St Mary the Virgin, Salcott

Simon Knott, who 'does' the Suffolk and Norfolk Churches website has visited Salcott and now features it on his Flickr site - here are his comments (which are now online):

“We left Tollesbury on the coast and turned towards Colchester, with the prospect of a number of small churches in quick succession, not least because we were now entering earthquake country. The great Essex earthquake of April 1884 destroyed hundreds of buildings including wrecking a dozen churches, some of which were completely destroyed. There were two churches here, but only one was repaired, the former Virley parish church remaining as a picturesque ruin in someone's garden. Despite the name, this is just one tiny village divided by a stream, and they have not been separate parishes for a century or more, but the BoE still insists on giving them separate entries.

“This church was the real star of my day. It is gorgeous. Beyond the wire grill the inner doors were held open with heavy weights, and this is an utterly delightful High Anglo-catholic rustic church, reminding me of Calthorpe in Norfolk. It is lovely. Statues and candles, yes, but also simple woodwork and brick flooring. There is a poster advertising it as a Coffee Point, apparently a local initiative where anyone out for a walk or whatever can go into a building and make themselves a cup of coffee or tea and sit down for a rest. All the equipment for doing so was at the back of the church.

“The entire church apart from the tower was destroyed in the earthquake, and was rebuilt some ten years later (fortunately late enough to escape the worst excesses of Victorianism). A mark of how High this church still is today is that the millennium window depicts the Roman Catholic symbol of the millennium. This was my favourite church of the day, and there were still several good ones to come.”