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The New Look South Wall

The walls of our ancient medieval church are built of an unusual stone called “SEPTARIA” and it is probably the only church in Essex to have complete walls of this stone. Septaria is formed from clay dredged from the bottom of rivers.

In late Victorian times the walls were rendered with a hard impermeable cement, the idea being to protect them.

This resulted however in chronic problems of damp as well as looking increasingly dismal.

Twenty years ago we took off the bottom two feet and pointed the original stone with permeable mortar which did help a little.

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We have now completed the process to remove the rest of the cement from both walls and repointed them under the supervision of the church architect Mr. Tony Venn and the Diocesan Advisory Council, the work being carried out by the expert firm of Bakers of Danbury.

In the process of removing the cement large areas of the stonework came away and this had to be rebuilt at around £450.0 a square yard. (We don’t deal in metric, we like English measures. Also a stone pillar had to be rebuilt and an ancient window reconstructed to prevent it falling out. An ancient Scratch Dial was discovered in the stone pillar by the Priest Door.

These factors added some £10,000.00 to the original estimate of £15,000.00 for the south wall alone but the end result everyone agrees is magnificent.

However although various organisations and individual people have been generous to us we do need your help, for the church belongs to the whole village, a living history of village life over nine hundred years where our forebears have been brought up, married, worshipped and eventually buried.

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