The Essex Churches Site

 

THE ESSEX CHURCHES SITE

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St Mary, Wendens Ambo

Wendens Ambo

 

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.

Before the hills, Saffron Walden suburbia. A short distance up the old London Road from Newport station brought me to Audley End station and, tucked behind it, this lovely little church. The parish name means 'both Wendens', this being the former Great, the erstwhile Little having completely disappeared. Locked, but it was still before 9am so I phoned the Vicar. I enquired if I had arrived too early, and he was most apologetic. "I'm terribly sorry, I'll be straight up there at once."

While I waited, I surveyed the exterior with its Hertfordshire spike. It is a mark of how settled the church is in its churchyard that I hadn't noticed it from the train, despite it being right beside the railway line. The wind was blowing strongly from the west, the noise of the M11 more than a distant roar. How do people stand it? The Vicar arrived, still apologising, and opened up. "We must keep it open to visitors, I tell the PCC that." But it turned out that the woman who has locked and unlocked for years now feels she can't do it any more, and although they had a rota it wasn't really working. However, I came back the following spring and found the church open, so they must have sorted something out.

A small church with a little of everything - old stained glass both English and continental, a wall-painting of the St Margaret story, a screen, old corble faces, the brass of a knight, some good modern glass and a bench end of a tigress looking into a mirror. I liked it a lot. I was soon on the Royston road and under the M11, the traffic noise rapidly falling away behind me as I turned off and climbed, and climbed, and climbed away from the Cam Valley high into the hills along a lonely road to Arkesden.

Simon Knott, May 2013

               

 

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