St Henry and Elizabeth Church


In 1864, on admiralty land in Sheerness, the SS Henry and Elizabeth Church was built, a gift from Colonel Mosteyn who was not a Roman Catholic but had seen the devotion of his men in the North Cork Militia who had stood in pouring rain to hear mass when there was no room inside the outgrown wooden chapel. Colonel Mosteyn built a church, a school and a presbytery on this land. Designed by E. W. Pugin and built in yellow-banded brick with stone dressings, the church is 112 feet in length. It has a large rose window in the west elevation and a gable turret, the roof is ribbed and paralleled and decorated in iron bosses. The rose window can be found in the Heart Chapel situated above the organ gallery, also three lancets can be found here. A single arch that is framed by two large stone corbels supports the gallery. Earp of London built the High Altar using Caen stone, there is also a large ivory and black wooden crucifix inside the church. A new pulpit was added in 1886, it is octagonal and decorated with trefoil recesses.

Unfortunately Colonel Mostyn died before the church was opened, a memorial for himself and his wife can be found inside the church. A popular priest, Fr Thomas Moynihan, was buried within the church, however this happened six years after his death - the Home Office gave permission for this and his coffin was exhumed from the cemetery in 1897 and re-interred inside.

The original school building is now used as the parish hall.

Designed & built by - Kevin Ali