After a marvellous bequest was left to the parish by a former vicar, there were big changes made with the money at All Saints Church, St Cedd’s House and in St Cedd’s Church. However the major work was done at St Cedd’s Church. Hygiene issues had already meant that the kitchen could not be used for the preparation of food and flower arranging in the same place. 


The toilet needed to be sorted and so did the heating too. In my capacity as the person who printed the church magazine, I still had access to the hall, so often sneaked in with my camera and here are a few before and after shots.

From information from a good lady from the parish, CCMC is controlled by a committee of about six people under the administration of the PCC. There are various duties involved and that sees one doing the cleaning, two the bookings and another the heating regulating.

Originally the kitchen could be entered into via a door half way down the hall, this was closed after it was deemed unsafe in a Health check. It was entered via a swing door, right in line with the gas cooker. The main kitchen then and now is off the passage leading from the back door opposite Elfreda House and leading into the church. For many years that back door was the main entrance into church, and there was a small bell in there which was sometimes rung.

In my catalogue of photos, no pictures were available of the old toilet, but the only observation to make was that they were positioned the other way around, with the Ladies where the Gents is now and vice versa.

Heating at St Cedd’s has always been a problem as the area to the left of the picture on the right, was where the wall heater was, hot air fans blowing out in spots above the altar door and near the stage, these were pretty ineffective.

These were replaced by electric caged in fires, set high in various parts of the walls, these were controlled by three control panels that were in the kitchen cupboard and they were paid for by parishioners (indeed I bought one myself after a spell in hospital). Finally after the bequest left by the former vicar, the fires are now on the floor and regulated normally by one of the volunteers on a weekly basis with a control panel.

For the high wall heaters showing below there were about ten scattered in the hall, the kitchen and the church chapel and these were on meters, so hirers had to pay for their own heat as they used it. The right picture shows a lit fire in darkness.

7It was reported in the papers in September 2004 that parishioners were flocking back to St Cedd’s after a £90,000 refit. The church was said to have been fairly basic and had not had any major work done to it for close on 50 years.

After the alterations, it had central heating, disabled and new gents and ladies toilets and a new kitchen area. A service of thanksgiving was held at that time attended by the Bishop of Colchester.

Most of the costs had been met from a bequest from the former vicar who left a bequest in his will. At the time the clergy was the vicar and the curate and the former had left in January to become the Bishop of Chelmsford’s chaplain. When some more money was needed to provide the funding for the heating, an extra £17,000 was raised in a matter of a few weeks.

The revamp allowed the numerous groups then to hire the hall. Whilst professional contractors did the bulk of the work, minor decorating and repairs in other areas were carried out by church members.