The church of St Mary, the dedication of which was recorded in 1427, is built of mixed materials with Roman brick in the dressings. It has an undivided nave and chancel with a west bell turret and spire of timber. The nave and west end of the chancel, which originally had an apse, are 12th century and of that period are all or part of five windows and north and south nave doorways. In the 13th century the apse was destroyed and the chancel lengthened: it has an east triplet of lancet windows, sedilia and a piscina. In the 15th century the porch, reconstructed in 1910, and a stoup were added, as was a rood loft from which rood-stair doorways remain.
By 1892 the nave roof and were in poor condition, and the church was extensively restored in 1910-11 by F Hutton of Birch. The walls were repaired, a new roof was constructed, the tower was straightened and the north doorway was reopened. The old vestry was removed, the church reseated with chairs and refloored and a pulpit was provided.
Two bells were recorded in 1867 and 1877, one of which was of 1663 by Miles Gray, which survived in 1909.
The present organ was brought here from St Stephen’s church in Colchester.
Reverend Lydia Smith writes: Being the custodian of a new garden is exciting and frustrating in equal measure – wanting to get to work as the growing season begins but needing to wait to see what emerges, as winter turns to spring. So as I write, I’m impatient for what’s to come in the vicarage … Continue reading Turning Points (Feb 2017 Article)