Sunday, August 23, 2009

St.Cedd Church

Another visit to a favourite spot, the Celtic church of St.Cedd founded in 653 AD, and as can be seen from this article built out of a Roman fort, in fact on the entrance of the fort. When we were there before we wondered about its pagan history, after all it is one of the first Christian church to be built on a Roman spot, especially as there is a stone in the corner of the church, at odds with christianity.
It has a spiritual tranquillity that transcends a Christian viewpoint, its sober austerity in the flat sparse Essex fields overlooking marshy ground and the estuary gives it a timelessness that says here be a life of hardship. Cedd was one of four brothers all educated at Lindisfarne, he sailed down the coast to these Essex reaches, and built a wooden church here, but a year later he reused the roman stone to build the church that stands today, though of course it has been much modified in the medieval period as a barn.
The starkness in the landscape is emphasised by the great fields of wheat now shorn of their harvest, and in the distance the decommissioned Bradwell Nuclear station. It is a landscape where sky meets the sea and melds into the landscape, so that on walking the straight track down to the church (the old Roman road) it is impossible to distinguish where any of them meet, only the white sails of yachts tell their tale.

This little niche held a carved little figurine of St.Cedd probably, holding his church, the flowers were an offering by LS.

The far end, perfect simplicity with its large flagged stones

Othona Community

We found this building hidden in a copse, the Othona community welcome all religions, though Christian based, and was founded in 1946 just after the last war. I have a feeling that there is probably a green/hippy base to this community, but it looks a welcoming sort of place.

Marshy land in front of the church

A reconstruction

Harvested wheat field

Bradwell Power station and a great stack of bales being built the landscape is somewhat bizarre on this old airfield land

1 comment:

  1. This is the one place I miss about Essex, a true thin place, full of Celtic spirituality, that trancends all - thanks for posting this Thelma, even though it has made me homesick!