The Essex Churches Site

 

THE ESSEX CHURCHES SITE

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All Saints, Messing

Messing

 

Click on the 'play' symbol in the second image to see all my photographs of this church as a slide show, then click on any image in the slideshow to see it large in a new page.

Alternatively, if you don't have flash enabled, you can go straight to the set for this church on flickr.

Open. Pax Vobiscum, it says on the door, this church is open every day. The outer doors were wedged open.

At first sight, this is rather an ugly church, a red brick tower dressed with freestone, as if in imitation of St Benet Pauls Wharf in the City, and beyond it a large Victorian nave, a result of earthquake damage and a rich and enthusiastic patron. But the chancel and south transept are enough to propel the church into my Essex top 40. It is one of the best surviving examples of a Laudian worship space, all the fixtures, fittings and windows dating from 1637. The glass depicts the Works of Mercy, a vast and exceptionally rare scheme for its date, and there are lovely Jacobean stalls, not choir stalls but communion stalls, where Laud imagined people would kneel to take the sacrament. There is a fabulous carved royal arms with the Prince of Wales feathers behind it, and the inlaid stone floor has an inscription from the new King James Bible.

It is a fascinating insight into a model of the Church of England that lasted barely ten years before Cromwell and his henchmen extinguished it.

Simon Knott, April 2013

               

 

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home - index - latest - e-mail
links - small print - about this site
Norfolk churches - Suffolk churches
www.simonknott.co.uk