bridgeFriday 20 November is a day that will go down in history, as members of the Kent Prayer Partnership and The Turn Of The Tide Thames Gateway Prayernet met at The Old Tennis Court Community Prayer House in Grays.

This is the first time in recent years that folk from the north and south banks of the Thames and the Estuary have met to pray and consider the future of working together in our dual-protectorship of the the whole Gateway region.

Present were Edward Wright (Cliffe), Liz Pooley (Dartford), Trevor Clarke (Rochester), Marion Sherwood (Gravesend), Barbara Brown (Grays), Gary Seithel (Brentwood & Havering) and Tim Harrold (Grays & Thurrock). Others were invited but couldn’t make it.

Together we poured over maps of the river and decided on creating ‘chains’ across the water, just as massive chains were used to stop enemy sailing ships from entering the Thames and the Medway.
This vision will be further explained at a 2-part gathering on Saturday 7 February when East Saxons will host the Kentish, and the Kentish will host the East Saxons! Folk will come over on the ferry from Gravesend and we’ll meet together in Tilbury, and then Essex folk will accompany the Kentish back to Gravesend for another gathering there.

This is all exciting stuff as the great physical divide of the Thames is overcome to create a new spiritual unity. Details of the 7 February gathering will be posted as things are booked and confirmed, and of subsequent South Essex – North Kent joint ventures.

Does anyone know anything about a ‘submarine net’ that was put across the Thames in either WW1 or WW2?

Did you know that the Arms of Hastings can be seen in the old St Clement’s Church in West Thurrock? This is because tithes went from West Thurrock to help build Hastings Castle, both being on land owned by the same Norman baron. There are ancient ties between Thurrock and Kent.


NB “Exploring Thurrock”, edited by Christopher Harrold (and illustrated by Tim Harrold!) has just been relaunched and is available from Grays Library, Thurrock Local History Society and other local outlets for just £7 (profits go to the Society). A great Christmas present to give to local residents.