Updated: Nov 21, 2022
“St Peter’s and St Paul’s is an extremely well kept church, despite its great age it is hard to find anything that requires urgent attention in the short term.” So says the recent quinquennial survey conducted by a surveyor approved by the Diocese of Chelmsford.
This is a far cry from when Jeremy Dumas set up the Friends of West Mersea Parish Church eleven years ago. At the time the church needed essential works like the repair of the South Aisle window which was literally bowing out of the building. As they were built from medieval and Tudor brick and ironwork they needed to be repaired using traditional methods.
With like minded friends, Jeremy threw himself into setting up the charity and fundraising. Since the inauguaral event in June 2011 the Friends have raised and spent over £100,000. We have paid for new roofing, repairs to the windows, lintels and walls. Amongst other things, the church has been redecorated, new lighting and an updated audio system installed.
With a church that dates back, in places, to the eighth century, it is quite an achievement, after ten years, to be in a place where there is nothing urgent that needs doing. However, that does not mean that the fundraising stops, it just gives us a chance to help modernise and improve facilities. For instance, the church is currently considering changing some of the seating in the chancel to improve accessibility, the church hall needs redecorating and an upstairs window is being replaced to make it secure and double-glazed.
We organise fund raising events the next of which will be two Christmas concerts featuring our local community choir, Vocalise. They will be on Tuesday December 13th and Wednesday December 14th at 7.30pm in the church. Tickets will be on sale one month before the concert so look out for posters and publicity on social media and put the dates in your diary.
If you would like to become a member of the Friends and help us carry on with this work, it costs just £2 a month or £24 for the year. Membership forms are available in the church porch or contact our membership secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org