|St Paulinus Churchyard||Bromley|
St Paulinus Church in St Paul Cray may date from Saxon times, dedicated to Paulinus who brought Christianity to settlements on the River Cray in the C7th. The present church was built in the C11th with later additions made over the ensuing years. It became redundant by the late 1970s, its interior furnishings were stripped and it was converted to an old people's day centre. It is now an independent Gospel Church of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. The churchyard contains numerous monuments.
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St Paulinus Church in the village of St Paul Cray dates from Saxon times. In the early C7th, St Augustine, sent on a mission by Pope Gregory, brought Christianity to the south east of England and became the first Archbishop of Canterbury. With him were Justus and Paulinus, the former founding the diocese of Rochester and becoming the 1st Bishop of Rochester in 604 AD. Paulinus was at first sent north and on his return became the 3rd Bishop of Rochester in 633 AD, continuing his missionary work in Kent. It is thought he probably sailed down the River Medway from Rochester, past the Saxon Cathedral Church, up into the Thames and on into the River Cray, which was then navigable for small vessels. He continued up the River Cray, where the dedications of the churches of St Paulinus, Crayford (q.v.) and St Paulinus, St Paul’s Cray commemorate the route of his journey. The 1852 Directory records the following: 'The Crays are four highly respectable villages and parishes contiguous to each other, situated in the lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, Hundred of Ruxley, and Union of Bromley, on the banks of the river Cray, in a beautiful and diversified country, interspersed with numerous elegant seats and noble mansions. On the River Cray are several paper mills, which employ a number of persons of both sexes. Each of the Crays has its parish church, but there is not anything remarkable about either of these edifices. ... St Paul's Cray is a famous place for the pea crop.' Kent Archaeological Society has a transcription of the memorial inscriptions found by Leland L. Duncan when visiting the churchyard of St Paul's Cray, Kent, on 23 October 1920 and during May and June 1921, which are from his field notebook. When the church became redundant, a number of its furnishings have been distributed, its C15th font to St Martin of Tours, Chelsfield (q.v.) and a C19th lectern to St Mary Cray (q.v.).
B Cherry & N Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 2: South' (1983, reprint 1999) p193