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Snodland, Swedenborgian Church

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During their time in Gloucestershire, the Hook family became acquainted with the Rev. T. Goyder, a retired minister of the Church of  the New Jerusalem, founded on the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). Together they formed and built a chapel in the grounds of Samuel Hook's house. When Mr. Goyder died in 1849, his place as Leader was taken by Charles Townsend Hook. Naturally C.T. Hook established a New Church Society in Snodland on taking up residence. The first meetings were held at the Brook Street house of Joseph Privett, a carpenter and himself from Gloucestershire; was there perhaps some former link between him, the Hooks, or the Society? After two years meetings were transferred to a room in 'Veles'. In 1864 a purpose-built chapel measuring 28' x 18' and seating 70 people was added at the west end of the house, with a separate entrance direct from the High Street. It was dedicated in June of that year by the Rev. D.G. Goyder. The first minister was the Rev. Charles Gladwell, but after two and a half years he resigned and his place was taken by the Rev. Thomas Lewen Marsden, M.R.C.S., a Yorkshireman and a doctor.

Content generated during research for the paperback book 'The Medway Valley: A Kent Landscape Transformed' (ISBN 13 : 978-1-86077-600-7) for the England's Past for Everyone series

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