St Peter's Church, Thundersley

History and a post-war wedding

The Church was originally built in 1120 and was dedicated to St Michael.  On Christmas Day 1209,  it was burnt down but part of the Norman  structure was saved. The church was rebuilt between 1220 and 1230 and was then dedicated to St Peter. The weather vane bears the figures of St Michael and St Peter. The bell tower was built later to carry the bell given to St Peter’s to commemorate the victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588. The modern extension was built in 1965-6 and was consecrated on 2nd April 1966.

I was married in the old church on 10th April 1948. The ceremony was conducted by Reverend Maley. The reception was held at the Hollywood restaurant, in part of Shipwrights Drive then still unmade.

Our honeymoon was spent at Blyth Hotel in Sevenoaks, Kent. We travelled from Benfleet to Fenchurch Street by steam train and then from Aldgate bus station by coach to Sevenoaks.

From Ian Hawks' article "St Peter's Church, Thundersley - History and a post-war wedding"
St.Peter's Church
Ian Hawks
The Old Church Vicarage
Mrs.Maley, Mrs.Bernard Braine, [MP's Wife]. Rev.Maley
Order of service
Ian and Pearl [née Horder] Hawks in church porch
Alfred Hodby
Wedding guests
Alfred Hobday
Thundersley chimney sweep. Best man David Antill, Bridesmaid Joan bride's sister.
Alfred Hobday
Hollywood Restaurant, Shipwrights Drive
Blyth Hotel tariff

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  • Ian and Pearl Hawks were my parents and when I married at St. Peter’s in 1976 my photos were taken in the same spots although I did not have a chimney sweep. I grew up in Thundersley and was baptised by Rev. Maley and confirmed there. I attended Sunday School there and was involved in many concerts and fairs. I remember going into the old rectory when I was confirmed so that our veils could be fastened in place by the Rector’s wife. This was in 1963.

    By Susan Fogg née Hawks (18/08/2019)
  • My parents, Bernard Peter de Neumann, GM, and Dorothy Eva Kimber, were married in Thundersley Church by Rev Maley on 13 February 1943.  During the service the Rev Maley, tripped and went full length on the altar steps, but my father would not let my mother go to his assistance.  There was a memorial board in the porch of the church that contained my father’s name, and my Aunt’s, May Kimber.

    By Bernard de Neumann (24/05/2016)
  • The photograph titled “Ian and Pearl [née Horder] Hawks in church porch”, almost certainly has the memorial board to which I refer, in the background.

    By Bernard de Neumann (24/05/2016)
  • Hello, I am the photographer at St. Peters Church, Thundersley and I am trying to improve the church’s photographic Library. I am wondering if it’s possible to get a copy of maybe one or two of these images? E.g. the image of the old Vicarage/Rectory and if you know of any photographs of this building as well. Many thanks, Jon

    By Jon Stamp (30/09/2012)

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