Southchurch (Southend on Sea) – Holy Trinity

I hadn’t been to this church for about 9 months so I thought I’d pay it a visit . . . on a chilly and overcast January day, 8th January 2018 . . . I walked round the graveyard and bumped into an acquaintance, Jonathan, who I met on a local adult education course last year about Essex churches.

When I exclaimed at how different it looked, he told me that they had been clearing the churchyard all last summer and autumn. It does look a lot brighter, particularly the entrance past the door in the west wall, which was very overgrown before.

Door in the west wall with newly cut back trees either side of it

I didn’t go into the church, just took photos outside.


Hockley – St Peter and St Paul

We visited this church on 26th November 2017, after drone flying and lunch at the Old Windmill with family.

It was a beautiful late autumn afternoon, with golden leaves and golden light.

St Peter and St Paul church, Hockley


I got some lovely photos, and would have had more if I hadn’t fallen in a patch of nettles! No scrapes or bruises, but I was very stiff the next day.

Rettendon – All Saints

Visited on 26th November 2017 . . . not to see the church, rather to fly my son-in-law’s drone plane!

It was very very cold, but bright, a perfect day for flying 🙂

All Saints church, Rettendon

It was a Sunday morning, and while we were playing with the drone the bells started. First they were rung up and then the ringers rang all 6 bells. A nice surprise for me 🙂


Leigh-on-Sea – St Clement’s

I came along to Leigh tower to ring for the switching-on of the Christmas lights on 24th November 2017. It’s a big occasion with a parade (which I was in a few years ago as a bellydancer!), stalls, all the shops open and giving out mince pies and drinks, some rides for the kids, lots of fun.

Looking south towards the Christmas lights on the tower of St Clement’s


The church was open with lots of craft and food stalls inside the main body of the church, and a welcoming Santa at the door.



All the lights shining through the stained glass windows looked so beautiful, lovely to see illuminated in the darkness.

There were a full 8 of us to ring, we rang for about half an hour.


South Ockendon – Holy Cross

I visited the Catholic church of Holy Cross in South Ockendon on 18th November 2017, to take part in a call changes competition (we came second out of four teams, yay!)

We arrived in the gloomy rain and I didn’t get a photo of the outside unfortunately.

Afterwards we had tea in the church hall.


I didn’t win anything in the raffle 😦

Westcliff-on-Sea – Kings Road United Reformed Church (formerly Crowstone St. George’s and Westcliff United Reformed Churches)

I visited this church and took the photos in November 2017, when I was a volunteer Steward at the Southend Music Festival, which is held here.

Kings Road United Reformed Church (formerly Crowstone St. George’s and Westcliff United Reformed Churches)

This was my first visit with photos, but I have been to this church before on many occasions.

For most of my life, I lived just down the road from here and I attended a few concerts. One sticks out in my mind, it was Welsh harpist Osian Ellis giving a recital. I also sang here, both with the Southend Choral Society, and with the Southend Tech College music department choir. I can’t remember what was on the programme though . . .

And 30 years ago when my kids were small, the two younger ones went to Playschool here. There is still a Playschool here.

Until a few years ago it was a large and beautiful church inside with pillars, gallery and pews etc but it was done up and the interior space was greatly reduced (must be much cheaper to run and less intimidating perhaps for the congregation. Also part of the building behind the altar was sold off and made into flats.

But when I sang there in the 1970s there was a maze of rooms at the back, lots of small rooms and at least one large one.

There is still a beautiful stained glass window.


There is now a foyer with a cafe at the entrance to the auditorium.


For most of my life it was called Crowstone St George’s church, but has recently changed its name to Kings Road United Reformed Church.


Great Wakering – St Nicholas

I visited this church on 16th September for an EACR District Meeting, with ringing followed by a service and then tea.

great wakering, st nicholas, essex, church
St Nicholas, Great Wakering

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 – St Margaret’s

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.

downham, st margaret, essex, church
St Margaret’s at Downham

The exterior of the church:

The churchyard:

The sign:

downham, st margaret, essex, church
The signboard