St Pauls Church

St. Paul’s Church Clacton

St.Paul's, Clacton-on-Sea

St.Paul’s is one of two Church of England parishes that cover the seaside town of Clacton-on-Sea, situated on the Tendring peninsula of the north east Essex coast. St.Paul’s lies within the Rural Deanery of St.Osyth, the Archdeaconry and Episcopal Area of Colchester; all of which are in the Diocese of Chelmsford. website

Holy Communion [BCP] ΠWorship for All
Holy Communion [CW]Ž
Holy Communion [BCP] ΠParade Service
Morning Prayer [BCP] Œ
Holy Communion [BCP] ΠWorship for All
Holy Communion [BCP] Œ
Holy Communion [BCP] Œ Holy Communion [CW] Ž Morning Prayer [CW] Ž
Holy Communion [BCP] ΠVicars Choice Vicars Choice

BCP = The Book of Common Prayer [1662]

Junior Church initially join Family Worship on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sunday’s, then go to their own activities in the Church Halls. W = Common Worship [2000]
The uniformed organisations (Brownies and Rainbows) take the lead at the Parade Service, on the 2nd Sunday. Some services, such as those on Easter Day, Mothering Sunday and Harvest Thanksgiving, are combined at 10.30am to enable the whole Church Family to worship together. Check the ‘Events’ page for these combined services, and other special events

Every week
Holy Communion [BCP] Œ
The Church and Parish
In the late 1860’s, the habit of taking holidays by the seaside was becoming popular and a group of London businessmen – noting that the coast in the then parish of Great Clacton was attracting its share of visitors – appealed for financial help to build a church to minister to the spiritual (and physical) needs of these people.

The original St.Paul’s was built in 1875 – a “temporary” building of cement-concrete, mixed with sand from the beach! – at a cost of £1,200. However, the town developed so rapidly that the accommodation in the church quickly proved inadequate. A chancel, transepts, vestry, organ chamber (in brick) and additional seating were added, and the enlarged building was consecrated in 1881, by the Bishop of St.Albans (in whose diocese Clacton then was). St.Paul’s had become a parish in 1878.

As early as 1925, it was realised that even this enlarged building was not adequate for the work, which needed to be done. A decision was taken to rebuild and a Building Fund was opened.

By 1939, plans for an ambitious new church were well advanced, but had to be shelved because of the outbreak of World War II. During the war, some damage was caused to the roof, ceilings, walls and windows – particularly when a V2 rocket exploded on the seafront by St.Paul’s Road in early 1945. Essential repairs were effected, allowing services to continue uninterrupted.

A variety of circumstances – including building restrictions, the ill-health of the vicar and rising costs – contributed to the delay in embarking afresh on the scheme to rebuild after the war.

Clacton Council gave outline planning permission for a new church in March 1962, followed by permission to demolish theold church and the building of a new one in August 1964. In June 1965, the old church was boarded up about two-thirds of the way down the nave, and the eastern end was demolished to allow building to begin. The existing western end served as the church during the 18 months of construction, and was finally demolished in the late summer after the new building had been consecrated on 15th July 1966. The final cost was £65,000.

Windows and furnishings
The stained glass windows from the old church were removed and stored for use in the new building. The figures of St.George and St.Paul in the War Memorial window, the Madonna and Child in the Lady Chapel, three images of Christ in the west window and a further one in the vestibule ceiling were given their new settings under the direction of Rosemary Rutherford, who designed and built the East Window.

The altar,lectern and communion rails (simplified and shortened) in the Lady Chapel and the Bishop’s chair and choir stalls (renovated and adapted) in the new chancel all come from the old church – which provides a real link between the old and new St.Paul’s.

The emblem
The emblem of a Roman tent and crossed swords can be seen all around the building. The tent reminds us that Paul was a tentmaker, and the crossed swords are usually taken to symbolise the good fight he said he had fought, and which he encouraged others to fight. Some think that the swords appear because he was, as a Roman citizen, executed by the sword rather than being crucified.

The emblem is on the door handles,etched on the glass panels of the screen between the nave and Lady Chapel and on the inner main doors, and forms a feature of the candlesticks on the main altar and the cross and candlesticks on the Lady Chapel altar.

ALL services are subject to change due to staff availability

Leave a reply