Regular services on Sunday Mornings:
At St Edmund's we hold Sunday services at 9.30am, alternating between Choral Eucharist on 1st and 3rd Sundays and Choral Matins.
We hold occasional evening services including a Communion service at 6.30pm on the 4th Sunday of every month.
The Church of St Edmund King and Martyr, East Mersea, is one of the ancient parish churches of England. Parts of this building date from the 12th century and the list of known ’parsons’ begins with Martin de Bockinge in about 1200. He would therefore have been the priest here when King John signed the Magna Carta. The Building is Grade 1 Listed by English Heritage.
The site is ancient and Roman origins have been suggested. The remains of a moat still exist. This moat once surrounded an area of about five acres including the church, Manor house and a well. Evidence exists to indicate that the area was part of a large Viking camp in about 895; when a Viking army led by the Viking Hasten, who is recorded as fighting against King Alfred, marched from Mersea as far as Chester.
During the Civil War the Church was occupied by Roundhead troops and it is probable that this was when the rood screen, the steps to which remain, was destroyed and the stained glass windows knocked out. Fragments of the old glass can be seen in the north window of the chancel, the remaining glass is of more recent origins except for some pieces of ancient green glass in the north aisle. During the Napoleonic war the army garrisoned the Church as a defence point against invasion
Points of interest in the Church are: The grave of Mawdlyn Outred – 1572– in the chancel, on which is inscribed some verse by her husband, the rector at that time. This has been reproduced and is displayed on the priest door on the south side. Incidentally her husband moved from East Mersea to take on the living at Lexden.
The Tower contains the sole remaining Bell that dates from the 1430s, this has been re-positioned but the original medieval wooden frame is still present, this once supported at least five bells.
The pulpit – Jacobean, with hour glass stand. Note the hole through which the Parish Clerk is reputed to have prodded the preacher.
The grave of James Fox – 1710 – in the Lady Chapel, with a quaint inscription.
The armoured tower door – with three locks.
The Royal Arms of King George III – These are still showing some slight signs of damage from birdshot used by a previous incumbent.
The arms of Edward Bellamie – 1656, he was a Fishmonger and obviously a leading citizen of the parish and resident of East Hall in his day. He was also a Lt. Colonel in Cromwell’s Army during the Civil War.
Friends of East Mersea Church
The Friends of St Edmund King and Martyr church in East Mersea do essential work to support the fabric of the church.