All of the Church Micro caches I originally owned (all now adopted due to us moving out of the area) are among the first 200 that were published several years ago – I had no intention of adding to my lot until I saw that this particular number, 8691, was fast approaching and so I was pleased to have been able to nab it – It is an important number that has been part of my life since 1990 - so it is nice that I can add to the CM series and own the number that is close to my heart. (Note this is not relevant to the puzzle) - please read after the history of the church to find out why it is relevant to me
A little bit of history about the church -
Little is known about the early Catholics in Tonbridge, except that the Parish was founded in 1894 from St. Augustine's Church in Tunbridge Wells. On Wednesday 15th August 1894, the Feast of Assumption, a temporary Roman Catholic chapel was opened in the town. This was a corrugated iron structure at the west side of Waterloo Road. Prior to this, the Catholic people of Tonbridge had to travel to Tunbridge Wells to attend Mass. Now the priest came from Tunbridge Wells to say Mass in their new temporary church in Tonbridge. On the opening day at 11.00am, Low Mass was celebrated by Father Hayes of St. George's Cathedral, Southwark and the children of St. Augustine's School, Tunbridge Wells sang the children's Mass.
It was mainly due to the efforts of Canon Searle of St. Augustine's Church, Tunbridge Wells that this new church, dedicated to Corpus Christi, was Built. A circular issued privately by Canon Searle for help with this work stated:
“Tonbridge was rich in Catholic memories and associations, for it was once a Catholic town, and the old Parish Church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul was a Catholic Church in which Mass was celebrated. The old Priory of Augustinian Canons stood on the site now occupied by the Railway Company's goods station, and was founded by Richard de Claire in the reign of Henry II. While the School, now so rich and important, was also a Catholic Institution founded by Andrew Judd in 1553”. (Source: Tonbridge Free Press, 18th August 1894.)
Two months after the opening, the Rev. Dr. Butt, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Southwark, visited the church to preach and give Benediction. The Tonbridge Free Press, reporting on the visit, said,
“Unusual interest centred on the event from the fact that this was the first time Benediction had been pronounced in Tonbridge since the Reformation and the little church was crowded to excess.”
The church in Waterloo Road was never meant to be permanent so in 1903, a site was acquired in Lyons Crescent and work began on the new building. Mrs. Fenwick, of Tunbridge Wells, offered money to build the present church and presbytery, on condition that she received interest on the money during her
lifetime. In 1904, the church and presbytery were built on the present site in Lyons Crescent. The old building was demolished.
The first priest to take charge of the new church was Father Walsh. He served the parish faithfully, working very hard and earning the respect of the people of the town, regardless of their denomination. However, in 1923, his health broke down and he had to rest. On 4th May 1923, the Tonbridge Free Press reported that Father Walsh was back in Tonbridge and was looking better, but he was still weak and was going to live in Eastbourne. He later retired to Ireland, where he died in 1929. During Fr. Walsh's absence through illness, Father Moor looked after the parish until a new parish priest was appointed.
At first, the parish must have been very small in numbers and very poor, because it appears that the debt and interest on the new church could not be paid for the first year or so. However, by 1906, finances were healthier, allowing the Lady Chapel to be added to the main church.
Corpus Christi Church has many stained glass windows by the School of William Morris. It also has a fine example of a 'wagon roof' and has galleries on two sides.
As of 1st September 2017 I was no longer PC 8691 - a constable of Kent Police. Having served since 1990 I retired from the force and moved away from the Tonbridge area. I served in Tonbridge for 18 of those years and this church was on my patch when I had the role of local beat officer which I held for 10 years. I have many fond memories of policing in the area as well as living here. I find it amusing now however that if you google 'Tonbridge - Corpus Christi' and click on images - the background image of this cache (a picture of my force number patch) comes up on the first page - try it.
OK on to the Cache – this is in two parts :
Firstly some online research – find the values for A to E (these will be the numbers 1 to 5 but not in that order)
Anglican = A
Apostles = B
Eastern Orthodox = C
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America = D
Roman Catholic church = E
Once you have done that you can now go to the church itself and do some ‘in the field' research
At the church you will find a notice Board
At the top above the crest are three words, total number of letters = FG
What time is the Holy Mass (Vigil) = H.JK
Now you can find the cache at :-
N51 (H-D) (B-J) . (F+H) (J+A) (C-G) E000 (G-E) (B+F) . (G+D) (A+B) (K+E)
Good luck - ddm
For full information on how you can expand the Church Micro series by sadexploration please read the Place your own Church Micro page before you contact him at churchmicro.co.uk
See also the Church Micro Statistics and Home pages for further information about the series.