to the Church by the then occupant. Subsequently the original building was extended to its current ‘footprint’ by local builder and Church member, Wally Arnold; the cost of conversation funded by the members ‘buying a brick’ as well as making other donations. Thus the Church of the Holy Spirit was constructed physically and metaphysically by the un-diminishing love of its members : A true Church of the People.

Fred Mattman presiding over a Wedding in the ChurchFred Mattman presiding over a Wedding in the Church.
Team of healersTeam of Healers approximately 10 years ago –
you will get better or be very afraid !
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