ST CEDD'S CHURCH HISTORY
Before we look more closely at St Cedd’s Church, it was interesting to try and find out more about the Saint that it was named after. As reported on Wikipedia it tells us more about Cedd who lived in the period (c. 620 – 26 October 664) was an Anglo-Saxon monk and bishop from Northumbria. He was an evangelist of the Middle Angles and East Saxons in England and a significant participant in the Synod of Whitby, a meeting which then resolved important differences within the Church in England. He is venerated by Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians.
The little that is known about Cedd comes to us mainly from the writing of Bede in his Ecclesiastical History Of The English People. The following account is based entirely on Book 3 of Bede's History.
Cedd was born in the kingdom of Northumbria and brought up on the island of Lindisfarne by Aidan of the Irish Church. He was one of four brothers: Chad (transcribed into Bede's Latin text as Ceadda), Cynibil and Caelin being his siblings. The first datable reference to Cedd by Bede makes clear that he was a priest by the year 653. This probably pushes his birth date back to the early 620s.
It is likely that Cedd was the oldest of the brothers and was acknowledged the head of the family. He seems to have taken the lead, while Chad was his chosen successor. Aidan had come to Northumbria from Iona, bringing with him a set of practices that are known as the Celtic Rite. As well as superficial differences over the Computus (calculation of the date of Easter), and the cut of the tonsure, these involved a pattern of Church organization fundamentally different from the diocesan structure that was evolving on the continent of Europe.
Activity was based in monasteries, which supported peripatetic missionary bishops. There was a strong emphasis on personal asceticism, on Biblical exegesis, and on eschatology. Aidan was well known for his personal austerity and disregard for the trappings of wealth and power. Bede several times stresses that Cedd and Chad absorbed his example and traditions. Bede tells us that Chad and many other Northumbrians went to study with the Irish after the death of Aidan (651).
Cedd is not mentioned as one of the wandering scholars. He is portrayed by Bede as very close to Aidan's successor, Finan. So it is highly likely that he owed his entire formation as a priest and scholar to Aidan and to Lindisfarne.
The dual purpose church was built in 1955 and at a later date it was planned to do a church rebuild, but this never took place. There were very detailed drawings made of a major working around about the time when CCCP was set up, but these were well scaled down.
However many years before this a house was built in the area of Eldred Avenue/Iceni Way for the curate to live in, but in recent years this has now been rented out. Richard recalled that to the left of the door at St Cedd’s Church, as you enter the building from the car park, that the brickwork was left in a way, as that was where the building was to be extended around across the grass for the church to be built on, but that never actually happened. Now looking more to the modern times, one of the continuing problems around the roads in Colchester are the amount of potholes and the drive into St Cedd’s is the same, but thanks was given in the church magazine in late 2012 to five church members who filled in the potholes. Also cleared away were the soak away drains.
Inside the buildings there are various pictures and other wall hanging, one features “The Light of the World” this was donated by a former church member in memory of her husband and a “Last Supper” in the Committee Room/Chapel which was given by the Youth Group many years ago, after being bought by a youth club leader and his father.
Many years ago, we were asked to paint the church railings, and I was pictured below with brother’s school friend, Paul, doing this work. I was not very clever, as I learned over to paint the other side, and promptly got paint all over my jumper. However this piece of clothing was not wasted as I used it for my messy job of printing the church magazine.
We have already heard that St Cedd’s was built in 1955, and a church member believed that the nearby Roman Catholic Church of St John’s was built around about the same time and we have shared numerous Good Friday Stations of the Cross services with them, either in their church or at St Cedd’s and in recent years at both. This she felt began in the mid 1970’s whilst the curate, the was here who was part of the instigator.
When services were held, the deputy headmistress at Kingsford Junior had a small choir of girls, t and others too and just a harmonium. In the church services at 9.30 attendances were around the 30 to 40 mark and the members were becoming very friendly and always offering help to one another at the parish function, and then when the Reverend Timothy was the curate, his wife, got my mother, to start after service refreshments. The companionship continued and this was shown through the work of the Shrub End Young Wives (later to be called the Ladies Group).
She has more knowledge of the work that went on at St Cedd’s. my mother started off the after service teas at St Cedd’s and money raised was responsible for the air conditioned kitchen. Lots of contributions were made towards the upkeep of the church. Gradually it adopted altar fronts instead of a throwover cloth. One married couple made the purple one for some church friends in memory of their parents.
Then the Reverend Charles was offered a green one from St Michael’s, Berechurch Hall Road. This had to extensively altered but our church friends managed to sorted it out, although the red did not have to be altered. It was a rather special addition to St Cedd’s and the first one, one a cream colour, which had been made by PAX House, Ipswich.
She recalls at one evening service, due to illness in Lent, either during the time of the Reverend David or Philip where church members were asked to read the lesson to ease out the pressure that night. This seemed to be the start of the involvement of the parishoners with either lesson or intercession help at our services. She said that we always had an Ash Wednesday service at St Cedd’s and one on Christmas Eve for the children and on Christmas Day.
My request for information from her jogged her memory of all the good work that she did there. She cleaned St Cedd’s for ten years, her husband cleaned the windows. They mowed the grass, gathered and sold the plums growing on the trees in the grounds, also making jam to be be sold from them too, she was on the PCC, was the treasurer for the West Churches Deanery, on the committee for the Young Wives and Mothers Union. Also on some non church committees, was treasurer for the Royal British Legion. Now at 91 years of age, she is having a much deserved rest.