St Barnabas parish is, for a large part, made up of Victorian terraced houses, originally built to house workers for the dockyard and related industries. More modern housing has been built over time as the earlier housing has been demolished and the parish is now a patchwork of different types of property. As the railway station sits on the edge of the parish, a sizeable number of people who live here commute up to London every day.
As well as the terraced housing, there are many larger properties in the parish, particularly located around Gillingham park.
Gillingham North Ward, within which the Parishes of St Barnabas and St Mary’s are located, is deprived; it is one of the most deprived wards in Medway and using the overall Indices of Multiple Deprivation is in the top 10% nationally. The St Barnabas part of the ward, however, is significantly less deprived, and only sits in the top 50% overall, though barriers to good housing remain significant. About two thirds of homes are owner occupied, with a very small number of homes being social housing. Medway Council’s housing office is just over the parish boundary, and so we see an increasing number of homeless people in the parish.
In the last census there were 9,100 residents in the parish, and this figure is constantly growing. The parish is largely residential, with only small employers to be found within its boundaries.
There are several other churches in the parish, including Salem Church of the Nazarene and Beulah Christian fellowship, both in the same road as St Barnabas, with whom we have very good relationships. Third Avenue Church and Community Centre (Methodist) is also in the parish, and the local Hindu Education Centre and Jamia mosque are just outside the parish boundaries.