The Essex Churches Site

 

THE ESSEX CHURCHES SITE

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St Mary, Salcott-cum-Virley

Salcott

 

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.


We left Tollesbury on the coast and turned towards Colchester, with the prospect of a number of small churches in quick succession, not least because we were now entering earthquake country. The great Essex earthquake of April 1884 destroyed hundreds of buildings including wrecking a dozen churches, some of which were completely destroyed. There were two churches here, but only one was repaired, the former Virley parish church remaining as a picturesque ruin in someone's garden. Despite the name, this is just one tiny village divided by a stream, and they have not been separate parishes for a century or more, but the BoE still insists on giving them separate entries.

Open. This church was the real star of my day. It is gorgeous. Beyond the wire grill the inner doors were held open with heavy weights, and this is an utterly delightful High Anglo-catholic rustic church, reminding me of Calthorpe in Norfolk. It is lovely. Statues and candles, yes, but also simple woodwork and brick flooring. There is a poster advertising it as a Coffee Point, apparently a local initiative where anyone out for a walk or whatever can go into a building and make themselves a cup of coffee or tea and sit down for a rest. All the equipment for doing so was at the back of the church.

The entire church apart from the tower was destroyed in the earthquake, and was rebuilt some ten years later (fortunately late enough to escape the worst excesses of Victorianism). A mark of how High this church still is today is that the millennium window depicts the Roman Catholic symbol of the millennium. This was my favourite church of the day, and there were still several good ones to come.

Simon Knott, October 2012

               

 

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