Our Lady of Pity and St Martin
Another Roman Catholic Chapel was built in Snargate Street in 1905/6 and was dedicated to Our Lady and St Martin by the Bishop of Southwark on 29th March 1906.The new church, at 123 Snargate Street, was just down the road from where Mass had been said nearly 100 years earlier at the start of the Dover mission.
It was hewn out of the cliff and built to resemble the style of the Roman catacombs; rather plain and without windows (although windows were added to the front).
The first incumbent was Fr. Kirwan, in 1906. He was followed, later that year, by Fr. William Thompson, who handed over to Fr. M. G. Gifkins in 1911. He retired in 1936 and died 4 years later. Fr. R. E. Florance, curate of St Paul's, said mass here for the next four years.
The church closed in 1940 and the building remained empty before being sold in 1960.
The picture (left) shows the building today, only slightly altered.
(awaiting old picture)
|The original chapel
dedicated to Our Lady of Pity was on a headland to the west of the town,
known as Archcliffe Point.
"The Graves" - the area reputed to have been the burial place for the victims of the plague in 1666, may have been attached to this chapel.
The dedication to Our Lady of Pity was continued in 1960, when a new church was opened in the newly established Catholic parish of Buckland. Three years later another new church, dedicated to St. Martin, was opened at Aycliffe.