I visited this church on 16th September for an EACR District Meeting, with ringing followed by a service and then tea.
It was a beautiful day, sunny but with rain clouds amassing in the distance, making a wonderful contrast between the bright church and grounds and the dark sky.
The church has a ground floor ring of 6 bells, of which the treble and #2 are very flat (and the #2 is a quarter tone higher in pitch than the treble) and the #3 is slightly flat. Long draught, and the treble ringer is squashed up against the a cupboard!
Lovely situation at the end of the long High Street in Wakering with some old cottages surrounding it.
Downham church is on a hill overlooking Essex, with fields all round. It was a beautiful bright sunny day when we visited it on 13th August 2017, and a christening was just finishing. Because of this we didn’t go inside, as there were still lots of people around and inside the church enjoying their celebrations.
It has a sturdy red-brick tower with navy diapering.
We visited this church on 13th August 2017 on a bright day. Despite it being a Sunday morning the church was locked, and the signboard outside said that services were only held on the first Sunday of the month. However, there was confetti on the path indicating a recent wedding, and there were 3 fresh burials in the graveyard, so the church is obviously still well loved and used.
It was all very neat and tidy, and although it was down a lane with lots of lovely trees around it, there was a large Sainsbury’s store just around the corner and it is on the edge of sprawling Basildon.
We visited this church on a bright and sunny Sunday morning. It was down a little lane, past a few houses and through some farm grounds. There was a service going on but we didn’t go in.
The church was in disrepair for many years but since March 2013 it has been used by the Greek Orthodox church. There was some fencing around the south side of the church and a lot of dead climbing plant over the south side of the tower, probably ivy. It had been cut back at the bottom so presumably will be removed at some point.
We visited this church on 22nd July 2017, the church was closed. The grounds were not particularly tidy and there is no path to the entrance porch, but around the side there was a tent with a barbecue and some picnic benches so the church seems to be well used. There is no noticeboard.
It is fairly off the beaten track and surrounded by farmland. This flat open countryside of the Dengie peninsula is not dramatic but it has its own beauty.
We went out for a drive around Essex on 22nd July 2017 and this was the first church that we visited. Down a little lane off the main road to Burnham-on-Crouch, with a little parking area in front of it. The church wasn’t open, also there was no noticeboard.
The grounds were extremely neatly kept, all mowed and weeded and there was a list of do’s and don’ts in regard to headstones. Even the gravestones were in neat tidy rows.
I will admit to photoshopping out a black cable that stretched from the centre of the tower right across the graveyard, too messy 🙂
We finished our trip to Mersea Island on the 14th July 2017 with a visit to St Peter & St Paul in West Mersea. The church was open, and there was quite a lot of work going on, some painting inside the porch, and lots of things being moved in and out of the building. It is situated in the middle of the busy High Street with cafes opposite and plenty of people and traffic passing by.