The parish and church of St Alphege Seasalter has a long and complex history.
The first church at Seasalter was possibly built in the Anglo Saxon period. Seasalter was a posession of the Archbishop in the Domesday Book and according to tradition, Alphege’s body lay here for three days on its way back to Canterbury in 1023. The original church was close to the sea shore and washed away in the great storm of 1099. The present ‘Old church’ was built further inland in the twelfth century.
By 1845 the centre of population lay in the east of the parish and a new church of St Alphege in Whitstable was consecrated on 9 October 1845 as the ‘new church of Seasalter’.
The nave of the old church was demolished but following an appeal the chancel was converted into a mortuary chapel by William Hyder of Court Lees, Whitstable.
One of the longest serving clergy was a man with little charm or manners, Reverend Thomas Patten, who was Vicar of Seasalter for over 50 years. The Church records are full of belligerent personal observations concerning his parishioners.
The new church was usually referred to as Seasalter St Alphege, which has inevitably caused confusion between the two churches. It also became known as the Parish Church of Seasalter and the Town Church. In 1984 it was referred to as St Alphege Whitstable.