Friends of Essex Churches Trust

Supporting Christian Churches & Chapels in Essex & East London

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Grant brings hope to village churchGrant brings hope to village church

Ride+Stride

Thanking everyone for their amazing support for Ride+Stride 2016, John Pickthorn, our Ride+Stride organiser, said: “Whether you cycled, walked, sponsored someone, or opened your church and provided welcome refreshments, you have been amazing. Thank you for all your hard work. You have helped to save beautiful and historic churches for everyone to enjoy.” Stay tuned for news of our next Ride+Stride on Saturday 9 September 2017.

R+S 2016

The rain did not dampen the spirits of this team from St Barnabas’ church in Walthamstow.

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All Saints Great Braxted

All Saints Great Braxted
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Featured Church - Archive

St John’s Buckhurst Hill

St John’s was built as a chapel of ease to St Mary the Virgin, Chigwell, in 1837. Buckhurst Hill became a separate ecclesiastical district the following year and the living was declared a rectory in 1867. Buckhurst Hill became a separate civil parish in 1895. Land for the church was given by Caroline and Jonathan Hatch Abdy, and Caroline’s monument in the south aisle (died 1838) records that she ‘contributed largely to the erection of this chapel’.

St John’s Buckhurst Hill

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St Peter, Great Totham CM9 8NP

In 2012, St Peter’s underwent a major programme of repairs as the roofs were retiled, the spire reshingled, and the weathervane regilded. The Friends were able to contribute £10,000 towards the total cost of £236,000, with the bulk of the money (£129,000) coming from English Heritage.

The two questions most frequently asked about the church are: how old is it? and why is it so far from the village?  The second question is easier to answer than the first.  Like most English parish churches, St Peter’s would have been built by the Lord of the Manor as his private chapel, and after a few years would have been given to a monastery as a form of charitable donation. So the church is next to the Hall, with the vicarage, which perhaps stands on the site of the original priest’s house, forming a third in the group.  No doubt there were a number of cottages round about, but these have left no trace. Over the years the centre of the village has shifted to busier parts of the parish, notably the crossroads where the village shop now is; but the church still stands at the geographical centre of the parish, linked to all corners of it by footpaths.  This would have been a gradual development; there is no reason to suppose that it was the result of a sudden single event like the Black Death.

St Peter, Great Totham CM9 8NP

St Peter’s in about 1831

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St Mary the Virgin, Farnham CM23 1HR

St Mary's in about 1856
St Mary's in about 1856

The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Farnham was reroofed in 2011, with the help of a grant of £2500 from the Friends of Essex Churches Trust. St Mary's was rebuilt in 1858-59, and is an excellent, unspoilt example of a high-quality church building of its day. The building it replaced was described in 1768 by the Essex historian Philip Morant as being 'built, cathedral-wise, in the form of a cross, and leaded', but drawings of the church made shortly before the rebuilding show it to have been of very much the same shape and size as the building which replaced it, with a west tower, nave, chancel, and south porch, and no transepts. It had been restored in 1827 by George Perry of Bishop's Stortford, when a gallery was inserted at the west end at a cost of £38. By 1854, however, the church was described by the diocesan architect, Joseph Clarke, as having 'few points of attraction or interest, saving the south porch, and one or two isolated features. The tower is late and uninteresting, containing a weak outline and debased detail. The structure must now be considered on the verge of decay.'

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St Nicholas, The Square, Tillingham CM0 7TP

St Nicholas, The Square, TillinghamTillingham is one of the remotest villages in Essex, in the wilds of the Dengie peninsula between Burnham-on-Crouch and Bradwell-on-Sea - it might well be called Tillingham-on-Marsh. In the middle of the village is a large green (known as The Square) with attractive white-painted weatherboarded houses on three sides and, in the north-east corner, the parish church of St Nicholas. The present building can be dated back to the twelfth century: the walls of western half of the chancel, and the north side of the nave, are of that date, as is the north doorway, which was blocked up in the nineteenth century. But there has been a church here for very much longer than this, and in fact the history of Tillingham's church has earned it a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Between 604 and 616, but probably in 608, the parish of Tillingham was granted by King Ethelbert of Kent to Mellitus, Bishop of London, to help finance his Monastery of St Paul. That monastery eventually became St Paul's Cathedral, and the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's are still the patrons of the living. This means that Tillingham has the longest single ownership of anywhere in the country. It also means Christians were worshipping here a good forty or fifty years before St Cedd landed at nearby Bradwell.

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ST NICHOLAS, WITHAM ROAD, LITTLE BRAXTED CM8 3EU

ST NICHOLAS WITHAM ROAD LITTLE BRAXTEDSt Nicholas, Little Braxted, is one of the smallest churches in Essex, and is also one of the most surprising.  It was built in the early part of the 12th century.  On the outside it is very simple, almost plain, with its walls of flint-rubble and puddingstone held together by generous quantities of render.  It has kept its original Norman apsidal east end, although only one Norman window remains, on the north side; the rest have been replaced at different times, mostly in the 14th century.  But as you step inside the door you enter a completely different world, for the interior is richly furnished and decorated in a quite unexpected way.

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ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST, CHURCH LANE, LITTLE LEIGHS, CM3 1PQ

ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST, CHURCH LANE, LITTLE LEIGHSThe bench outside our church is lovely place to rest half way along the Essex Way.  Close to the old pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Walsingham, via Bury St Edmunds, St John’s Church lies down a quiet lane which follows the line of the River Ter.  According to Norman Scarfe, in his Shell Guide to Essex, Little Leighs Church has preserved a true rustic feel and we hope you enjoy your visit, virtual or otherwise...

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Wycliffe Baptist Church Parsons Heath Colchester

Wycliffe Baptist Church Parsons
					Heath ColchesterThree years ago we welcomed into the pastorate George Balfor as part time minister who has done a wonderful job of building up the fellowship in terms of both numbers and spiritual fervour...

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Langford, St Giles

Langford, St GilesThe July edition of Essex County Council’s Essex Matters magazine asked its readers ‘What would you do with £10,000 to improve your community?’  As the deadline for entries was coming up very quickly, Churchwarden, Irene Allen, sent in an entry....

 

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September 2007, THE SIDE CHAPEL,  Stanway, St Albrights

THE SIDE CHAPEL,  Stanway, St AlbrightsOne Saturday in the Autumn of 2004 some members of the PCC met in the church and wondered how they might spend the next couple of hours before lunch and a pint in the pub. It was possibly the Rector who suggested that it might be a good idea to try and sort out the vestry. Let’s give him the credit! For about 25 years, the vestry had been used as a repository for anything that could not be used in the church, but looked as if it might be useful one day.

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August 2007, Church of the Month - St Michael, Galleywood

Church of the Month - St Michael, GalleywoodThe Parish of Galleywood Common, was formed by Order in Council dated 2Oth Oct. 1874, from portions of the Parishes of Great Baddow, West Hanningfield, St Johns Moulsham and of the Parish of Orsett. It covers a scattered area which extends roughly from the Pumping Station (now Fowler Court) on Galleywood Road, to the turning to Wickford on the Stock Road and from Seabrights Farm on the road to Baddow, to and beyond Whites Bridge on the Margaretting Road. The boundaries were clearly marked in different places by ten boundary stones which bore the inscription ‘G.C., St. M.C.C. 1874’, which being interpreted means  Galleywood Common, St Michaels Consolidated Chapelry 1874.


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July 2007, The Church and Parish of St James, Clacton 1907-2007

The Church and Parish of St James, Clacton 1907-2007The development of Clacton as the seaside town we know today started around 1871, thanks to an entrepreneur called Peter Bruff. Mr Bruff was the chief engineer of the Colchester to Walton railway and had engineering interests along the Essex coast.  With the fashion for taking a sea side holiday coming into vogue, Mr Bruff could see the potential for Clacton’s sandy coastline.  Before 1870, much of what is now central Clacton, around Station and Rosemary Roads, was Sea Side House Farm held in trust by Mr and Mrs William Watson. With the death of Mr Watson in 1864, the trust expired and Mr Bruff bought the land in order to realise his dream.

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June 2007

St Giles ChurchGreat Maplestead, St Giles stands on a projecting spur of land bounded by two streams which eventually join and run into the river Colne. Great Maplestead is a picturesque but scattered village 1½ miles SE of Sible Hedingham and 3 miles N of Halstead. Many of the houses around are 16th & 17th Century but this ancient church was built c.1100. It probably stands on the site of a pagan temple which was used for services after the arrival of Christianity.

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