Our history

History of our Parish

In 2011, Archbishop Peter Smith announced some changes which affected the Parishes of St Justus and St Anselm. You can read about these changes here. Click on the image on the right to read the letter.

The parish has been dedicated to St. Justus in Paddock Wood.

It is believed that Justus was born in Gaul (France). He was sent to England by Pope Gregory in 601, who had heard from Bishop Augustine that there was a “rich harvest” to be had. Justus was appointed first bishop of Rochester. He became fourth Archbishop of Canterbury in 624. Justus died in 634. His feast day is 24 April.

The present Church Hall in Paddock Wood functioned originally as a church from 1950, and was served from the parish of Tonbridge. The small community managed to pay off the church debt in around three years. As the population of Paddock Wood increased, it became necessary to expand the church premises, and a Presbytery was purchased in 1978; on 1 March 1981, a new church was dedicated by Archbishop Michael Bowen. The old church became the Church Hall.

The parish priests of Paddock Wood are as follows:

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1965-1967 Fr. Nigel Larn (Canon, died 1998)
1967-1970 Fr. Colm Spillane (died 1977)
1970-1974 Fr. Colm Acton (now Canon)
1974-1984 Fr. John Hartley
1984-1989 Fr. Tim Buckley ((died 2013)
1989-1991 Fr. Joseph Levins (died 2012)
1991-2005 Fr. Geoffrey Pointer
2005-2011 Fr. Liam Gallagher
2011-present Fr. Behruz Raf’at

The parish deacons of Paddock Wood are as follows:

Ordained 1988 Rev. Bill Eason (died 2011)
Ordained 1990 Rev. Reginald Grimmette (died 2007)

The Parish of St. Justus was joined with St. Anselm in Pembury until Advent 2011.