The Brentwood Spiritualist Church was founded in 1942 by Mrs Margaret
Temple Cox, Mr Tom & Mrs Gladys Kenner, assisted by Mr Claude
Ridge, Horace Pacey and Helen Slaughter. Services were originally
held in the home of Mrs Temple Cox and then variously in a disused
shop in Crescent Road, a hut on Shenfield Common and the local Conservative
During these early days they had been told clairvoyantly that
they would have a permanent Church, that it would be situated on
a hill, in a garden, nestling under a large tree and that Mr Kenner
would be the Manager.
Some time after that things began to move and to quote Mr Kenner
“At the end of the war in 1945 we were led (by Spirit) up
Primrose Hill and there in a nice garden were some large Army huts.
These were previously used as a Nursery School and then by ARP and
were now vacant. We promptly rented these for £1 per week
and were finally at home and on our way to better times.”
The premises at the time were further down the Hill and were moved
to their present location. The now defunct “Greater Metropolitan
Spiritualist Association” very kindly provided them, free
of charge, with a supply of Mediums, some collapsible chairs, a
piano and other items. Claude Ridge built the platform.
A lot of hard work was put in to fundraising events over those
early years until in 1955 they were able to buy the property. The
dedication of it’s voluntary workers, the Church Trustees
and Committee, have kept the Church running over the years. Many
improvements have been made to the property, the latest being provision
of disabled access and facilities, completed in 2005.
Thomas Kenner MBE
of Brentwood Spiritualist Church
President 1946 - 1986
Kenner was born in Morpeth, Northumberland in 1889 and came to
Brentwood in 1891. He served in the Royal Engineers during the First
World War and the ARP in the Second.
career was in the Civil Service, initially with the Board of
Education, was appointed MBE in 1942 and was Chief Clerk of the
Royal Mint when he retired in 1949.
retirement he continued to be active as a member of the local
council 1950 to 1964.
other interests included membership of Little Warley Golf Club and
later Thorndon Golf Club, a member of Essex County Cricket Club and
chairman of Brentwood Football Club.
Kenner passed peacefully to Spirit at the age of 104.